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.