Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights is a curious game because at first glance it doesn’t seem much different from other games in the genre. It combines Metroidvania staples with some light role-playing game elements that work together well but that would all just make it a good game. The narrative, art style, characters, music, and literally everything in the frame around the gameplay work in harmony to make Ender Lilies a special game that’s easy to recommend in an endless sea of Metroidvania titles.
Ender Lilies features eight different areas across a world ravaged by death and memories from before. The areas are all sharp in their style and presentation despite everything being dead, dying, or forgotten in this destroyed world. Each area feels unique despite the motifs of desolation and sorrow running through the fabric of the game’s essence. A cursed rain has soaked the life out of everything and brought a blighted undead into the world. And whoever isn’t dead has been given an even worse fate; there are some who are aware of their undead existence as they lurk and stalk beneath the drops of death, unable to let go of life and surrender to death. It sounds really depressing and it kind of is but there’s a sense of hope that permeates the darkness on every screen.
That hope takes on the form of Lily. She’s a priestess that’s mostly immune to the curse that’s overtaken the world. She is able to purify the world and its inhabitants while also destroying enemies that can’t be saved. There’s more to it but I’ll leave that for you to discover since the details are where much of the magic resides. Lily can jump, attack, and dodge her way through different sections while also defeating stronger and more powerful enemies, which can join Lily and fight alongside her after they’ve been exorcised and cured. Their souls bring Lily abilities that can be equipped for customized to your play style, while also introducing new ways to play entirely, like a double jump.
This is where the tightly-crafted Metroidvania mechanics blend seamlessly with the RPG flavors. It may be more common to see the genres combined in modern games but few games implement the systems and features as well as Ender Lilies. Relics, experience points, and other enhancements can further prepare Lily for the long road ahead. These can bring different abilities, increase maximum health, and make existing abilities even stronger. The menus for accessing all of these are easy to use too so it was always fun watching numbers grow and adding powers. I never felt overwhelmed or stressed about accessing menus, which can sometimes happen for me in role-playing games and Metroidvania titles. Everything is balanced and laid out really well though.
The story, presentation, and music is where the game goes from competently made and fun to a special title I can’t recommend enough. The soundtrack is available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music and it’s entered regular rotation for me. It’s great when a soundtrack adds emotional details to art but it’s exceptional when the notes and melodies float with you long after finishing a game.
It’d be careless to share too many specifics or details from the story of Ender Lilies. It’s warm and hopeful despite the pain and sorrow that’s spread across the world. Ender Lilies would be worth playing even if it was only a well-made game but Lily’s journey with the other spirits is too meaningful to miss.
Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights is available now on Steam, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. The game will be releasing on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 worldwide in Q3 2021, according to the developer.