Zeno Clash II is a first-person brawler developed by ACE Team, a development studio founded by a trio of game-developing brothers from Chile. The world they created for Zeno Clash II is a wondrous, colorful world filled with some of the most outlandish and eye-catching creations in all of gaming.
To catch players up a bit of the game’s background – in the original Zeno Clash, the protagonist Ghat, a relatively normal looking humanoid, was one of many children of Father-Mother, a 12-foot tall bird-like creature of indeterminate gender who lead a very large and diverse family. Through circumstance, Ghat learns that Father-Mother created their unique family by abducting babies and then raising them, forcing him to fight his siblings escape alone with the dangerous secret. In the end, Ghat gains the aid of a cryptic, omniscient being known simply as the Golem, and Father-Mother is imprisoned after a final battle that reveals the truth and causes the family to disband. All this leaves the Golem to move forward with his mysterious agenda.
Still with me? Good.
The heart of Zeno Clash II’s gameplay is its intense first-person combat. L2 and R2 on DualShock 3 correspond to left and right punches respectively, and combinations will be essential to surviving the game’s melee brawls. While it’s easy to throw a quick flurry of punches, run away, regain stamina and run back in to throw more punches, combos add a flair of artistry to the wild combat. The simplest combo is using L2 and R2 at the same time to execute a hammer fist strike, a nice coup de grace that will knock enemies away. It’s also an effective finisher to alternating right and left attacks. Using dodge is essential for surviving, but dodge and attack turns into a deadly cross punch.
The most important thing for combat is keeping an eye on the stamina bar. When the silver bar in the HUD runs out, you won’t be able to sprint for safety or even throw punches effectively (you’ll notice your screen getting a grayish cast to it). Stamina conservation is critical to surviving in Zeno Clash II.
The biggest departure between Zeno Clash and Zeno Clash II is the game’s new open-world focus. Zeno Clash II has tons of bizarre architecture, life-forms and characters. Exploration is encouraged as there are plenty of side quests, collectibles and areas to discover.
Zeno Clash II will be out later today for $14.99 on PSN!