Zeno Clash is a blend of a fighting game with alot of action up close, and has the main character embark on an adventure discovering his past. Essentially it is an action game with fighting mechanics all wrapped up in first person perspective. This is an upgraded version of the PC game that was released on April 2009 powered by the source engine. All of the core features are here but the team has extensively improved the graphics, tweaked game mechanics, rerecording voice work and offer new modes for the XBLA release. LVLONE got a chance to preview Zeno Clash to check out what first timers can expect and veterans can look forward too.
You are playinng the role of Ghat, the son of a hermaphrodite creature called Father-Mother, whose children form the most powerfule clan in the city of Halstedom. Ghat must escape from his family and start an incredible journey with his female companion deadra, who will aid him in the dangerous lands of Zenozoik. The world is vast and is definitely fantasy driven, meeting some of the most ridiculous characters you will ever encounter in a game. Now since the game is mostly an action oriented fighting game, many of the combat features were shown off and the many different ways that players can engage battle. Their is an assortment of weapons through out the game although it was made apparent that projectile weapons like guns are scarce. The one gun we did get to check out was a pair of dual wielding pistols while engaging a boss battle. This boss was a blind bounty hunter on top of a giant creature which shoots down squrals with explosives attached to there back. He then will shoot the squerals to find and damage you. This is all pretty insane of a concept we know but plays out very intriguing. One good thing is that you won’t need to pick up ammo for any of the weapons, which will be very helpful because these boss fights are brutal. We were assured that they will provide a hefty challenge for players but won’t be extremely difficult.
We were then shown some of the story that takes place earlier on in the game, leading into another enemy encounter. This boss was a melee type but also a heavy class, making options like locking on not assessable. Stamina is a very important part of combat, if you run out of stamina all movement will decrease, making you sluggish until the bar fills back up. Raising your hands a certain way will let you fight in a boxing stance, enabling you to attack with punches, throws and counter attack while in combat. Enemy AI will try different tactics, like picking up weapons around them and fight you. The Challenge Towers was also one of the other modes in the game, pitting you against waves of enemies to test out your skills. What’s great is that this mode can be played co-operatively or against others online.
Zeno Clash Ultimate Edition has all been reworked in 720p and looks to have some impressive graphics, especially for a live arcade game. Everything in the world has a unique edge to it. There are plenty of unusual weapons to choose from and enemies you will encounter. With 6 to 8 hours of gameplay for the main story and modes like the Challenge Towers adding cooperative play, this game sits on having some of the most content driven games for a Live Arcade game. The game is set to release on March 31st with a price tag of no more then 1200 points. Stay tuned as we’ll give you our hands-on in depth preview later on.