Game Review: Zeno Clash Ultimate Edition
Release: May 5, 2010
Genre: Action Adventure
Developer: ACE Team
Available Platforms: Xbox Live Arcade
Players: 1-2 (co-op modes)
MSRP: 1200 Microsoft Points
ESRB Rating: Teen
Zeno Clash UE mixes cavemen with explosions & makes it take place in the most weird and unusual world. A game that is primarily a first-person brawler but allows for some weapons as well, sees a young man by the name of Ghat who has betrayed his father/mother figure and travels across Zenozoik. He is accompanied by his girlfriend and they move from level to level fighting, shooting & blowing up enemies.
Zeno Clash is set in an weird and wonderful dream like world which is inhabited by lunatic cave men and bird/human hybrids. The surroundings in every level are, for the lack of a better word weird & very dream scape looking. Though that may seem odd, they actually make for some beautiful looking scenery and bring the game to life.
Apart from the beautiful scenery, you have multiple game modes to choose from, I will start first with the singleplayer mode. In the singleplayer mode you play Ghat; a young man that supposedly betrayed his father/mother figure and is looking for some answers as to why they have dis-owned him. He travels from location to location, fighting some enemies all in a very, very linear fashion.
You basically move from point A to point B and then fight some enemies and then move on. On some levels you have to do these mini game-esque tasks, requiring you to kill some rabbits and collect them. If there had to be more of these I feel it would have broke up the linear singleplayer campaign and would have required me to do more than just fight some people and move on. Overall the singleplayer experience was something new but still old in many ways.
Next we have the cooperative challenges. There are 2 challenge modes; Tower Challenge & Pit Challenge each containing 5 challenge maps. In Tower Challenge mode you and your buddy are placed in a small arena and have a variety of weapons at your disposal to kill the enemies. The Pit challenge mode starts you off with having to deal with enemies and environmental challenges. Although with all that said any given stage from these modes can be cleared in just a few minutes but do give some additional gameplay and were fun to play.
What I loved most about this game was the fighting. The seamless controls allow for some sweet combos to be worked out, and when you get used to it you will be dancing around the enemies like Muhammad Ali. Another, was the look of the levels they were stunning to look at and like I said above, they bring the game to life.
What could have been improved was the linear levels. Every level had me doing pretty much the exact same thing; fight 2-3 enemies move on then do the same again. It gets annoying after having so much of the same thing! Another was just one level in particular, after meeting a strange man, he boards you upon a boat and commandeers that boat along a straight river. The whole point of this mission was all about the dialogue and along the way you shoot some “sandmen”. This would be OK but the level lasted for around 5mins and the dialogue was boring. Was there any need to make that level so long?
Andrew’s final say:
Zeno Clash UE provided some new elements for me to try out and isn’t a type of game that I have played before. At times it’s weird but still shockingly fun to punch someone in the face and know that they felt it. The price of 1200msp is pretty steep and would say is a bit too much for this game. Overall Zeno Clash UE is a decent game and at the very least I would say go and play the demo and get a feel for what I am trying to portray.