Earth’s Dawn (PS4) Review

The only good bug is a dead one.

Can I just start this review off with the simple fact that I love side scrolling brawlers? I grew up with them as a child, I’ve played countless games in the genre, and I have probably completed The Simpsons Arcade game more times then I’m willing to admit. With that out of the way, there was no doubt in my mind I was most likely going to enjoy Earth’s Dawn, at least after I discovered just what kind of game it is. That said, most are probably like me, reading this asking themselves “What the heck is Earth’s Dawn and should I care?” Well players enjoy the very genre I was just talking about, that interest should be peaked.


Alright, what exactly is Earth’s Dawn? Simple really, take a 2D arcade brawler, pepper it with a little bit of Monster Hunter crafting, and a dash of Odin Sphere art style and this is a pretty good summation of what is offered here. Aliens have invaded the planet, and it’s up to the player to build their character up, fight back, craft weapons, and take the planet back. Right, doesn’t sound like anything really original, and it’s honestly not. The key characters that speak to deliver story elements at the hub menu work well enough, but didn’t do anything to really draw me into the title. That was accomplished from the gameplay and art style.

MSRP: $29.99
Price I’d Pay: $29.99
Multiplayer: N/A
How long to beat: 10+ hours

The first thing that will definitely hit players is the visuals. It’s a 2D animated nature like Odin Sphere or Dragons Crown, which are some of my favorite RPG brawlers of the last few years. Do the animations and style look nearly as good as those titles? Not at all, but the colorful, big brute characters are silly and charming, the environments decent enough. It’s the monsters that truly steal the show here. From weird bug like creatures to a shark like creature that swims underground. Then we have the bosses, which are usually huge, take up lots of space on screen, and offer attacks that light up the battlefield.

Combat, leveling up, and crafting are the key components of Earth’s Dawn, and it’s insanely fun and addictive in my experience. As players continue their journey across the alien ravaged earth, they will take on various missions, exploring maps that will offer platforming and a whole lot of fighting. Attacks can be strung together to not only combo enemies into submission, but juggle them high into the sky. With a dash move, melee combat, and ranged weapon attacks, I never felt myself dissatisfied with combat. Over the course of the game skill points are earned, along with levels that enable players to activate new stat boosts or moves, as well as building better equipment or crafting newer weapons, armor, and fashion items. For me it became this gameplay loop that just kept me wanting to play more and more. The devastation I could bring forth rained down on my enemies, sometimes with some impressive particle effects from the resulting chaos that always left me grinning.

Bug Bomb

There are a few concerns I have with Earth’s Dawn that others should be made aware of. First off, the game is extremely repetitive. If story or insane set pieces are your preference, look elsewhere. The music is also sadly forgettable. It’s there, I recall it, but it’s nothing I’m going to be humming for days or remembering for specific scenes. Another odd choice I noticed – when playing, a group of soldiers travel with the player character, but when entering battle they immediately just disappear, leaving the fights up to the player. Once the fights are done, they return. Why have these soldiers with the player just for aesthetic reasons? It honestly makes no sense, and I have to wonder if they just cut out the ability for AI to assist or it was too easy otherwise. It’s just a weird design choice.

Earth’s Dawn isn’t as a good as Odin Sphere, or even at the same level. It doesn’t have to be though. This is clearly a more budget focused title and it shows. All things considered, it’s one of the more fun and addicting games I’ve played this year, and surprisingly so. A game I almost didn’t give a second glance, and here I was being pulled away from other huge heavy holiday games. It offers a lot of content to work through, and for the price, players could do much worse this year.

Favorite moment: Leveling up to fight and overcome the huge bosses the game throws at you.

Worst moment: Failing a longer mission only to have to restart from the beginning.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

  • Combat
  • Skills
  • Bosses
  • Music
  • Story
  • Presentation
Written by
Justin is a long time passionate fan of games, not gaming drama. He loves anything horror related, archaeology inspired adventures, RPG goodness, Dr Pepper, and of course his family. When it comes to crunch time, he is a beast, yet rabies free we promise.