bplusAnytime a downloadable game for either Xbox Live or the Playstation Store costs more than say, 7 or 8 bucks, I’m immediately skeptical. I know I’m not alone when I say that I’ve been burned too many times by overpriced games that are poorly programmed, and not nearly worth the asking price.

Thankfully, Zeno Clash doesn’t fall into that category of overpriced shit. Available on Xbox Live for 1200MSP ($15), Zeno Clash could best be described as a First-Person Shooter, without a whole lot of “shooting” going on. In other words, it’s an FPS where you mainly attack enemies with “melee style” combat. So, along with being able to obviously punch the various odd looking creatures in the game, you also get to block, dodge, parry and sprint when you have to.

Understandably, you may not think this sound all that entertaining. Hey, Halo it’s not. However, Zeno Clash is worth your downloading dollars.

First off, Zeno Clash has a surprisingly well written and paced Story Mode. You’ll play as Ghat, a tribesman who’s outcast from his village and who then has to fend for himself in the odd world of Zenozoik. I realize that’s a very generic synopsis, but I don’t want to spoil the rest of the story for you. Just know that I felt like every scene in the game was well thought out and at times, surprisingly emotional. Not once was I bored, or did I feel like I was trying to complete it (which took about 6 hours total) just because I hate not finishing a game.

Zeno Clash’s level design and graphics are also some of the best I’ve experienced for a downloadable game on Xbox Live. The game moves smoothly, the characters and unique looking environments are all very well drawn, and I didn’t see many (if at all) rough looking edges, or anything that looked, well, rushed.

Also noteworthy are the impressive voice acting (why can’t I get one of those jobs?) and the well done (but, somewhat generic) soundtrack that fits perfectly with the game.

Bottom line is this, Zeno Clash is totally worth the $15, and even after you tear through the Story Mode like I did, there’s still a few more ways to play the game. There’s the “Zero Rush” mode, which is a “time-attack” style challenge mode where you must ascend/descend a tower or pit with waves of enemies coming at you, and there’s also a Co-Op mode where you get to do the previous mode, but with a much needed partner.

Unfortunately, online co-op doesn’t extend to the Story Mode, which actually would have made sense due to how there’s two main characters during most of the story. But hey, for $15, you can’t have everything.

That said, for the aforementioned $15 Zeno Clash: Ultimate Edition is a solid purchase, and a damn good game. If I had to gripe, for the few weapons available to you in the game, there are some that are way too powerful. Other than that, I recommend that Xbox 360 owners give it a try. I think you’ll be as pleasantly surprised as I was with this cool little title by ACE Team.

About The Author

Jim Murray is a Blast staff writer

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