The landscapes are outlandish, yet beautiful
When not locked in combat, I spent most of my time exploring the crazy landscapes of Zeno Clash 2. It tries to do a semi-open world, but the missions had me going down a distinct path. There are plenty of crevices to explore, but you don’t stray from the path too often. The reward for exploring are health and special meter pickups as well as skill points, which I immediately used to increase my leadership skill. Little did I know the AI was nothing more than a punching bag even at the highest level. I strongly recommend putting points into strength and stamina to beef up your dude before anything else. I didn’t have trouble with any of the encounters but it was nice to have some more health and stamina so I could last longer in fights without running away.
Zeno Clash 2 definitely expands on the scope and scale of the environments. Each area is very different and I spent my time wide-eyed just looking at the architecture and design of mountains, buildings, and horizons. The colors are distinct and thoughtful, bringing life to mostly empty places. The music is eerie and comforting, making me feel at peace and disturbed at the same time. It’s totally surreal. The world of Zenozoik is unlike anything else I have witnessed and there is simply more of it to take in. It truly is both breathtaking and frightening, making it the biggest reason to check out Zeno Clash 2. The design of the world outshines the combat and story in every way. I can’t help but feel like I was on a trip to another land.
This is Golem, he is a total jerk. He doesn't even have a mouth
I can’t go into the story without ruining the plot of the first Zeno Clash (which I still suggest you check out) but you play as the protagonist (Ghat), accompanied by his sister Rimat (played by your co-op partner). The siblings seek to rid their home from an overzealous Golem who has power over not only their world, but the creatures within it. Sick of being oppressed, they do what they do best and try to solve their predicament using their feet and fists. The writing is laughable and the story does little to make you care about the characters, most of which return from the previous game. There are some interesting themes revealed towards the end, but the journey is plodding so I won’t hold it against you if you don’t stick it out to see the end.
I fell in love with the quirkiness of the original Zeno Clash, overlooking many of its flaws. This set up high expectations for the sequel and I wanted Zeno Clash 2 to be much more than it is. There are flashes of brilliance across Zeno Clash 2 and I couldn’t stop staring at this weird, wild world that ACE has revisited. The combat system is better, even if the battles are a little unfair but, you can toss in a co-op partner for some balance. I can’t say that Zeno Clash 2 is for everyone but, if you do taste this primordial stew you will find a ton of originality with little focus.
A copy of the PC version of the game was provided for review by the publisher.
The Co-Op Experience: Play through the game's single player experience in co-op in this first person brawler. Ghat can now be joined by his sister Rimat.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.