What it’s like Playing Evangelion: Dawn During the Final Days

All good things must come to end. A lesson that fans of Evangelion: Dawn had to come to terms with only a few days ago. The game we have enjoyed since 2018 finally came to end when the servers were shutdown on February 2nd, 2021. We have known that this would happen but it didn’t make it easy to accept. During the last days, those of us who remained chose to enjoy the game before it was lost to time.

As someone who loved every moment of it, I don’t want it to be remembered as another mobile game. One you play for a few months then delete it and move on. Instead, I wanted to enjoy the last days of Evangelion: Dawn. This is a reflection of the game and the story of enjoying the game during its last days. A story not just of me holding out until the last minute but also of those who made the most of it to the end.

The Work of Men

Known by numerous titles during its existence, Evangelion: Dawn is a mobile game adaptation on the Rebuild films. The main story follows the films while there also side quest and a verity of bonus missions. Players take on the role of either Shinji Ikari, Rei Ayanami, Asuka Langley Soryu, Mari Makinami, or Kaworu Nagisa while having the option of taking control of a verity of Eva’s. As they progress, they could upgrade their combat skills while also acquiring new Eva’s or character skins.

The concept of a hack’n slash adaptation of Evangelion seems odd at first. But given its quality and the lack of games based on the series, it quickly one fans over. It’s visual design was stunning and really captures the feel of an anime. The gameplay was easy to learn and welcoming to everyone. It had microtransactions but it was obnoxiously trying to push it on to the player.

This was one of my favorite mobile games when it came out. Besides the high praise, I played this daily in 2018. Sometimes I would stream my playthroughs at least twice a week (via Omelet Arcade). I would also take any excuse to talk about it with friends at conventions (many who were impressed by the games quality). By late 2019, I was still playing the game but mostly twice a week (for 30min a session). Despite its shortcomings and issues, this was great example of both a mobile and licensed title done right.

A reflection of Evangelion: Dawn (iOs) and the story of playing it for the last time before the servers are shutdown. 8Bit/Digi - Stan Rezaee

A Cruel Angeles Thesis

The average life span of a mobile game is about 3 months, so it was a surprise that it lasted this long. Unfortunately, it still has a lifespan. Starting in 2019, the game was pulled from the App Store. Then news came in that the servers were going to shutdown in 2020. Servers that catered to players in Asia were the first to shutdown in July. Players in other regions were told in December that the servers would shutdown at the end of January 2021 (they would be fully be shutdown on February 2nd).

With the end only 31 days away, I (along with the remaining players) decided to make the most of it. After all, anywhere can be paradise as long as you have the will to live. During that time, I would try to play it at least three times a week for an hour (sometimes for two hours). It may not be much but I was going to make the most of it.

A reflection of Evangelion: Dawn (iOs) and the story of playing it for the last time before the servers are shutdown. 8Bit/Digi - Stan Rezaee

Anywhere Can be Paradise

Evangelion: Dawn was going to shutdown in 30 days, it was time to go all out. I always have a habit of saving my premium currency for when I need it (but never end up using it). With the end coming soon, I figure it was better just to spend it all and try some of the other Eva’s. I was luck to get some but not all or most (due to many being event exclusives). Each of the different models had their own unique feature based on how one would want to play the game. However, I did have some buyers remorse as I still preferred to play using EVA Unit-01 and Unit-00.

The last 30 days were mostly dedicated trying to finish most of the main story (a goal that was unable to meet). I also decided to also explore some of the other gameplay modes, especially ones that I’ve hardly experienced. The training mode was a good excuse to grind for additional resources (despite its limitation). Thankfully the arena was still open the few times I entered and I got to battle other players. Special weekend events were still happening and it gave me the chance to unlock new character skins.

Playing the game was fun, but the chatroom was occupied by doom and gloom. They could not believe it was coming to an end and others did not want to continue playing. Some were sharing stories about the guilds they created and the friendships that were forged. Personally, I have not joined any guilds and so I had been absent from the communities that had been established over the game. Of course they were all brought together by their love of the source material. Luckily I was able to find fan groups that were still active (while also embracing the end).

God’s in his Heaven, All is Right With the World

The servers were officially shutdown on February 2nd, 2021. I don’t know what time but I notice it when trying to play it around 9pm. This brings the story of Evangelion: Dawn to an end. It was one of the few games based on the acclaimed series and probably one of the best. Hopefully we could enjoy another video game adaptation of this beloved series sometime in the future.

For now, this game will only live on in the streams and memory of those who played it.

Did you ever play Evangelion: Dawn and what were your thoughts on it? Share your story in the comment section below.

8Bit/Digi is an independent media outlet that provides an insight into the video game community and industry of the San Francisco Bay Area.

1 Comment »

Leave a Reply