the rantings and ravings of a not quite sane cow

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Demo Impressions: Zeno Clash

Zeno Clash is a fairly unique title. It's a first person game using the Source engine, but you can't really call it a FPS. Sure, it has guns, but most of the focus is on melee combat. Personally, I never thought that would work from a first person perspective. But it does. It does make it a bit more challenging, since you can't see all around you (not at once, anyway), but it ends up working quite well. I won't bother trying to tell you the controls (it has different moves up the wazoo), but take my word for it that when you end up losing (and you will, at first), you won't have the game to blame.

As for graphics, I'm not going to lie to you. The Source engine isn't as impressive as it used to be. Don't get me wrong, it still looks great, especially compared to other game enginesa of its age, but by these days I've seen better. Portal gets around it by going for simplicity (though frankly I don't think you can make the companion cube look any better. TF2 uses a striking (and awesome) art style. So does Zeno Clash. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't look anything like TF2, but it has a bright and varied colour palette which makes objects stand out and makes you forget that it doesn't have insanely high texture resolution or something like that.

Sound... not really worth a mention. That's not to say it's bad (that's worth a huge mention), but like I see sound in a lot of games, it's just fairly forgettable. Weapons make appropriate noises and you have average sort of voice acting (though to be honest, the actors sound a bit bored).

In short: this is worth buying. Just because I'm too cheap to doesn't mean you should be.

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