Zeno Clash: Ultimate Edition, is a first person brawler with elements of a shooter added in all done in Valve’s Source engine. Developed by a Chilean company called Ace Team, this is their first game that was released through download on Steam back in 2009 for the PC. The team behind this Xbox Live Arcade title had Originally created mods for Doom and Quake. The game setting takes place in a fantasy world of Zenozoik, world where a caveman would deem fit for living. This world is definitely a world of pure imagination, somewhere only dreams could possibly take you.
Zenozoik is filled with all different types of animals like deformed rabbits the size of a mid dog, bugs as big as soft balls, and another type of animal that looks similar to a camel but scaled to a dinosaur. The world is filled with oddities that will attack you wildly, from elephantmen, ogres, and crazed people of the forest named Corwids or Corwids of the Free. You play the role of Ghat, a character that looks like Mad Max meets Jack Sparrow. At the start of the game you find Ghat running from his family for killing his parental figure that they call Father-Mother. Father-Mother is a hermaphroditic being that has raised a large family inside the city of Halstedom. Ghat was chased out of Halstedom by his siblings and needs to fight for his life while doing so. You soon find out what Father-Mother and the families true intentions were as you progress through the game.
The story may not be very original and game play is fairly simple yet sophisticated enough for advanced players to enjoy. Combination punches between light, strong attacks keep your enemies guessing, but the addition of guard breaks and weapons add in a mix. The weapon selections include skull grenades, a caveman like rifle, dual fish pistols, a crude crossbow, a sledge hammer, a tribal spear, and in one specific level a torch that can throw fireballs. Fighting mechanics in this game are very fun. It was definitely created with a first person brawler feel but the weapon addition for the shooting aspect feels a little clunky. The lock on button is also the same as the pick up object button, at times when in close quarters combat and want to pick up a gun or a health item you tend to lock onto different targets rather than picking up much needed health item. The only way to unlock from anyone is to run away.
The addition of Arena mode and an online multiplayer give the game more replay value. If you’re in the mood for a quick brawl or just want a challenge like the arena, it gives you the option do to so. Arena mode is time attack, the quicker you beat the five levels of the arena the higher you are ranked on the leader board. Arena mode is also a great place to practice your multiple combos, guard breaks, and shooting skills before you start the game. Co-op multiplayer puts you at the top of a pit where you have to work your way down to the bottom. Every platform is breakable and there are different enemies as you go down, so being cautious and planning your attacks are a definite must.
All in all this game is fairly short and found myself playing straight through the entire game in about 4 hours. Although the game was short it doesn’t mean that the game wasn’t fun to play. The story is interesting and the game mechanics are open enough to enjoy in different ways. The story and progression from scene to scene is very linear. You’re either lead through to an enclosed path from point A to point B, or there are arrows pointing in the direction of what needs to be done. When fighting a boss battle a pop up screen appears before the battle begins hinting at what the weak points are or giving you advice in what to do. The art style is great and the character designs are very imaginative. The only downfall of the character creation of the developers are the constant use of the same characters throughout the entire game.
In the end give this game a shot, it’s definitely a fun game to play. If you’ve thought their wasn’t enough first person games that aren’t shooters out there, well this is the right place. The content is enough to satisfy the 1200 Microsoft points or $15 but keep in mind the adventure is not for everyone.
[starreviewmulti id=2 tpl=20]
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