Zeno Clash: Ultimate Edition review

  • Bold and imaginative world
  • Unusual first-person brawling
  • An unforgettable experience
  • Main storyline is crazy short
  • Enemies can spawn behind you annoyingly
  • A bit expensive

So, the Japanese think games should consist of androgyny and slightly wonky cameras. Americans, on the other hand, prefer explosions and men with beards. The British? They’ll largely go with whatever the Americans want. But have you ever stopped to wonder what the South American republic of Chile makes of it all?

Probably not, but once you experience this wonderfully off-kilter brawler, you’ll want to scatter your remaining Microsoft Points across the globe in the hope that something as bold and imaginative as Zeno Clash gets snared in your net. Just as most of the world’s most innovative films are born outside of the Hollywood system, Santiago-based ACE Team have crafted an eerie otherworldy scrapper that will live long in the memory of all who play it.

Zeno Clash’s central remit is to disorientate and disrupt. The storyline is rich with narrative but bankrupt in structure. The lead character, Ghat, universally reviled for committing patricide, has no sense of belonging to the world he travels through, longing for nothing more than a place where his pursuers might not follow. Instead of a haven, he finds only hostility, as the storyline is broken up with a succession of closed-arena brawls. First-person beat-’em-ups are a rarity and on this evidence you’d have to question why. The trigger-to-punch controls are elegant yet physical, and the perspective serves to reinforce the brutality of the fights, with strong blows leaving you on the floor, unable to distinguish between up and down.

It isn’t without its flaws, mind. ACE have a PC modding background and it shows in the ‘earthy’ visuals, plus the first-person viewpoint causes obvious problems, with enemies all too eager to spawn behind you and get a few licks in before you know it. Finally, the main storyline is crazy short, although the Challenge Rooms give the player a chance to explore the nuances hidden within the fighting system. It’s an expensive indulgence, but those 1200 points will give you an experience you’ll carry with you… to your grave.

May 26, 2010

More Info

Available Platforms: Xbox 360
Genre: Action
Published by: Atlus
Developed by: ACE Team
ESRB Rating:
Rating Pending


  • tacehtselrahc - May 29, 2010 8:31 a.m.

    It's a good game, the hand to hand combat works really well. I think it uses Valve's Source Engine.
  • Spybreak8 - May 28, 2010 5:04 a.m.

    Same with Onyx here, DOom 2 atm.
  • OnyxOblivion - May 27, 2010 10:47 a.m.

    Doom 2 came out yesterday. My points are drained...Next time, though.
  • zanthox - May 27, 2010 6 a.m.

    This game is amazing, everyone should pick it up.
  • shyfonzie - May 27, 2010 4:26 a.m.

    sounds neat, too bad about the length and existing ona console I don't own.
  • AFTERLIFEJOSH - May 27, 2010 12:01 a.m.

    I still need to pick this up. I really love the art style it has, its so unique.
  • Ensoul - May 26, 2010 8:25 p.m.

    Try the Demo, it gives a rough idea. I'm really hoping this becomes a deal of the week; doubt it though because it's so obscure. If it was 800 points I'd snap it up in a second. 1200 always has me hesitating. ...So deliciously different though, I'll end up buying it at some point.
  • WillisTron - May 26, 2010 7:41 p.m.

    The visuals in this game look crazy, I've always wanted to play this

Showing 1-8 of 8 comments

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