Unique yet shallow. Fun yet clumsy. Simple yet hard.
Merridan wrote this review on .
Anyways. Zeno Clash comes from a relatively small family of First-person-beat'em ups. A family that despite some brilliant children have managed to get a few not so bright ones. Zeno Clash in this case is the middle child (quite like the protagonist himself).
The story is about a man named Ghat who is a member of a family of...I really don't know. Either I wasn't paying much attention or it slipped my mind. Member of a family created by a shady character with the most kick-ass voice - Father-mother. Now Ghat has killed Father-mother for reasons unknown (again I might have not payed much attention) and is now hunted by the rest of the family. Father-Mother had rejected him from family after Ghat had spent time living among insane tribal things called Corwids. Now I might sound rather stupid saying this stuff but that is because the story is so frantic. It constantly jumps around from what appears to be present day, flashbacks, memories and what not. Voice acting is also "master of unlocking" 'ly bad. Characters often lack emotion and their lines are simply weird. That and the game is short. Maybe 3-4 hours or so. Although there is one thing that backs it all up. The surprisingly good art style. Not only for an indie game but a video game in it's deepest meaning. The world is twistedly fun. Creatures and people are interestingly weird. Now this tends to scare some people away but those of who appreciate an unique art direction definitely needs to buy this game. Even for sights alone.
Now that that's out of the way let's talk about gameplay. Most of the time you'll be smashing face with your fists but game usually throws in some weapons. Now weapons are also a prime example of the art style. We have a dual pistols resembling fish, a peashooter which reloads with a funny tiny stick. There are a total of 4 ranged weapons and 2 melee weapons (3 if you include your fists of fury) and an exploding skullfilling in the place of a frag grenade. Ranged weapons work well but most of the times might prove less practical in places they are not neccesary. Melee weapons are by my thoughts the worst. They don't have as big range as they look they have, the attacks are slow and its hard to ace the timing with them. Use them only in boss battles in which they are needed. Combat system may be the biggest flaw. Hit detection can just give you a middle finger from time to time which leads to frustration. The game has some silly lock-on mechanic which is not practical nor is advised to use. Ever. If you lock on one enemy other will just start to proceed to do hurtful things to your bum without you being able to turn. Now would be the best time to mention the difficulty spike. It starts rising near the end and stops at the peak. I'm not gonna lie - the game is hard. Towards the end that is. Showdowns with Father-mother can be an example first is easy the last though will kick your ass a couple of times. Even on normal which is this game's easiest setting will prove to be a bit of a challenge towards the end. Boss fight's are aced though. Only two as far as I remember repeat themselves but with a bit of a twist the second time. One to name is a memorable battle with Hunter. He sits atop of a giant dinosaur-aardvark thing throwing down squirrels with explosives attached to them ('Wanted' anyone?) and proceeds to shoot them for your explosive pleasure. On a final note the game is also extremely linear but I didn't really care myself.
Playing this game for more and more you'll notice it's many flaws. Technically it's bad. The game mechanics, controls, hit detection, pacing - all are pretty horrible. Yet it's a charming game. You'll most likely keep on playing it despite it's flaws. It's fun yet at times frustrating while it lasts. I recommend you not to miss this experience. As a said for every game's flaw it also hold's a great success. The game probably won't be your cup of tea because frankly it's bad. But get it. It's worth getting for it's art style, Father-Mother's awesome voice or just if you're looking for a short game to beat.