Reviews - Updated on March 31, 2022

Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights garnered a lot of attention when it hit Steam Early Access this winter. And it’s not just that she tries to play on equal terms with such exemplary metroidvanias as Hollow Knight, Bloodstained, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Dead Cells. To stand out against the general background, the authors still withstood their style, mood and atmosphere.

Sadness, longing and feelings

And the mood in Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights is sad, melancholy and even tragic. Throughout the game we run and fight to the sad overflowing of the piano and to the rhythmic whispering of water. And why rejoice if in a world called Outland almost everyone died or turned into mad monsters after the “rain of death” poured on them, sowing filth?

The main character survived, but, of course, she doesn’t really remember anything. All the way, she can only communicate with the first ghost of the Black Knight she met, who undertook to protect her. The plot is served through notes and meetings with bosses – defiled souls, whose stories we gradually learn. These stories are all sad – about madness, love and self-sacrifice.

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Even good people become defiled in the rain.

Such a presentation of the story may seem too poor and clichéd – in the plot there are also forbidden experiments in order to save the beloved. But in my opinion, the constant sad overflows of the piano and the simplicity of presentation only emphasize the atmosphere of loneliness and depression – the authors clearly wanted this. And, of course, it is especially touching that at the same time we play for the fragile girl Lily in all white, who is able to cleanse defiled souls with the touch of her hand.

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The mystery of the origin of the girl is a separate intrigue.

Girls’ best friends are ghosts

By all the laws of the metroidvania genre, Lily runs, jumps, fights, looks for secrets, presses levers and buttons to open something somewhere. Of course, some places cannot be reached until we receive special abilities from the purified souls – double jump, dash, breaking walls and floors in special places, a grappling hook, diving under water, and so on.

From some places you can only get out in such streams of water.

Lily gradually gains new levels, which automatically increases damage and health. Every now and then we find items that also improve our performance – for example, parts of an amulet that gives an increase in health, as well as relics that increase damage. The cooler the relic, the more space it takes up, and at first it is not enough. Therefore, you still need to collect items that expand this limit. And then all the same, depending on the situation, you have to decide what exactly to equip – you won’t be able to use everything.

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Even the descriptions of the relics are melancholic.

The same goes for combat skills. The girl herself, who is also called a white priestess, naturally does not know how to fight – instead of her, the spirits purified by her do it. The main blow with the sword is given by the starting Black Knight. Then there are flower and water witches, merchants, veteran warriors, village boys, and many other spirits. Each opens something different – for example, a spit that deals damage, magical charges that hit from a distance, a circular blow with an iron ball, and so on. There are a lot of options, and there are only six places for skills – two sets of three. Therefore, you also have to select and change the build, adjusting to a specific boss.

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We see the spirits crawl out of Lily and strike. She herself can stand aside or even run in the other direction.

Resting and saving Lily on the benches: there we restore health and supplies of healing prayers, choose spirits and relics. Benches also work as fast travel points. Well, the enemies are resurrected after our rest.

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During the rest, you can see all the ghosts that the girl is equipped with.

Beautiful, sad, but could be better

The only pity is that not all bosses turned out to be interesting. Some prefer to call on fat minions and take thick skins. Others copy the behavior of their “colleagues” from other metroidvanias. There are also more non-trivial, unique ones, but there could be more of them.

It’s the same with normal enemies. Many of them are often repeated – skeletons, crows, slugs, etc. Then there are more complex, interesting ones, that is, the game is always ready to challenge. But what was the point of filling the locations with the same opponents for a long enough time, which you just start to run past without paying attention? If only for the grind. Although you can’t call Ender Lilies especially hardcore, the difficulty here is quite adequate.

Problems can often be caused only by the fact that you are playing the game on the keyboard, although it is clearly “sharpened” for the gamepad.

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There are actually a lot of bosses.

In addition, in Ender Lilies the map is not very informative and the force of the blows is poorly felt. On the other hand, this can be explained by the fact that we attack with ghosts that cause non-material damage, and in general the game is about sadness, melancholy and melancholy, and not about dismemberment, blood and the accented sound of broken bones.

The theme of water runs through the entire passage – it both helps and can kill.

Otherwise, Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights is exceptionally satisfying – especially in terms of how it looks and sounds. In this sense, the game is close to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Bloodstained. And the design of the locations pleases – there are caves filled with water, and forests, and ruins in the snow, and gloomy catacombs, and Gothic castles.

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In some locations it is the same bad rain.

Ender Lilies really took a lot from other metroidvanias, which is not surprising in a genre where almost everything was invented before you. But thanks to the verified style and atmosphere, the game looks quite original. Yes, there is no Hollow Knight depth, there is not enough variety of equipment and pumping from Bloodstained, but Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights has its own face, and the gameplay is quite capable of dragging out.

Pros: to follow what is happening and gradually learn the details about the world is interesting, despite the cliché; exciting gameplay; interesting mechanics of choosing spirits and relics; varied design of locations; adequate complexity; convenient platforming; stylish picture; nice music.

Cons: not all bosses turned out to be interesting; some enemies are often repeated; uninformative map.

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