Zeno Clash is an action/fighting game set in a punk fantasy world. The game is played from a first person perspective and the combat is generally up close and brutal. Experience a deep storyline set in a fantastic world.
User reviews: Very Positive (1,232 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 21, 2009

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"Zeno Clash is an action/fighting game set in a punk fantasy world."
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November 24

Finally! Trading Cards added for Zeno Clash

Better late than never - Zeno Clash has finally received trading cards for Steam! What better reason to replay the crazy debut game of ACE than to get some shiny new cards with weird characters?

And for those who still haven't played the sequel - here's a link so you can go check it out:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/215690/

17 comments Read more

Reviews

"... It feels refreshingly original and completely compelling."

8.4 of 10 —IGN

About This Game

Zeno Clash is an action/fighting game set in a punk fantasy world. The game is played from a first person perspective and the combat is generally up close and brutal.
Experience a deep storyline set in a fantastic world. Play the role of Ghat, a man banished by his own brothers and forced to begin a desperate journey past the forbidden desert and to the end of the world.
Nominated in 'Excellence in Visual Art' at the Independent Games Festival, the original visuals, which make full use of the Source engine features, breathe new air in the fantasy game genre. The new close combat mechanics are also a deviation from traditional action in the first-person genre that will feel fresh for new and veteran players.
  • Engaging melee combat in first person
    The new melee combat system allows players to perform a variety of movements like deflect & elude combos, knockback finisher punches and punishing grab attacks. Learn new attacks as the game progresses and confronts you with more formidable foes.
  • Fantastic visuals powered by the Source engine
    Players will be immersed in a fantastic world, beautiful and disturbing at the same time. The unprecedented art style brings a fresh new approach to the first person genre. The surreal environments and characters will keep players wanting to discover more.
  • Survival mode challenges
    Jump right into the action in engaging unlockable "tower challenges". The player must overcome enemy waves to progress through the tower levels. The game will rate the player in different categories like speed and performance. A leaderboards system will rank you against your friends, so the challenge never ends.
  • Deep storyline
    Players will play the role of Ghat; the son of a impressive hermaphrodite creature called Father-Mother, whose children form the most powerful clan in the city of Halstedom. Ghat must escape from his family and start an incredible journey with his female companion Deadra, who will aid him in the dangerous lands of Zenozoik.
  • Bizarre weapons
    The game features an unusual arsenal of eccentric weapons that are built from scraps and junk. Hammers and clubs will be the most effective when fighting heavy characters that can only be brought down with extreme force.
  • The Zeno Clash Model Pack for Garry's Mod
    The pack includes 70 models with the characters and creatures to be used with the popular Source engine mod Garry's Mod. "This is a great addition to the existing library of assets and we really hope the fans will enjoy the content and start developing their own Zeno Clash inspired videos, screens or machinima." says Andres Bordeu from ACE Team. Zeno Clash owners can download the free DLC from the Tools tab in their Steam client.

System Requirements

    Minimum
    • Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® XP / Vista / Vista64
    • Processor: Intel® Pentium® 4 3.0 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Hard Disk Space: At least 3 GB of free space
    • Video Card: 128 MB, Shader model 2.0, ATI 9600, NVidia 6600 or better
    • Sound Card: DirectX® 9.0c compatible sound card
    • DirectX® Version: DirectX® 9.0c, DirectX® 10
    Recommended
    • Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® XP / Vista / Vista64
    • Processor: Intel® core 2 duo 2.4GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Hard Disk Space: At least 3 GB of free space
    • Video Card: Shader model 3.0, NVidia 7600, ATI X1600 or better
    • Sound Card: DirectX® 9.0c compatible sound card
    • DirectX® Version: DirectX® 9.0c, DirectX® 10
    • Controller: Supported
Helpful customer reviews
52 of 55 people (95%) found this review helpful
6.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 9
-
Click for Gameplay Trailer
-
-----------This is my review account, because the low playtime.
Graphics:
+ beautiful Chrakter models
+ smooth animation
+ imaginative environments
- source engine slightly dusty
- rare foresight

Atmosphere:
+ very imaginative world
+ bizarre locations

Sound:
+ weak weapon sounds
+ good speakers
- in english only

Balance:
+ no overpowering opponents
- even on the easiest difficulty sometimes difficult

Level Design:
+ innovative style
+ varied places
- extremely small levels
- series of arenas
- hose design

AI:
+ ai attacks clever
+ picks up weapons from the ground
+ evades from attacks
- bosses often to cumbersome and therefore easy

Weapons & Extras:
+ weapons necessary to tough opponents to crack
+ unusual design
- weak sounds
- in the fight against multiple opponents often not helpful

Story:
- tangled story with no clear connections
- relationship between Gath and Dadrea unclear

Game Size:
- solo playtime around 6 hours
- low replay value
- no multiplayer mode

Multiplayer: No Multiplayer

Actually one should Zeno Clash love alone for his bizarre scenario with all the crazy characters and scenes. Dialogues and story were confused can hardly be. Need an example? "Erminia has peed on himself and is starved anonymous"
Zeno Clash is a double-edged sword. On the one hand there are the really successful combat system, good AI and the wonderfully innovative design. But instead of learning to know the world, I stand by two meters in the next Arena, supported by a story that raises more questions than it answers.

Score: 68 / 100


Sorry for my bad english.
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75 of 101 people (74%) found this review helpful
7.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
If you always wanted to punch a six-breasted anthropomorphic rat in the face, this is the game for you.
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20 of 24 people (83%) found this review helpful
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
8/10

Strong fantasy appeal. The world and story is of new mythology. Fighting system is challenging, fun, annoying, and very immersive. For the most part the game is moderate difficulty from beginning to end. Some of the fights can be easily beaten once you find a weakness in the A.I. or level design. The game favors freaks who love originality. The short length was perfect for the story. Because it is a short game I would reccomend getting it on sale. Overall a very enjoyable experience. I have gained a number of concepts and ideas that will occupy my daydreams for the next month or so. I will be getting Zeno Clash 2 next time it is on sale.

[If you are having problems with the fighting system then wait a few months and come back to it. Start the game over and try again. Worked for me.]
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14 of 16 people (88%) found this review helpful
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 16
A unique, bizzare first-person puncher, set in a strange world that I would describe as having a "Stonepunk" feel to it. This is, quite possibly, the first truly satisfying first-person melee combat game I have ever played.
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10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 29
Look at heart it's a slightly clumsy combat game of adverage quality. However the plot is twisted primal earth. And the graphics are a sickly twisted acid dream.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 24
People need to understand that "weird"story doesnt make it good (this is terrible in my opinion), I found the story very lacking ,my character motivations are absent,the game feel clumsy , the voice acting is terrible and so is the gameplay.

This is just a first person meele brawler with boring and repetitive gameplay that tries to compensate all his shortcoming with a strange story which is boring,unprovoking,poorly delivered,but because most people wont recognize a good plot,they think strange=good. I buy this at 90% discount (1 dolar) And I feel I wasted my money.
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9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 15
Zeno Clash is a very strange game with a great atmosphere. It's hard to describe how the game presents itself; you'll have to see it to understand it. Because of its modest price tag, this is definitely worth checking out for everyone who appreciates an action packed and strange experience or someone who is looking for something original. It's only a shame it's such a short experience.You'll either love it or hate it. If you can let the bizarre world and characters entice you, you will get your money's worth. Its flawed gameplay will annoy most people though. If you're open-minded, you might appreciate this unique experience.Zeno Clash is a marvel, channeling yesterday’s hardcore brawlers whilst maintaining modern sensibilities.Zeno Clash demonstrates why often the most Bizarre projects can only be developed by independent companies. No “major” could ever do something like this, and that’s because we are talking about one of the most suggestive and atypical titles of recent times.Despite the initial weirdness and a few flaws, Zeno Clash is a unique take on first-person fighting that anyone with an open mind will likely enjoy.Overall 7/10.
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
25.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
I'm trying to think of the best way to advise somebody just now picking this game up, whether by random choice or under pressure from their friends. Of course, the latter will probably result in disappointment. Don't let the buzzwords (quirky, awkward, weird, crazy) fool you. The game is (though I loath to use this term) "quirky," to be sure, the story and voice work have an awkward, disjointed feel, as does the game's art style. Trust me when I say this is all intentional on the part of the devs, and isn't just a pointless dive at becoming the strangest thing since Vangers.

If you have ever been told this game is "deep," it's because of the revelations of the sequel, Zeno Clash 2. Anyone suggesting you play the first part of a series because of how much THEY enjoyed the revelations of the second part is like someone watching Return of the King, going bananas over the charge of the Rohirim and suggesting you pick up the extended edition of Fellowship when you have no experience with LOTR whatsoever. You will not enjoy it. PLAY THIS GAME WITHOUT ANY EXPECTATIONS WHATSOEVER. Ignore the exaltations of your peers.

As for how "quirky" and "awkward" this game is, like I said, it's intentional. There's a suitable comparison in the 1984 movie Scanners. The protagonist is a man who has been mute his entire life, and suddenly regains the power of speech. It's not very well elaborated upon in the film, but his social skills and speech patterns are completely out of whack because of this: he has to develope these skills almost from the ground up. The people who inhabit the world of Zeno Clash have a similar problem, which is elaborated upon in the sequel; again, perhaps explaining why people think this game is so "deep."

Gameplay is fairly simple and quite challenging. First person hand-to-hand is a very peculiar form of gameplay, particularly when it's as complicated as it is in both Zeno Clash 1 and 2. Though there is a limited variety of enemies, they all have unique fighting styles which you will have to adapt to in order to succeed. Enemies will fake you out, surprise you with the reach of their attacks, suddenly overwhelm you with a flurry of blows; to this day, whenever I pick up Zeno Clash I'm regularly intimidated and surprised by the combat, in spite of having played through the game multiple times. It's no surprise that some players are frustrated by how unpredictable it is and even reject the game entirely, dismissing it as quirky nonsense.

Trust me, just have patience and work on your timing. Pick some good battle music and play the tower challenges. You'll probably find it as enjoyable and satisfying as I do.
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8 of 12 people (67%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 15
This game has too many cool ideas and never fleshes them out enough to actually make an interesting story! Also, the plot twist is crap and so is the whole motivation behind the main character. The dialoag is all forced and the enitre game is just one bad mistake after another.

What do it mean? Here's an example: This game allows you to shoot enemies with various weapons and then switch them out as you fight or stow them and your your fists. Sounds cool right? NOPE!!! The Lock Target button is mapped to the Swap Target button and the Pick Up New Weapon action. THE FREAKIN "E" key! So when your rushing up to a guy who just dropped his much better weapon, you instinctively press the E key to snap it up. ERRRRT Now youre locked onto the nearest enemy and youre now open for an attack CUZ YOUVE STILL GOT THE CRAPPY FISH PISTOLS.

4/10 Save Your Money.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 4
This game has vivid and imaginative visuals going for it.

But is otherwise let down by a boring, uninspiring and pretentiously written story.

That and the game is a chore to play, with little satisfaction to be had from vanquishing your foes. The tedious fights feel like a punishment and distraction from the not as unpleasant cut-scenes.

It's worth a look for its originality but has little redeeming value otherwise.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 24
Fun but definitely one of the more surreal type of game that makes you wonder how someone came up with any of this because none of it makes sense. But it for sure takes a different take on video gaming.

8/10
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 28
Zeno Clash is a wierd game that tries to, and succeeds at, doing something that no other FPS has done. The story is strange, the characters are mysterious, and the player is left continuously wondering what will happen next. Unfortunately, the story is also not interesting. The game just throws disparate scenario after scenario at you presented as a series of events that happened before the beginning of the game, and it leaves it largely up to you to connect these events. The characters are not expanded upon, the enemies are only briefly expounded on, and the main characters motivations are left entirely unclear. I believe this was a choice made deliberately to add mystery to the story, but for me it only left me wanting for a clear reason to continue to my goal.
None of this would be a problem if the game was fun. I don't need a reason to complete the game if I enjoy playing it. Zeno Clash is unique in that it tries to blend melee and ranged combat in an FPS in a way I've never seen before. The melee portion includes blocking, counter attacks, dodging, grabs, and other staples of good melee combat. The mechanics of the game is what brings it down in this respect. It would take a long time to describe exactly how frustrating it is to control the combat, but I frequently ended up performing the wrong defensive move which would result in my taking damage. Furthermore, the counterattacks don't work. Almost every time I tried to counter an enemy they would block or dodge my counterattack.
The ranged combat has similar problems. Guns are not meant to be used exclusively. You are supposed to pick up a weapon and shoot an enemy as many times as you can until they get close to you. This part feels good. Watching an enemy running towards you, it feels great to score those two big hits that send them flying on their back then pelting them with more shots until they start towards you again. When they start getting closer though is when the frustration begins. When an enemy gets close, you are meant to lock on to put away your weapon and begin melee. However, running away from an enemy breaks your lock, so if you are trying to get away, the gun comes back out. If you are hit with the gun out, it drops to the ground with whatever ammo it had, where enemies can pick it up and use it against you. In short, again, the mechanincs of this game make it very frustrating to do what you want to do, and to fight multiple enemies.
In conclusion, I wanted to like this game. I like wierd games, I like difficult games, and I like story-driven games. I HATE frustrating games, however, and this falls squarely into that last category. The mechanincs of combat don't work, the story was not holding my interest, and I felt no reason to complete the game. In addition, I found a Zeno Clash process running in the background of my PC even though I hadn't played the game in days and the game itself was not running, so my hours played are inflated. I should note I did not finish this game.
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7 of 11 people (64%) found this review helpful
5.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 6
I don't want to write a terribly long review of this game, because frankly I don't think it's deserving of one. I started off rather curious and open-minded and felt that I was initially rewarded by a quirky but fun game. The storyline had me intrigued, and as I continued to suspend disbelief and ignore a handful of "game logic" moments and repetitive fighting, I had hope that things would get better soon. I was terribly mistaken. After about 4 hours of gameplay, it feels like the dev team ran out of ideas and money. Characters you've already fought are thrown back at you time and time again, and the story completely falls apart. The ending is without a doubt the worst ending I've ever encountered in a video game. The game rewards you for believing in it's surreal world by kicking you straight in the nuts as you realize all of your confusion was entirely justified.

Unless you love the beat em up style and are prepared to fight the same characters using the same moves over and over and over again, AND can ignore massive plot holes, bad voice acting, and an unbelievably stupid story do NOT buy this game. Not even on sale. I chose to play this game on stream, and it was just frustrating, stupid, and the ending was unbelievably unsatisfying for everyone who watched.

♥♥♥♥ing Rubik's Cube
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 18
Would you like a game that's really simple yet solid, like the beat'em ups from the days of yore (but in first person view)? What about an art style that looks like the lovechild of Roger Dean and David Cronenberg on acid? A soundtrack with a wild sense of urgency? Do you want to feel like Kenshiro from Hokuto no Ken, punching people into the air, while the story discreetly discusses Sartrean Existentialism and Hobbesian societal notions? Do you want to shoot multibreasted rat people with a fishgun? What about birdmen? Then this game is for you!!!!!
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
24.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 26
This was really mediocre. The shooting sections of the game are pain-staking, and the only "joy" I got out of this game was the beat em' up sections (mostly because you can toss them around like rag dolls). Besides the interface of the game looking like Garry's Mod, the graphics look like somthing from 2008, (the rendering has some issues and bugs too). The overall plot is boring, with a few messages in the game that aren't that original, and again, you really only care for smashing faces. 3-4/10
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
22.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 3
Innovative and fun! IT combines boxing and action games into one. It's intresting experiment with fun looking graphics.
It have a lot of modes and achivments to unlock and will keep you busy if that's your thing.
On the other hand, the story-line is short and badly crafted.
Overall, a good game, but just not for everyone!
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5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
9.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 16
Best hand-to-hand system I've ever seen in a game, if you can get by some of the poorly handled gun mechanic parts.
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14 of 26 people (54%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 27
Twice I have tried desperately to play this game under the constant peer pressure of "It's so quirky but a fun beat 'em up! PLAY IT! PLAY IT YOU ♥♥♥♥!". Now I concede: I really hate this game and never want to play it again.

Yes the design and aesthetics are quirky as all hell, as are the story and dialogue. I actually love that about Zeno Clash; it's like a weird off-cut of early 2000's forays into 3D alien architecture that takes cues from someone who spent too much time flipping through microbiology books.

On the surface the controls aren't difficult and combat seems manageable, if a little grating at times. I hate blocking mechanics even moreso when your dodge or evasion system is tied to it with movement. Using weapons is a pain in the ♥♥♥ because you can't dodge with a weapon and if you're not quite in range you start kicking insead of swinging your weapon. Also it won't let me use a controller which is god damn insane. The only thing I like about the combat is how visceral and meaty it can feel at times, when it isn't completely disorienting and aggravating.

But perhaps all these problems are solely on me, and my desire for a dodge roll button or a lock-on system with a smoother option to switch between targets is an admission of weakness? I really wanted to like Zeno Clash but god help me the combat is really awful and controls like ♥♥♥♥. Maybe the sequel magically fixes everything? I don't know and I don't care to find out.

Try to get it on sale or in a bundle, but if you don't like it you shouldn't feel bad.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 4
Weird pseudo first person shooter/beat-em-up with exceptionally strange creatures in it. Not a patch on Bulletstorm for beat-em-up-fpsness but still worth a punt.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 8
Zeno Clash (and ZC II) are worth playing just to see the artwork alone. I don't even play fighting games, but I kept playing just to see it all, and wound up finishing because it was that good. Truly a classic that everyone should have a chance to play.
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