A sequel to the brilliant, yet sadly under-appreciated Zeno Clash arrives in less than a week, and we've got the first look at actual gameplay footage.
As anyone who's played it will tell you, Zeno Clash is a game that's very difficult to describe. From a superficial perspective, it appears to be a first-person shooter, only there are very few guns, and most of the combat is closer to what you'd find in a beat 'em up, like Streets Of Rage. Compounding these strange gameplay mechanics are an aesthetic and world design sensibility that are completely unlike anything you've ever seen. The closest analogue I can come up with is a cross between Jim Henson's creepier muppets (think: Dark Crystal) and that climactic scene in Apocalypse Now where the villagers are butchering the cow to appease a sweaty, overweight Marlon Brando.
If any of you read that description and aren't immediately interested in the sequel, I don't know what else to tell you. You've obviously over-stimulated. Take a nap.
That video embedded at top-right, is the first gameplay footage to be publicly released from the upcoming Zeno Clash 2. It's scheduled for release on Steam come April 30, with Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network iterations to follow shortly after.
As for what sort of novel plot and gameplay elements you can expect from this latest addition to what I pray to every unholy deity in the book somehow becomes a long-running franchise, here's an official synopsis courtesy publisher of all things quirky, Atlus:
The world of Zenozoik comes alive like never before, an open world waiting to be explored, rendered with breathtaking splendor. As Ghat, players can fully and freely explore every natural and architectural wonder his world has to offer. In addition to most of the characters, enemies, and items from the first game-all of which return with dramatic visual enhancement-Ghat can also expect to encounter awe-inspiring new sights, jaw-dropping new creature designs, and wildly creative new weapons and items.
I remember covering the first Zeno Clash when it was first released in 2009, and as with every article I wrote about that title, I'll conclude this in much the same way: Developer ACE Team creates completely original games in an industry that is so often soaked to the bone with a fiscally-mandated lack of creativity. If you care even a whit for new ideas, Zeno Clash II is exactly the sort of project you should support. If, for no other reason, than the mile-wide vengeful streak inherent to each and every one of those unholy deities I mentioned.
If you want more info, visit the official Zeno Clash 2 website.