User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 256 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 26 out of 256

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  1. Jan 8, 2011
    This game was so promising, but in the end it turned out to be a massive waste of potential. It feels like there's a much bigger game in this, but for whatever reason the bulk of it was cut and never saw the light of day. The story makes no sense, and not because it's bizarre, but rather because it's missing large chunks. Like the ending. Instead, it's padded with what I assume was intended to be "weird" and "atmospheric" but just ends up being redundant and irrelevant.

    Other people praise it for its gameplay, which is just about mediocre, but a game with this much potential should not have been written so poorly and ineptly. The characters are flat, boring and uninspired. Every single line of dialogue that comes out of their mouths is exposition, every single action they take serves as a plot point. None of the named characters have any personality whatsoever. This doesn't make them weird. It makes them badly written.

    Visually, the game fails to deliver. There are several interesting set pieces, such as a beached whale and large walking things, but if you've seen a trailer, you've seen them all. Beyond that, it's essentially Heart of Darkness meets Another World. If you're looking for a "weird" setting and story, try either of those. Both are better written and more fun to play.

    The combat is clunky, stiff, limited and very, very repetitive to the point of boredom. If you've fought one large enemy, you've fought them all. If you've fought one humanoid enemy, you've fought them all. Even Father-Mother isn't all that distinct. Weapons are slow, cumbersome and largely useless anyway, making the achievement for not using any a no-brainer. It's an interesting idea, to be sure, but it's so cumbersome it just doesn't work. If you want a game that mixes weapons and and hand-to-hand combat, try Bungie's Oni. This is just slow.

    The only reason I don't give this title the lowest score I can is because I can appreciate the effort and I can appreciate the innovation. There really is a very good, very interesting game buried somewhere in Zeno Clash, but Zeno Clash itself ain't it. Contrary to people's opinions, I feel this would have been best served as a big-budget studio title, as they would have been able to spring for a decent writer, talented voice actors and actually a complete game that isn't padded to extremes and still far too short while missing any real depth.

    Zeno Clash should have been more than Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, and it just isn't.
  2. Dec 10, 2012
    Awesome game, nice graphics, animation, combat and history. The only Flaw is that its too short, but hey, it was made by a small developer who just proved its potential and its already making Zeno Clash 2, that will have n open world and RPG elements. Its a great buy for its price!!
  3. May 18, 2011
    Wow. It is really impossible to describe this game in words--It is just so far out there, but not in a bad way. You've never played a game like this. Maybe if you have been on acid and LSD simultaneously, you might have a clue. The characters, monsters, story, weapons, and scenery are just plain crazy. With a decent melee combat system, it's hard not to recommend it. Just don't play it with any far fetched expectations and stick with it to the end. Smoking a joint or two before you begin wouldn't hurt either. Expand
  4. Jul 23, 2011
    Prepare to descend into the realm of the bizarre. An *almost* perfect FPS alternative that delivers on so many levels. Every moment of this brilliantly executed game feels like a bad nightmare that you cannot wake from. Yes, it may not be flawless - but what game is?
  5. Jan 4, 2011
    Nice creature concepts and vistas, but ultimately not worth the payout, even on a sale day on steam. Story is 100% linear, despite some reviews here (ViscountA), voice acting is appalling (obligatory Clint Eastwood sound-a-like and co-star that would appear to be not very comfortable with reading the script) and some very dodgy attempts to introduce slang terminology which just does not work, IMO.
    Combat engine is certainly different, but ultimately hampered by the "locking" concept, as mentioned by others here.
    There is no real depth to the story, with each step just an excuse for an out of context fight with weapons that magically appear in your inventory and then get randomly discarded. Weapons have unlimited reloads and as such means there is no real need for considered strategy other then the formulaic Boss fights.
    Quite how it managed to win "PCGamer 2009 Game of the Year" (listed on Steam store page) I don't know - it does not deserve it.
  6. Sep 15, 2011
    Game looks weird and good, but actually it sucks following with sh*tty controls.
  7. Feb 7, 2011
    Wow! All i read at pc gamer was how awsome this game was. What a joke. It only took 2.5 hours to beat, the story was just sad, and for a modern game the graphics suck. I dont mean just the in game visuals but the movies too. You just wasted half your day.
  8. Feb 10, 2011
    I have to say this game was a surprising revelation. i went in expecting a very average game and got something a little more then i expected. Yes it looks dated yes the guns are a little underwhelming, but what it provides is a very fun little brawler. The use of hand to hand combat in this game is fun though on occasion a little annoying but well done to the developers who have made a interesting title which is short enough that it does not overstay its welcome. Expand
  9. Jul 17, 2011
    I quite literally vomited after the first 2 fights, 15 min into the game. Not only is the game camera giving me horizontal "vertigo" (yeah, I know what you're thinking) There are good implementations of "realistic head movements" and there are bad ones, and I don't feel well after having my view rotated without my consent.

    I'd also like to point out the controls (which other reviewers
    have also pointed out) that are so frustrating to keep up with on the keyboard that make this game feel like a bad console port. The auto-lock system is fine (it feels strange to be the only one fine with it after everyone else criticized it) but the fights would have been better if the whole system had some sort of workaround.

    Animations and models are great, the story (at least the beginning) is scarcely delivered, but I can't give a higher score to the only game that actually made me vomit (and I've played hundreds)
  10. Apr 21, 2012
    It's not a bad game, but the combat system and the story being short, the graphic doesn't looks bad however, anyway in 2-3 hours at max you will have completed it already so i suppose you can find something else better to buy.
  11. Jul 10, 2011
    I wasn't sure how well a first person beat-em-up would play. I was glad to find that I immediately "connected" with the character and felt him as an onscreen extension of me, like in an FPS -- and thus the game was really fun (I don't get on with third person Street Fighter style games at all). Lovely surreal art style, intriguing story. Cons? A couple of difficulty spikes, and over a bit fast without much replayability (the game's linear so the only thing you'd go back for is playing a little differently to get the achievements you missed the first time). Still one of those indie gems and well worth picking up! Expand
  12. Jul 17, 2011
    This game was good for the price, as I got it on sale for $3.75 on Steam's weekend sale of it. If you get it for that price, it's worth it. I'd recommend this game to a person who likes casual games, as there is not a huge depth to it. Pretty much punch and kick your way through the game. Enjoy!
  13. Jul 25, 2011
    Visually unique, surreal plot, gameplay - as far as the FPS goes - is rarely seen done so well. I initially ignored this title as it arrived quietly and sat in the budget shelves of GAME (UK) stores with little to inform the potential buyer, one YouTube clip later and I had bought the title. Zeno Clash is all the more impressive knowing that as an 'indie' title, it comes from a small, little-known developer. It's a little on the short side and as linear as they come but what a ride. Expand
  14. Aug 16, 2011
    The best way I can describe Zeno Clash is that it's comparable to a retro gaming experience. The odd and unique art direction reminds me of the "weird presence" (phrase ripped from AVGN) that some old video games had... that special brand of weirdness that didn't seem too forced, it was just part of the game universe. The satisfaction of the melee combat reminds me of old beat 'em ups like Street of Rage.

    There's some bad elements to this retro feel. The voice acting is a little rough, though far from the worst I've heard. I lived through the FMV fad of gaming for god sake. Also, if you don't like linearity, don't play this game. This game is ridiculously linear. I'm talking super old-school, worse than Wolfenstein 3d or Doom (the originals). That is not an exaggeration. Those games were far from open-ended but at least had a few paths branching off to the sides. I could get lost for a little bit in Wolf 3D til I got my bearings. You will not ever doubt your position for a second in this game. It is Point A to Point B, period. The most unrestricted progression you will see in this game is when you backtrack in a straight line to the point you came from.

    That being said, none of that is a deal breaker for me. Linearity does not equal bad in my book, nor does funky voice acting. What equals a bad game for me is when I'm not having fun, and I had fun playing this game. I've read and heard other people saying that the control for the melee combat is a bit clunky, and that's true, but once again, it's fun. That's my cardinal rule for games: at some point I ask myself, is it fun? In this case, yes. I partly believe that what people may be berrating as cumbersome control is actually the weight and feedback of the characters, which I'm enjoyed. Punching someone has that nice OOMPH to it, especially with the big wind-up heavy attacks. Pretty satisfying when you connect, the camera shakes, you get a nice loud crunch sound, and your enemy goes flying back into other fighters behind him, knocking them over.

    Weapons are infact clunky like some folks have said but hey... did you notice what game you're playing? Emphasis is on melee combat folks, and if you didn't happen to notice, your firearm is made out of rope and old bones. I dislike how they implemented the weapons more than I dislike the weapons themselves. In the actual melee fights, I used the weapons more or less how I believe they were intended to be used: for a couple extra points of damage as the enemy charges in, tossing it into their face as the clips empty and then leaping forward to finish the job with my knuckles. My least favorite parts of the game were the linear shooting segments. Shooting rabbits in a straight line for The visuals obviously aren't the most breathtaking in terms of prettiness, as this is running on an un-upgraded Source engine, but they still manage to be more interesting and fun to look at than other games that look "better." I mean, I would rather watch one of those huge, Dr. Seuss-looking desert creatures lumber around a surreal backdrop in Zeno Clash, more than I would like to admire the latest brown monster run around in the latest brown cave in the latest brown Gears of War game. I think it's also important to keep in mind what you should expect from this: this game launched for 20 bucks, and most places these days you can get it for 15 or less. I don't think you should be comparing it to big budget titles. Personally, I got it on sale for 3 dollars. What I got for my 3 bucks was an enjoyable distraction for a couple hours, with an interesting if fairly non-sensical story, eye-pleasing scenery and set pieces, and satisfying melee combat. Far from perfect but a good deal, and surprisingly fun for a budget title.
  15. Nov 8, 2011
    Well, "Zeno Clash" actually was aiming for creativity. Sure, i'll give credit for that but after that nothing's enjoyable. NOTHING.
  16. Jan 18, 2012
    Great atmosphere, great FPS melee combat design, great monsters and characters. Way too short (3h) ! Thank god, they added a challenge mode where u'll end up spending more time that you will in the campaign, but still, some multiplayer or some challenge editor would have been great. All in all, great game.
  17. Apr 2, 2012
    If H.R. Geiger got high on peyote and did the production design for The Dark Crystal, it would look exactly like Zeno Clash.
  18. Feb 16, 2012
    Very strange, to be honest, I thought someone dosed me with something, I had to ask and confirm with other people that this game was real. The gameplay at its heart is a first person brawler, with a healthy mix up of shooting here and there. but the story, woa ho ho.... man. imagine a world that was generations deep with inbreeding, as well as cross breeding with chickens and pigs, and not the cute jrpg way, but more of a demented master blaster way. This is the world you're going to get into with this game.

    I did not like the melee combat at first, but the story kept me playing, and I ended up finding that the parry hit and run knee to the face smash tactics to be, well....... really good. and by the end of the game I found myself actually wanting to toss my guns down and put my fists up. It's short, but left me satisfied. I hope we see more of this twisted world.
  19. May 31, 2012
    Awesome first person punching gameplay, the story is brilliant, especially in the end, I played this through from start to end and couldn't stop. Then, I looked at the time. You will have completed the game in 4 hours, and there is zero replayability. As some indie games, it is short and pathetically so. If the game had been at least three times longer, it would have been "great", now it's fun but barely worth more than a 6. Expand
  20. Jan 3, 2011
    This game is pretty weird. Now don't get me wrong, i don't mean that in a negative way, it's just a little out there. In other words, it has to be your thing otherwise you'll be playing this no longer than 10 minutes.
    Especially all the different characters bring the world to life. Character design is great as for the modelling. There is so much variation between all of them.
    So why did i
    give this game a 5 than? Because i lost interest quiet fast. Each minute i wanted to just quit even more than the moment before. The first person melee action is okay, even though a bit rusty, but i've seen it all before in Breakdown on the Xbox and i never got to finish that one either. It just isn't my piece of pie. I'd rather break some jaws in 3rd person. Next to that i didn't like the stage fighting all that much. You're not really walking through an open world you're just set against 1 or more opponents in a set stage and you have to duke it out and win so you can continue on to the next level. But worst of all has to be that out of all the awesome characters in the game your character just looks lame. But what's even worse is his voice and the acting that comes with it. Just awfull.
    Story wise there is something there but the storytelling itself is kinda weak. It didn't hold my attention for long anyways.
    In the end i've played for an hour or so and then i called it quits but i don't think i'll be starting it up anytime soon. But hey, it only cost me 3 euro's and it's still a very creative piece of work. Props for that.
  21. Jun 18, 2013
    Definitely a very poor game with a great idea and interesting story and characters. Nothing is quite so unique in what it tries to be than Zeno Clash. However sadly the implementation of the game is poor. Painfully bad voice acting, clunky controls and often there are battles that, while not difficult are just frustrating based on the tactics you have to use taking forever. There is one particularly long and unnecessary on rail shooting portion that was easy, but so long and boring I wanted to cry.

    The combat system IS fun, but the implementation does feel off. IF its on sale I'd say pick it up if you like the idea of a unique hand to hand combat system, otherwise pass this game over.
  22. Dec 17, 2013
    Zeno Clash is an interesting and original game that ultimately falls flat in too many areas to make it a great game. You go around in a very weird and interesting world punching people in the face and sometimes shooting them with the strange gun. The world Zeno Clash is set in is very strange and you immediately want to know more about it, but you never will. The story is hard to follow and makes next to no sense. It's also unfortunate that the combat quickly becomes repetitive. Even though the story is only 3-4 hours long, by the end you will be tired of executing the same moves over and over again. In the end, Zeno Clash is a huge waste of potential that could have been so much more. Expand
  23. Apr 13, 2012
    This game is unlike anything I have ever played. The biggest breath of fresh air I have taken in a long time. This game is challenging, charming in the most bizarre way and badass all at the same time. The story is great and nothing about this game is cookie cutter. Nothing! It's fun and worth your time, I promise you that. If you love games like I do you need to play this!
  24. Oct 25, 2012
    This game was surprisingly incredible, and that's saying something. After a few videos of interesting combat and questionable character/overall world designs from screenshots, I had no idea what I was getting into, but I can say without a doubt, that I don't regret buying this title whatsoever. Without spoiling the story, I'll say this: it's based on a great premise of originality that we hardly see nowadays, much less an actual story at all, which is one of the main elements that kept me going throughout its long and difficult journey. The combat is amazingly fun and fluid; you punch and kick the living hell out of these awfully disgusting creatures, which is definitely a welcome change to the generic FPS formula, though, it does have some newly designed guns and grenades for you to toy around with, they're not quite as satisfying as the brawling combat system, but still differentiate themselves from any other random FPS title, though there are a couple of blunt weapons which are somewhat interesting to use, being the only things you can use to even damage tougher enemies, still, none of these things could could even come close to that of the innovative and expertly crafted brawling system. The voice acting among most of the characters, especially that of the protagonist and his companion(s), could have been implemented more thoroughly, but that doesn't detract from the game's overall charm whatsoever. Plus, if you want to get more out of it once you finish the short, yet enjoyable story, the game also offers its own Tower of Challenges along with a plentiful list of achievements to keep you throwing punches and landing counter-kicks. And all of this, including the fact that it's only $10, makes the game worth every penny, I highly recommend buying this amazing indie title. Expand
  25. Oct 17, 2012
    Me cuesta ser parcial con este juego ya que es un juego hecho por Chilenos :D Lo bueno: El arte es muy bueno , muy diferente a los que estamos acostumbrados a ver, tanto los personajes, como el entorno y las armas que las encuentro creativas. Tratas de hacer un juego en primera persona enfocado en los combates cuerpo a cuerpo. Historia retorcida. Lo malo: Mucha linealidad del juego, los gráficos no son destacables. Se vuelve algo tedioso el sistema de lucha. Expand
  26. May 27, 2014
    Whoa! This game is a work of art. What, with all the bad - but constantly overhyped, over publicized - games out there costing 30, sometimes even 60 dollars, this game is actually good, original and fun! I'm having so much fun with this game that for the first time in my life I'm giving it a second playthrough immeditaly after finishing the game for the first time.

    It's focused on
    melee, but there are all sorts of crazy guns. It's a very, very different fantasy setting, but this is great 'cause the weirdness only makes it more fun.

    If you're looking for something new, be glad you read this review. Purchase without fear.
  27. Jan 5, 2014
    Typical not a fan of brawler style of games I did not find this overly enjoyable. The brawl action isn't too bad but becomes highly repetitive and the shooting mechanics are below par, feels tacked on.

    Story is ok but really fails to pull you through.
  28. Apr 25, 2013
    Chilean developer ACE has done something that not many others would even try doing. Instead of going for a safe, true and tried formula, they gave us Zeno Clash.
    How do you even begin to describe this game?
    For one, it's a first person brawler. A brutal one at that. You punch, kick and on some occasions, shoot some sort of gun. It is done in a manner which you probably have not seen in
    many other games. It can be a tad frustrating but very satisfying when your fist connects to some creature's face.
    What makes this game unique though, is that art direction. It is demented. Chileans are an artistic lot and this games shows it. It is whacked to the point of disturbing yet beautiful.
    The story is just as strange but despite the truly alien landscape and characters, you do become engaged in it.

    The only down point is that it is too short. But for what it is, it's a great addition to any gamer's collection.
  29. May 26, 2013
    This's just AWESOME Really FASCINATED....I STRONGLY recommend you this game especially you really love this kind of punk art style or those mystery story stuff....if you want to try the best First Person Fighting games, try this one, it will blow you mind
  30. Dec 26, 2012
    Honestly I dont think I have played a game so bad in a long time. I got it in a steam sale for just 1 dolar , but it sucks. The story is bad,so is the voice acting. The level design,controls and enemies are the worst, I dont know how to describe this game I just finish it to see how it ended but I cant explain, pirate the game, play 10 minutes of it and you will understand why this game deserves a 1/10. Expand
  31. Jan 28, 2013
    It is an awesome game with different elements.In my opinion it is mostly an FPS/Fighting hybrid.Let's start with the graphics.The graphics are visually good but not excellent and the textures of the different kinds of enemies and weapons are nice.The gameplay is a bit repetitive but the fights in the game are awesome and different from the other games.The story is good but not so exciting and it is short,it took me 5 hours to complete the game.It also has a list of challenges but they are difficult so I have played only one of them. Expand
  32. Jan 21, 2013
    The game's graphics, sound and character design and definitely refreshing and original, I'll give it that... But the constant and repetitive fight scenes paired with the frustrating combat system make this game boring and bland after the first few levels. I feel that the developers could of done a better job at creating the opponents that you fight as well, as the same set of characters keep coming back to life to fight again and again after the player has knocked their lifeless bodies to the ground numerous times. This gives the player a sense of uselessness, and takes away much of the satisfaction, I feel, from what could be some very exciting and engaging close combat. Expand
  33. Mar 24, 2013
    Zeno Clash is a good indie game. It looks like a mod from Half Life 2 but the gameplay is different. You can use guns but the main focus is the melee fights. It feels like i'm playing old school, Super PunchOut! on SNES but instead of a restricted ring, you get to fight on a linear path with more enemies at once. It does get boring after awhile, but on Hard Mode it was still pretty fun. You can't reload while running so sometimes it got frustrating and i just tossed the gun and fight hand to hand. I think thats what they wanted you to do in the first place anyways. The story and game itself is solid but it feels more like a really long demo than an actual game to me. Visuals are good but you dont get to really explore too much and level design is pretty straightforward linear paths. overall, good solid game to kill some time. Expand
  34. Feb 19, 2013
    Short game, it has a weird tribal theme with weird creatures. Story was weird too, it's just weird. Though, this game is worth checking out for the first person melee combat. It does it really well, it's like a first person Streets of Rage, except with a lot of weird.
  35. May 4, 2013
    This is a rare game. it somehow manages to become art not just through the design, but thru the story as well. Its main draw back is that it is short.
  36. Oct 7, 2013
    One of the best melee combat games i have played. Beautiful stages and intense combat. Nice story, and beautifuls characters. The game don't have some bugs.
  37. Feb 19, 2014
    Zeno Clash is the best INDIE GAME I have ever played in my life. And I said INDIE GAME! Some people do not understand that this is not a full game. Just an indie game. Just a **** indie game.


Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. Zeno Clash is what a future cult favourite looks like. With a wickedly brutal melee engine, and some jaw-dropping visual design, this gorgeously demented indie brawler is short but sweet.
  2. While I would have liked to see a bit more emphasis on the melee combat and less on shooting, I think you’ll still find that most battles give you a bit of a rush and are enjoyable to play, particularly the unique boss battles.
  3. A fantastically involving and solid fighting game, enhanced by being set in one of the most imaginative and beautiful universes in the medium.