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I want to talk about how impressively relaxing and immersive Eastshade is. It’s like Skyrim without fighting.

Gamingtodaynews1b - I want to talk about how impressively relaxing and immersive Eastshade is. It's like Skyrim without fighting.
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Haven't seen a lot of comments on this apart from the


. I bought it based off of the trailer visuals and oh boy does it deliver. I didn't know anything beforehand about the game. It felt like a small indie release, but I just got more and more amazed at just how much stuff they managed to pull off and put into the game.

The trailer gives too much emphasis on the painting mechanic actually, it is really more a classical quest based magical/mystical RPG your class being the painter. But half of the quests you get have nothing to do with your painting abilities.

You are simply a painter shipwrecked on an island, wanting to fulfill your Mother's wish to paint several highlights of the island. The journey there will give you various side quests as is expected, and will show you the meticulously created, luscious and colorful compact world of the island.

The game took all of the relaxing, calming and enjoyable aspects of Skyrim and took some influences from Journey and RiME for good measure. They methodically removed all of the taxing elements from normal RPG games, and out came something completely different!

It could be described as a walking simulator, but there is enough interaction with characters and items that it's more of an adventure game or adventure puzzle game, in first person.

The music in the game is also brilliant and changes according to the mood of the location, it just feels right. Even the voice acting is well executed.

Here's a few examples of what you will or specifically will not find in Eastshade:

  • there are no fights or enemies or monsters. So far there doesn't seem to be even any archenemy. Also no dragons, sorry.

  • you do have an element of danger which is freezing in the cold night if you stay outside – you need to build a fire, have some clothing, make a tent, or book a room in an inn

  • there is no need to hassle with a limited inventory, just collect and relax

  • there's no skill tree or skill levels, rather areas are blocked off by story events and solving some of the quests to get an item or to be able to craft an item

  • you can craft items you need, from a canvas to brewing teas or constructing a fire pit to warm up for the night

  • there's an enjoyable variety of ways you can do some things – collect various flowers to brew teas, or buy them, or build fires

  • the world is compact, but varied and obviously handcrafted to every detail to put interesting things in various places

  • there's a few quests where you need to choose your side and influence the outcome

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The game occasionally cleverly subverts the traditional tropes of open world games. For example (very mild spoilers):

  • You can fast travel the world with a special tea which is cheap, or you can … buy a wooden bicycle! And cycle across the island, even through fields and forests.

  • there's a guy who will buy any item of you for 1 coin because he has enough of everything in life and doesn't need anything, but he only sells one item for an unobtainable price and that's exactly the one item you need for the main quest

  • at one point you end up in an inn during a storm and suddenly have to solve a detective mystery

  • the game has a proper day/night cycle and events happen at certain times, for example the traveling bards give recitals at the local inn at 7pm

If you liked the world-building and just-being-there aspect of Skyrim, this is surprisingly great. Anyway, for the money, you get a superbly calming, relaxing experience.

The only issue with the game which drags it down is the graphical engine. It's not so much the graphics as they are great – the game looks vibrant and luscious with great texture work almost everywhere, but the engine bogs it down.

I don't think the game is PS4 Pro optimized, but anyway even on the Pro there is no antialiasing at all, the frame rate is choppy particularly when streaming assets, and there's a large amount of pop-in of objects, particularly bushes.

Graphically this game looks occasionally on the level of Horizon Zero Down (with AA off), and then you start walking and objects start flickering in and out of existence and you realize the engine is really poorly optimized and there were games pulling off much higher graphical complexities on the screen. But still it's a $25 indie game so obviously they couldn't stretch to everything.

It gets buggy occasionally as well, sometimes not loading or getting stuck, or at one point preventing me from making saves for a few hours early in the game. The PS4 port is very obviously early as at one point the game still references the A/B/X/Y buttons 🙂

Anyway, even with the engine issues, the game is a 10/10 experience for me, right now I'm at about 80% completion and don't want it to end. Just walking around is making me feel like "oooh this is great, oooh, this would look even better if they fixed the engine and added AA, oooh this is pretty, oooh how I wish they made a Pro patch, …"

Also the developer said they are not considering a VR version which is a shame, as I for one would pay good money for this world in VR.

Bottom line, for $25, you get way more than you might expect.

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