Zeno Clash is one of the most bizarre yet unique games that ever hit the Xbox Live Marketplace, with a great story, amazing art style and great mechanics, can Zeno Clash really be that good? well.. yes.
Zeno Clash got a lot to give regarding story and cut-scenes, interesting in-game cut-scenes and dialogues along with some creepy tutorials with some moments that goes along well with the narrative that was built in the game, with the basic premise of your actions against you family, Gath is running away from the mess along with his saviour Deadra, and what they find along the way, and the truth, Gath realizes that he made a big mistake. Narrative wise, great art design to enemies, characters and weapons, its may be weird and messed up, but the actual story is great, with some nice set-pieces that goes really well with the odd premise, great dialogue and voice-acting makes it even better.
As a downloadable game, this game looks really sharp and detailed for the most part, some minor character does not look all that good, but the main characters and enemies look terrific, with their own quirky detail to it, whether its a half man half chicken, to an elephant head mixed with a human body and other really creepy stuff that turn this world to a weird yet interesting place, weapons also got their own unique style to them with some great looking models, the only thing that does not impress regarding the visuals is the explosions that occur with a use of a "skullbomb", but beyond that and some rough points, the game looks really good, especially the environments style and detail.
Great voice-overs along with great delivery to them help the story to go along well, but also sound wise, it does stand out from the usual. The music at points is really fitting, but at times, it feels a bit repetitive, but overall it fits the really cool world.
As a first person brawler, Zeno Clash is unique with its mechanics, using weapons or bombs can help the repetitive oriented fighting mechanics, but eventually it does not matter since the combat usually have at least three (besides bosses) enemies so the constant switch between enemies can be challenging enough, even if there are not a lot of moves to do.
There are a few modes to the game:
The single player campaign can take around 4-5 hours depending on skill and difficulty level (i played on Medium and it took me around 4 hours+).
The Zeno Rush mode is a time based mode where you need to kill all the enemies you have in the shortest time possible, using different weapons, bombs or just you own hands.
Tower Challenge and Pit Challenge:
Tower: An arena based mode where you have a set number of enemies in one area, and the only way to advance is to clear the room (can also be played Cooperatively online or offline split screen).
Pit: In this mode, its pretty much as it sounds, you are in a pit trying to go down to the bottom, combining jumping and small platforming (nothing different mechanics wise) aswell as fighting enemies.
A pretty solid 4-5 hours of campaign, along with two solo modes and one that have cooperative or solo mode aswell, Zeno Clash may have a problem with the value for the 15$ it asks, the potential to master the fighting mechanics and go for the hardest difficulty in the single player campaign can help, but if there is no interest on that end, 15$ could be a bit much to ask, but for me personally, i had a great time playing with a split-screen friend (i also played online, but i experienced lag with two different partners) with the Tower challenge and the Pit challenges.
Pros and Cons:
Cool fighting mechanics.
Great story and dialogue.
Weird art style with some creepy design makes this game super unique.
Lackluster shooting mechanics.
Minor camera issues in fighting sequences.
Frame rate drops in split-screen coop and one or two major set-pieces.
Annoying loading times.
The repetitive nature to the fighting mechanics can be a bit of a problem, but not enough to put you off by it, but it is there.
9.5 Amazing universe with great enemies and characters along with a great story.
8.5 Along with some great environments and character design, minor frame drops and some rough spots (especially at the tower and pit challenges).
8 Great voice-overs and great effects but the music can be repetitive and at points really boring.
8 Great fighting mechanics along with great and fun modes, but the shooting mechanics and the repetitive nature to the fighting can be a problem, even if the game is really unique.
6.5 Good length to the story mode along with fun modes but im not sure how long you will actually play them.
8.5 Zeno Clash: Ultimate Edition is a creepy, crazy and a unique game with really good moments, great story and character designthat makes this game a great experience, even if the game feels samey after a while, but the cooperative modes are fun and challenging leading to a great and very interesting game.