Nacon and ACE Team bring us Clash: Artifacts of Chaos, an interesting fighting game with very interesting mechanics
Back in 2009, a Chilean studio called ACE Team launched a game called Zeno Clash on the market. This was a first-person fighting title with overtones of a first-person shooter. In the words of one of the Zeno Clash developers, it was a mix of Dark Messiah and Double Dragon. The game published by Atlus was received in a positive way, so Zeno Clash 2 was released years later, which received somewhat worse reviews than the first installment. This saga remained in the freezer, until this March, by the hand of Nacon, Clash: Artifacts os Chaos was launched, the third title in the saga, although totally independent from the previous ones.. If you want to know everything that this title will bring us, stay with us in this analysis.
Pseudo, you are the strongest
Our story will begin with our protagonist, a being called Pseudo, waking up after a long slumber. He will wake up in a kind of spiritual world, where a voice will speak to us and guide us in a kind of tutorial, teaching us the basic combat notions. After this, we will wake up in the world of Zenozoik. After advancing a bit through these lands, we will meet an old man and a somewhat strange being. The old man, after being challenged (a mechanic that will be explained later) will die, so this creature will be rescued by our protagonist. Pseudo decides to accompany this creature (who will be referred to throughout the game as the boy) to meet his brother, but everything changes when they discover that Gemini, the villain of the game, seeks to capture this creature since it has various powers.
After these events, Pseudo will become the protector of this strange creature, both having to survive in the dangerous lands of Zenozoik. The plot of the title is good, the story is engaging and you always want to know more about what will be in store for our peculiar protagonists. Perhaps it is too cliché and not surprising, but it has a good rhythm and is followed with interest.
What is your favorite combat style?
One of the qualities of Clash: Artifacts of Chaos is the wide range of options that it offers us as a player in combat. From the outset, as soon as the game begins, we can choose between 3 different combat styles, each with its own differentiated movements, blows, and speed. But this does not end here, since as we progress in this adventure, we will unlock more combat modes. This is a very dynamic thing. since we can change between 3 styles that we choose in the middle of a fight, allowing us to change strategy while a fight is taking place. In addition, we can also modify Pseudo’s special attack, as well as assign a kind of wooden dolls, which we will find hidden or in chests in the environment, and which will improve the combat style where we assign them.
Despite all these options that are given to us during combat, this is not perfect. And it is that our character is very slow, the chosen combat style does not matter (some are faster than others) but our character will feel very heavy and slow. This would not be a negative point if our opponents were on an equal footing with us, but no. Our enemies will be very fast, being a bit frustrating that our character is so slow and our enemies are not. This makes the title more difficult, but not fun.
Bonfires and… dice games?
A very fun and unconventional mechanic is the so-called “Ritual”. In the world of Zenozoik there is a kind of dice game in which the fighters, before starting the fight, play, the winner of this game being quite benefited in the fight. In the Ritual, the opponents will use some artifacts that will make them start with an advantage in the fight if they win this game. These can cause you to be attacked by wasps, have low vision, or get hit from behind. This ritual is very simple and brief, but it is very fun and can change a fight completely.. We will also have RPG mechanics such as leveling up or crafting objects.
If this weren’t enough, the game is often reminiscent of Souls. And it is that our character will be different in the morning and at night. In the morning Pseudo will be normal (within the normality of the title) of flesh and blood as you can see in the images that accompany this analysis. But at night everything changes. When night falls, our character will be a kind of wood spirit, being able to access previously blocked areas or facing enemies that we can only see at night. This mechanic is even more interesting when we fall in combat. If Pseudo dies, he will have another chance to revive, since our spirit will be able to go to his deceased body to resurrect.
The title takes place in a semi-open world, with different differentiated areas, and quite labyrinthine. This causes us to get lost on many occasions and is something that frustrates the player. The title could have used a minimap or an indicator that shows us the objectives, but none of this exists. We don’t like games to take us by the hand, but we also don’t like getting lost in corridors and labyrinthine environments. Also, if the game’s shoulder-mounted camera works very well in combat, not so much in exploration, since we have a rather reduced vision of the environment.
Zenozoik, a world of death and color
The graphic and artistic aspect of Clash: Artifacts of Chaos is fabulous. Everything looks great, Zenozoik is a world full of life and color. Both the forests, the coastal areas, the gloomy deserts, all the environments are perfectly recreated and look spectacular. The modeling of the characters and enemies is also very good, although they may be repeated too much, they are impressively done. The title, on Xbox Series X runs very well. I have not come across any part of my adventure with frame drops or with any bug. It shows that ACE Studios has had time to polish their game.
If we go to the sound section, we have some clear-dark ones. The soundtrack is very good, I personally liked it a lot (by the way, you can find it on YouTube) with songs that are very pleasant to the ear, and that fit perfectly with the situations we find ourselves in the adventure. The problem that I have found is that sometimes the music suddenly stops playing, making it almost impossible to hear anything as we move through the environments. The voices of our characters are well interpreted, but without too much fanfare. The voices are in full English, although the game is 100% translated into English.
Clash: Artifacts of Chaos Conclusions
Clash: Artifacts of Chaos is a good game. The Chilean studio ACE Team has managed to revive one of its most famous franchises in a very remarkable way. It’s not a perfect title, that’s for sure. It has some more or less important problems, such as the lack of a minimap or the slowness of our protagonist in combat. But also many successes, such as its options in combat, or its beautiful graphics. In short, Clash: Artifacts of Chaos is a highly recommended title if you like combat-focused action and adventure games. I’ve had a great time in the 10 hours that its main story lasted, and I’m looking forward to discovering all its secrets.
- Many options to fight in different ways
- It is a very nice game graphically
- “The Ritual” is a very fun mechanic
- Very slow and heavy movements of our protagonist
- Lack of a minimap or objective indicator
- some sound glitches