Fresh off the success of their quirky first-person brawler Zeno Clash, ACE Team is already hard at work on the sequel, which they say, is going to take an open-ended approach but retain the games’ trademark flair for the bizarre.
The guys over at ACE Team sure are quick to the draw – less than a month after the first Zeno Clash was released, the studio was ready to announce the sequel. I suppose they wanted to get a head start on the game and figured why not announce it, because from the sound of things, Zeno Clash 2 is going to be a lot more ambitious than its predecessor.
The biggest difference between the first game and the second, ACE Team’s Carlos Bordeu told Eurogamer, is the new open-ended and non-linear structure of the game. Exploration, Bordeu thinks, is “a gameplay feature in itself,” especially in Zeno Clash‘s bizarre and surreal world, which is a far cry from a standard fantasy setting.
“We’ve all seen Lord of the Rings and lots of Dungeons & Dragons. But in Zeno Clash you have forests with colorful trees that aren’t from the real world,” Bordeu said. “The plants don’t look like plants and the cities are like nothing you’ve seen. Exploration becomes even more interesting when you’re in a world you don’t expect.”
Don’t expect anything as expansive as Oblivion, and do expect the game to retain its focus on the first-person combat that gave its gameplay identity to match its aesthetic. “A lot of people appreciated Zeno Clash for its combat mechanics and we don’t want to lose those fans,” Bordeu said. “But by adding large, explorable areas and making the game bigger and spreading out the combat, I think we can get to a point where the game will become more interesting rather than less interesting.”
So this surely means that ACE Team, a self-described “small developer,” has made enough dough with its first game, if they’re making the sequel already, right? Bordeu can’t talk figures, but what he “can say is that the curve has been constant for us with less drop-off than big-budget games.” A veritable indie success story. See kids, you can make games with weird-looking creatures and pig punting and get away with it! Tell that to your mom who says you’ll never get anywhere with these videogames.