30 June, 2009

Review: Zeno Clash

written on Monday, June 29, 2009

THIS REVIEW (or rather the picture section after the review) CONTAINS SPOILERS. DEAL WITH IT PINK BOY.

Let's get the reviewy stuff out of the way so we can get to the pictures, eh?

Zeno Clash is a decent game. The mechanics aren't so great, but once I turned down the difficulty, they worked well enough.

The nice thing is that when you don't have to listen to the lackluster (sometimes downright terrible) voice acting, the game creates a bizarre fantasy world the likes of which aren't often seen in games. It's borderline surrealist. And that's pretty awesome.

4 of 5

Now let's look at some art. (If you don't click through for the big versions you're depriving yourself.)

Here's the dream world where the guy who taught you some fighting moves takes you through the tutorial. You learn to fight by killing chickens.

Your AI companion isn't very useful, but she can't be killed either, so she makes decent window dressing as you fight off poison spitting dinosaurs with ram horns.

Fall colors or Dr. Seuss homage?

For such a small team, they certainly managed to put in a lot of detail.

I didn't capture the sense of scale. You come up to about the knee on these things. Check the outhouse strapped to the neck of the one furthest left.

Lumpy wants more rooster blood, but the bartender's cutting him(?) off.

In the dark world you fight off the metal mud men with a glowing jewel on a stick. The sky animates a bit too, to give an Aurora Borealis effect.

And finally, here's a landscape right out of The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Like I said, the fighting has rough edges. But the ideas and artwork are novel enough that I really enjoyed the game once I turned down the difficulty. Supposedly the developers are working on a longer game set in the same world, but more like an Action RPG where you can explore a bit more. I look forward to it.

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