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    dkirschner's Zeno Clash (PC)

    [September 11, 2011 07:56:37 AM]
    Really interesting game. The first thing that struck me was its unique look. I would describe it like...Mad Max meets dinosaurs meets sci-fi alien planet meets genetic freaks of nature meets lots of punching. The game looks beautiful, and yet the style reminds me of a nightmare. Think Elephant Man or a circus or Pigsy from Manhunt. The story is bizarre too. It's quite anthropological, as in, it's about family and kinship, in a way, and about freedom and reality in another. Basically, you killed your Father-Mother, and now your family is pissed as hell, and coming to kill you. You and this girl (girlfriend?) escape before being killed. You discuss with her where you've been the last month and what led you to kill Father-Mother, and much of this explanation is played in flashback segments as the narrative bounces back and forth from flashback (getting closer to Father-Mother) to present escape (running from your brothers and sisters). It's quite interesting and flows very well, from story to fighting, back to story.

    The gameplay is all about punching people. You get a nice story-embedded tutorial in the beginning that totally piques your interest in plot. The punching feels awesome. It feels like you're really hitting someone hard. You can do various combos, block, dodge, throw, counter, and so on. There are also weapons, rudimentary pistols, crossbow, shotgun, grenades, and giant mallets, all of which are pretty handy at the right time. You can't just go around shooting everyone because if you get hit hard enough, your weapon flies out of your hands. Same thing for the enemies, and they'll run for guns sometimes, which can be deadly. Much of the fighting is about control. Say there are 3 enemies and a shotgun on the ground. Maybe two of them come after you and one goes after the shotgun. If you ignore the shotgun guy, he'll just stand back and shoot at you, which hurts. So you've got to switch targets a lot and control the gun. It's pretty fun. My only real complaints with the fighting are that blocking is really difficult to do right (for me at least), and sometimes trying to cancel or switch targets is wonky and gets you beat up or killed.

    Boss fights are generally easy, with the exception of the very last boss. The game itself has a pretty good difficulty level. It ramps up by tossing more, smarter enemies at you, tossing more weapons out, and on a couple fights, really giving you a disadvantage in terms of environmental layout. This one that took me a while to beat was in a narrow town street. There were two enemies with guns up in the rafters above the street, then two enemies in the street, one with dual pistols. It took a lot of patience to learn how to manage all 4 of them...keep moving, keep the pistols and other gun(s) that was laying on the ground away from the two on the ground, and kill them while trying your hardest to stay out of sight of the snipers. I finally got that far after 20 times or so. Then just take out the snipers with a gun, which was the easy part. There were def some frustrating battles, but just keep trying and you'll get them.

    I'm positive the fighting would have gotten very repetitive after much longer because there are only so many moves and guns, and the game repeats enemies like crazy, like the main sister and the main brother you have to fight at least 5 times, kind of like *sigh* after the 3rd time. Same thing with this one boss. You have to beat him 3 times. So in that sense, I'm glad the game was short, like real short, just 4 hours. In the other sense, the sense that there was so much creativity packed into that 4 hours, I wish it were longer. Sequel maybe? Or another game by the same team? The credits were real short. It looked like it was basically made by 3 brothers and a handful of other people helping.

    Good stuff, seriously spend $5 on this if nothing else than to look at for a couple hours.
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    dkirschner's Zeno Clash (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Sunday 11 September, 2011

    GameLog closed on: Sunday 11 September, 2011

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Really really interesting so far. The fighting is intense. ------ Incredible visual style. Really unique stuff!

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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