I’m a sucker for melee focused games. Anything that emphasizes brutal fighting and flamboyant martial arts, for example sleeping dogs And Sifuis is totally my jam. So I was both curious and excited when my best friend, Xbox Series S, suggested I take a look at Team ACE. Clash: Artifacts of Chaos. Unfortunately, I walked away confused and skeptical after about 10 hours with this action-adventure Soulslike due to its buggy design and expansive mechanics. And now, I’m wondering if my Xbox really recognizes me.
Chaos Artifacts It is ACE Team’s third entry in the fighting game series. Zeno Conflict In this new game, you suddenly return to the fantasy world of the Zenozoic as Pseudo, a martial artist tasked with protecting some. Kuriboh-A fluffy-looking balloon named Boy. This Boy has magical powers that can curse or heal depending on his mood or something (the story doesn’t fully explain the Boy’s powers), making him the object of desire by the cruel, many-armed, many-headed big-evil. Gemini and friends. So, similar to 2018 God of WarYou wander around beating monsters while keeping the Boy safe in your gang arms. It’s not the most original narrative, but that’s okay given how good the combat feels (when it works) and the fascinatingly crude visuals on display.
punching monsters in their ugly faces
In fact, these two elements – the combat and the graphics – are the main highlights of the game. Chaos Artifacts. If you played the first two Zeno Conflict games, then you are already familiar with high saturation, strange worldThe -esque aesthetic of the Zenozoic. If not, imagine an interlocking world reminiscent of Team Ninja’s. Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty (a masterclass of soulslike game design) then richly bubbling with vibrant yellows and greens, dotted with bones, stones, and wooden skins. Basically, it’s as if the developer has filled in the art styles Worm Jim, Crazy MaxAnd Oddworld: New ‘n’ Delicious put it in a blender to see how it will look. And the result is disgusting, but not in a derogatory sense. Chaos ArtifactsAlthough it lacks imagination in its storytelling, it is utterly unique in its perverse beauty. The faces and limbs of the characters are deformed. Like a gigantic bull-looking creature, the monsters have serrated teeth and rotting flesh. The game is so obnoxious that you can almost smell the vaccinated corpses floating in the air as you navigate the lush landscape and rocky paths. As someone who has never played Zeno Conflict before, Chaos Artifacts It was a fascinating introduction to Zenozoic society. It didn’t matter that I got lost regularly during my trip. I was already busy watching absurd and surreal landscapes.
Besides boasting about the ugliness of the world, Chaos Artifacts There’s also some crunchy melee combat. The third-person brawler gameplay, occasionally switching to first-person, lets you learn a variety of martial arts stances (like “lightning” that focuses on faster hits, or “boxing” that emphasizes powerful kicks) and moves (like a Shoryuken). -style uppercut) to create a fighting style that is uniquely yours. When combat pays off, it’s stylish and satisfying as you punch the ugly faces of enemies. You can also do some great fighting game shit to keep the pressure high, like doing anti-dodge combos to reset your animations, or special moves that can interrupt your opponent’s attacks. These moments when you bombard your enemy and watch their movements for the right time to act bow a little, strictly the rule, especially when you send their corpses to the side of a mountain like a rag doll. Hilariously brutal, it offers a challenging yet satisfying combat experience that sees you battling massive troll-like eye wounds, terrifying three-legged monsters, and other indescribable horrors.
This is the widest Soulslike I’ve played
Fighting and graphics stand out here, while the rest Chaos Artifacts‘ pack is medium at best and wide at worst. For starters, the map is embedded in the game’s rudimentary menus. Also, showing only the names of the locations but not the routes needed to get there isn’t all that helpful. There’s also no compass or pointer, so navigation is more about intuition and memorization than gameplay directing you to the next location. This might be commonplace for a Soulslike game, but you know what else? Placing nodes on the map to help you point where you want to go. This is not available here. Besides the directionless design of the game, Chaos Artifacts It ran like complete garbage on my Series S. It’s no secret the Series X has the cuter sibling. performance issues, but in the 10 or so hours I’ve put it into the game, it crashed at least 10 different times, and a handful of others prevented me from progressing any further. It’s poorly optimized with stuttering animations, characters miraculously thrown hundreds of feet into the air, and enough bugs. cyberpunk 2077 look competent. A mess of gameplay marred by a lack of explanation and with no real way to relearn short tutorials you missed in the heat of battle.
Then you move on to the ritual, the “only law” in the game world. A dice rolling board game launched at the start of big matches, this little minithe game will give a battle advantage to the person with the highest score. By placing artifacts and winning the ritual, you can force your opponent to drink a slow-acting poison before the fight begins, get them humiliated throughout the match to wear a rotting fish head, and so on. The same thing can happen to you, so it’s essential that you win to get some edge in harder exchanges, especially when you’re facing two or three tough enemies at the same time. It’s a neat mechanic where after a few runs it becomes completely irrelevant as there’s an element of randomness (as much as the number you get after rolling your dice) and the effects don’t make much of a difference as enemies have huge health pools. You can skip the ritual altogether to get straight into the melee action like I did after a while. I thought the wins helped me succeed, but in reality they cost me my life. Combined with the boringness of the game and the cheap antics of the enemy during the ritual – doing things like destroying my dice and lowering my score – I left my gang body and left to explore the dreaded night.
Great to explore at night but extremely creepy
It’s evening when soulslike design truly comes full circle. It happens at night when you rest in a camp or die in a fight. See, the Pseudo is actually a wooden puppet that is somehow animated to move and speak. In this form, he can equip various body parts that strengthen his attack and defense, and can also go through more thorny paths now that his skin has been removed. At night, the world changes a bit, too, with more formidable enemies roaming around looking for skulls, and opening up shortcuts for simpler travel. This way, like a little Dying Light 2. It is much more difficult to explore at night.
However, since you are a skinless wooden shell, Pseudo is also extremely weak at night, making the game thicker and more dangerous than before. And if night falls because you’re dead, you’ll have to go back to where your body was last left. Unfortunately, it’s entirely possible that you’ll die again before you get close to where the enemy buries your head, as the map isn’t helpful and there’s a thin column of golden light that shoots out into the dark sky, indicating the approximate position of your body. . This is one of the most innovative designs to implement in a Soulslike, but it’s pointless because the map doesn’t highlight your dead body. You can wander aimlessly before you even reach it. And in typical Soulslike fashion, if you die in this wooden form, you lose everything. Regardless of your skill points, the weapons you collect, the materials you collect—they’re all gone because they were attached to their meat.
I like the juxtaposition between day and night exploration, as there is an interesting risk-reward system involved here. Stay out late to gain more experience, but rest until morning to regain your skin. It’s a shame that most of the game is so buggy that it’s unplayable. I mean, there have been a few situations where I couldn’t get back in no matter how many times I hit the interaction button after returning to my body.
So yes, Clash: Artifacts of Chaos The most expansive Soulslike I’ve ever played. There are some compelling ideas at play here, and I’m in love with heavy, enjoyable melee combat. It’s just that everything else here isn’t great. ACE Team created a cool exterior with some neat bones. But the lack of polish and fragile design cause the game to collapse under its own body weight. I really wanted to like this, but after all, I don’t think Chaos Artifacts one of the things you should check right now. Now, forgive me when I have a long talk with my Xbox Series S about this suggestion.