Here’s another mini-review, this time of Source engine based indie game – Zeno Clash.
Since I have Internet access I started to play single-player games less. I mean what’s the point? Fighting against computer bots is just boring in most cases, but this game’s artwork really drew my attention – and not only the visuals are great, the whole story and game play just amazed me.
Can indie studio from Chile create a game that’s beating most known productions of this year? Apparently, yes. Climate and originality just pwnz most of modern games. ACE Team has a pretty unusual imagination and presents some alarming figures. Zeno Clash appeared on Steam (21 April 2009) to tell the story of family built on lie and take the players to one of the most interesting virtual worlds in recent months.
The main character of this adventure is a guy called Ghat, he tries to describe the problems of his family from the beginning. There’s also Deadra – basically a copy of Alyx from the Half-Life 2 series. Our main enemy is so called Father-Mother, speaking at the same time male and female modulated voice – and that’s just a few of the characters in the game. All of those characters are somehow weird and spooky, because Zeno Clash moves players to the world of humans and deformed crazy people.
The story line has a nature of schizophrenia in it. Ghat, which is still under the influence of experiences related to crazy Corwids, escapes from his home town even though he really doesn’t want to. Along with Deadra they visit really weird and creepy places completely taken out from the context and reality. Although the chronology is maintained, there is general chaos. There is a mystery, which Ghat doesn’t want to disclose. Further objectives and fighting seem to lead nowhere. This is a good thing however, brief episodes give us a feeling of concern and arouse curiosity.
The basis of the game are dynamic fights using a really nice system. In general, we can beat opponents with our fists, feet, elbows, huge hammers, firearm weapons and explosives. In addition, you must remember to lock-on your opponent (by default with E button) and use different combinations of dodging. Through out the game Ghat is fighting mostly with few enemies at once. Luckily the ACE Team managed to balance the difficulty level – although in some cases it could be really hard to beat some particular moments in the game if you aren’t skilled enough you need to practice a little bit more to complete the challenges later in the game.
Combat is fast and fun. Shooting isn’t really that fun and easy at first. The game is a bit short (around 7 hours of the story mode game play) but at least the developers are constantly adding something new like the latest patch with more Steam Achievements and the Tower levels (basically a survival mode with few different maps and timer).
The graphics are very good and psychedelic. The creators call it Punk Fantasy.
I won’t be telling you more about the story itself because I don’t want to spoil it for anybody, you just need to buy and play it on your own ;)
Unfortunately Zeno Clash doesn’t have any multiplayer modes.
One more important thing, Zeno Clash developers provided free Zeno Clash models for everyone who owns Garry’s Mod (and Zeno Clash of course). You just need to open Tools tab in Steam and install those models, they are something around 300MB if I remember correctly. Here’s how they look like:
The game is also available in retail stores in few countries in Central Europe (the price is basically the same as on Steam).
And one more thing, the creators are working on Zeno Clash 2 as you read this. Zeno Clash 2 will have a multi-player mode and probably longer gameplay.
Check out our Zeno Clash HD Gameplay playlist on YouTube!
Psychedelic looking game on Source Engine.
Very unusual, works like a charm with multi-threading support (that’s the L4D engine).
Sound and Music:
Sounds are fine, nothing annoying, music isn’t great and the dialogs could be a lot better but this is an indie game.
Very weird, can be frustrating at times, in the beginning the fighting is pretty hard.
Game Size: 3,3GB (3,6GB with Garry’s Mod models)
Language Versions: English, German, French, Polish, Spanish, Italian
Steam Cloud support.