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Zeno Clash

Critic Reviews 75% add missing review

FiringSquad (89 out of 100)

Zeno Clash is one of those nice surprises that comes along in the gaming world very rarely these days. It’s not based on an existing intellectual property, nor is it some generic movie tie-in. Featuring some of the best melee combat ever in a first person game, Zeno Clash is one of the first really unique games to come out for any platform in a long time.

May 4th, 2009 · Windows · read review

Cheat Code Central (4.4 out of 5)

A combination of exciting, refreshing gameplay and the incredibly outlandish setting and characters really make Zeno Clash a standout game. It has all the style and pizzazz of a big budget production, but it's far more disturbing and creative than you're average release. Even with a story that never fully blossoms into something great and a few other limitations that arise, there's a lot to love about this unsettling adventure.

Apr 2009 · Windows · read review

Out Of Eight (7 out of 8)

Zeno Clash is the rare action game that actually has fun, enjoyable, and mostly non-repetitive melee combat, thanks to the simple control scheme that offers multiple counters and combos to keep things fresh. The setting is absolutely outstanding: something original is around every turn and you never know what crazy mutant enemy will appear next. The unique nature of Zeno Clash pulls you in and keeps you interested throughout the game’s short five-hour campaign. There isn’t much content beyond the campaign, though: the challenge mode against a horde of enemies in an empty room is only slightly interesting, and the lack of online combat is distressing because it probably would have been really sweet. Zeno Clash also has restrictions on saving your progress and you have to sit through each and every cut scene, which slows down the game flow significantly. Still, the two strengths of Zeno Clash are strong enough to almost ignore its shortcomings.

May 3rd, 2009 · Windows · read review

The Games Machine (Italy) (86 out of 100)

L'opera prima degli ACE Team, un gioco in prima persona indipendente nella testa e nel cuore, dimostra a tutti che bastano pochi tocchi per innovare veramente un genere. Fare a botte è un'arte.

Jun 2009 · Windows

IGN (8.4 out of 10)

It's safe to say that Zeno Clash wouldn't work as a big budget game from an established studio; it's far too different from convention, which would mean it's far too risky a project for them. But it's a perfect example of how some of the best and most original ideas are coming out of independent teams that have talent and passion and can take risk because they're not gambling with tens of millions of dollars. Zeno Clash sticks with you long after you play it, and that's a compliment many games aspire to have associated with them.

Apr 24th, 2009 · Windows · read review

Indius (16 out of 20)

Véritable OVNI, Zeno Clash nous transporte dans un univers enchanteur et irritant à la fois. Des combats à mains nues intéressants et une patte artistique très soignée servent une histoire délicieusement bouleversante, bien que trop courte. Le seul moyen de savoir si on peut être charmé, c'est d'essayer. Le test a tenté de vous préserver un maximum du spoil, car Zeno Clash vous réserve pas mal de surprises étonnantes. Vivement la suite !

Jun 8th, 2012 · Windows · read review

Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault) ( )

Also included with Zeno Clash are Tower Challenges, skirmish encounters in which you face off against a set of specific opponents, defeat them, and then move up to the next level of the tower. Such a gameplay mode gives those who enjoy the fighting, like myself, plenty of extra time to beat their opponents senseless. This, coupled with the story and the artwork, all combine to make a solid game, despite my few complaints.

Jul 14th, 2009 · Windows · read review

Eurogamer.net (UK) (8 out of 10)

ACE Team has clearly poured its heart and soul into Zeno Clash, creating a wonderful universe which it would be criminal to abandon after this single title. It's easy to wonder if the game could have been something grander, given the time and development resources, a sprawling open-world quester, a quirky first person adventure, even a multiplayer fighter. As it is, Zeno Clash remains a fantastically involving and solid fighting game, enhanced by being set in one of the most imaginative and beautiful universes in the medium.

Apr 22nd, 2009 · Windows · read review

Games TM (8 out of 10)

It might not be the longest or most polished game you'll ever play but for half the cost of a regular PC release, you'll be treated to more charm, ingenuity and bravery than most full-price releases can muster. If you've ever wondered why indie developers are championed so, games like Zeno Clash are all the answer you need.

Jun 11th, 2009 · Windows

HonestGamers (Staff reviews only) (8 out of 10)

There’s a challenge mode to be found that lets you revel in the fight engine the way it should be experienced, but the demulsifying effect of the ending on the rest of the game leaves a lasting scar. It’s unclear if Ace Team were out of ideas or already looking towards the confirmed sequel, but the wonderful surreal world takes a kicking. Much like Ghat is forced to do again and again, though, it still manages to clamber back to its feet and find a new way to surprise you.

Oct 20th, 2009 · Windows · read review

Giant Bomb ( )

First-person action fans shouldn't miss Zeno Clash's unique mix of deep melee combat and wonderfully bizarre art design.

Apr 27th, 2009 · Windows · read review

Tap-Repeatedly/Four Fat Chicks ( )

It’s not just that Zeno Clash is a beautiful, imaginative piece of interactive art (or at least is full of beautiful, imaginative artwork and ideas). It’s that we are talking about a game that, at the end of the day gives you what games should be giving you all the time: sheer pleasure of immersing yourself in gameplay so deep that you stop controlling the character on screen and become the character in the game world, your body becoming his virtual body, his anger and pain becoming your anger and pain.

May 27th, 2009 · Windows · read review

PC Games (Germany) (79 out of 100)

Schön zu sehen, wie sich Independent-Entwickler aus ihrer Nische wagen und ihre Spiele endlich kommerziell anbieten dürfen – ein Hoch auf den modernen Online-Vertrieb! Nur so konnten wir Meisterwerke wie World of Goo miterleben, durften Ihnen von der Buntstift-Knobelei Crayon Physics Deluxe erzählen, konnten dem niedlichen The Maw eine Kaufempfehlung aussprechen. Das sind neue, frische Spiele, mit unverbrauchten Ideen und einzigartiger Aufmachung – und in genau diese Kerbe schlägt auch Zeno Clash, das bereits im Vorfeld mit reichlich Lob bedacht wurde. Zu Recht! Allein für dieses tolle Design, diesen herausfordernden Grafikstil gebührt den Entwicklerteam ein ganz dickes Lob. Unter der schicken Fassade steckt zudem ein spaßiges und angenehm brachiales Nahkampfsystem, das für intensive Prügeleien sorgt – volljährige Action-Fans mit Lust auf etwas Neues sollten daher ruhig mal einen Blick riskieren.

Apr 28th, 2009 · Windows · read review

Indie Game Magazine (75 out of 100)

Zeno Clash impresses with its odd and intriguing art design and has a fresh take with its brawler mechanics. It’s a shame it gets bogged down by simplistic level design. With no story to motivate you, the game becomes somewhat of a chore.

Sep 22nd, 2010 · Windows · read review

Game 2.0 (7.5 out of 10)

Αν, λοιπόν, είστε οπαδοί των indie (και FPS) παιχνιδιών, τότε αξίζει να ρίξετε μια ματιά πρώτα στο demo του για να πάρετε μια ιδέα του στιλ του Zeno Clash. Προσωπικά, το προτείνω ανεπιφύλακτα (ναι ναι, κι ας το βαθμολογώ με 7.5), μιας και κοστίζει μόλις €16, γιατί οι νέες ιδέες είναι καλό μερικές φορές να ανταμείβονται, ακόμα κι όταν υπάρχουν μικροπροβλήματα όπως τα παραπάνω. Ελπίζω μονάχα το sequel του Zeno Clash να μην υποφέρει από τα ίδια!

May 9th, 2009 · Windows · read review

Gameplay (Benelux) (75 out of 100)

Zeno Clash is een erg origineel spel dat ondanks enkele tekortkomingen de prijs zeker waard is.

May 29th, 2009 · Windows

Games Finder (7.5 out of 10)

The uniqueness of Zeno Clash in both its setting and story are its strongest points by far. Combat is also a nice change of pace with a melee focused approach but it just feels too much of the same and linear by the end.

Jan 30th, 2014 · Windows · read review

Game Captain (75 out of 100)

Zeno Clash ist erfrischend anders. Durch solch bizarre Welten hab ich mich bisher nur sehr selten gekämpft. Allerdings wird im abgedrehten Szenario nur wenig Abwechslung geboten. Es gilt größtenteils Leute zu verprügeln und da man gleich zu Beginn das volle Schlagrepertoire besitzt, fällt eine motivierende Lernkurve flach aus. Wer Zeno Clash interessant findet, sollte unbedingt erst probezocken, denn das Design ist wirklich alles andere als massentauglich.

Apr 22nd, 2009 · Windows · read review

Neoseeker (7.2 out of 10)

This gem still feels terribly unpolished, but a few patches may very well fix a lot of my complaints about Zeno Clash. Point is, I can appreciate what ACE tried to do, and I encourage our readers to give this game a chance. Just bear in mind there are some sharp edges here that could use smoothing out.

Apr 21st, 2009 · Windows · read review

Factornews (7 out of 10)

Zeno Clash ne donne pas l'impression d'être le premier jeu du studio indépendant d'ACE Team, qu'on peut désormais qualifier de talentueux. Un petit jeu frais et original, avec un scénario joliment raconté et une fin qui se suffit à elle-même. Ça ne va pas plaire à tout le monde, mais pour la curiosité qu'il suscite et la poignée d'euros auquel il se vend, Zeno Clash mérite qu'on mette la main à la poche. Un vrai petit coup de cœur pour lequel on veut voir une suite.

Apr 20th, 2009 · Windows · read review

Game Positive (3.5 out of 5)

So is the game worth it? At its fairly low price point, the intense melee combat, impressive art style, and bizarre setting will likely provide something that you haven't experienced before in a video game. At the same time, this style may also turn you off if your favorite game characters rarely deviate from orcs or space marines. Despite the initial weirdness and a few flaws, Zeno Clash is a unique take on first-person fighting that anyone with an open mind will likely enjoy.

May 1st, 2009 · Windows · read review

Thunderbolt Games (7 out of 10)

Zeno Clash is a marvel, channelling yesterday’s hardcore brawlers whilst maintaining modern sensibilities. It’s hardly flawless and can feel too limited at times, but ACE Team have created a universe and gameplay system ripe for further exploration, and for that alone it is worth experiencing.

Jun 28th, 2009 · Windows · read review

Game Over Online (70 out of 100)

As I walk away from my review and Zeno Clash I’m left with the feeling that as an arcade game (albeit one with vastly superior graphics), something that you would chuck a few quarters at and play for a couple of hours and then not play again for several months, it would have been OK.

May 12th, 2009 · Windows · read review

GameStar (Germany) (66 out of 100)

Zeno Clash ist ein zweischneidiges Schwert. Auf der einen Seite stehen das wirklich gelungene Kampfsystem, die gute KI und das herrlich innovative Design. Aber statt die Welt kennen zu lernen, stehe ich nach zwei Metern in der nächsten Arena, getragen von einer Geschichte, die mehr Fragen aufwirft als sie beantwortet. Ein Mehrspieler-Part würde sicher länger unterhalten. So bleiben nur ein paar Stunden unmotiviertes Pflichtboxen.

May 20th, 2009 · Windows · read review

GameSpot (6.5 out of 10)

Perhaps the best comment that you could make about Zeno Clash is that it is a unique experience. You get plenty weirded out for the cut-rate Steam price of $20. This is no small feat in today's copycat gaming world, although the game relies too much on strangeness and not enough on diverse, interesting fighting action to be more than a briefly engaging curiosity.

Apr 30th, 2009 · Windows · read review

Absolute Games (AG.ru) (55 out of 100)

Любопытная проба пера, не более того. Безоговорочно хороши только удары ногами — нет способа лучше отвести душу на кучке назойливых пикселей.

Jul 28th, 2009 · Windows · read review

4Players.de (45 out of 100)

Eigentlich müsste man Zeno Clash allein schon für sein bizarres Szenario mit all den abgefahrenen Charakteren und Kulissen lieben. Aber während das Erinnerungen an Oddworld wach rufende Artdesign Respekt verdient, muss das Spieldesign kritisiert werden. Denn hinter der abgedrehten Fassade enttäuscht der Titel mit völlig chaotischer Steuerung und hoffnungslos öder Fließband-Action. Auch Dialoge und Story hätten konfuser kaum sein können. Beispiel gefällig? "Erminia hat sich selbst angepinkelt und ist anonym verhungert" - nichts gegen skurrile Texte, aber das ist arm. Na ja, unfreiwillige Komik gibt es in Zeno Clash jedenfalls mehr als genug; Spielbalance, Abwechslung und Umfang lassen hingegen extrem zu wünschen übrig. Selbst die an sich interessanten First-Person-Kämpfe versinken in einem Sumpf aus hektischem Herumgerenne, fragwürdiger Kollisionsabfrage und mangelnder Übersicht gegen immer gleiche Widersacher.

May 7th, 2009 · Windows · read review

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Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by xroox, Jeanne, Scaryfun, Carbon-based automaton, Macs Black, Alsy, Caliner, Cantillon, Tim Janssen, LordAndrew, Zeppin, Patrick Bregger, DreinIX, Samuel Smith, Zerobrain, GTramp.