If you missed ACE Team's first-person melee title, and indie darling, Zeno Clash on PC earlier this year you'll have a second chance next March when the title comes to Xbox Live Arcade, courtesy of publisher Atlus. This won't be a straight port, however: "New modes –including all-new cooperative mode for the Tower Challenges –new features, and added content combine with a series of tweaks and improvements based on fan feedback to deliver the definitive version of the critically-acclaimed game." No word on if these "definitive" changes will make their way back to the original PC release.
I'm surprised nobody replied to the topic before, the game looks amazing. The protagonist looks like Ink from the movie Ink. I assume its fairly short if the a XBLA release only. Hopefully only 1200 points and not 1600, otherwise I'll be waiting for a sale price on it.
1. Can you talk a little about your role in the production of Zeno Clash?
Carlos: In Zeno Clash I basically worked as co-design lead with Andres Bordeu and also as an artist and producer. I even worked in audio. When you form an independent studio and are developing your first game, you end up working in a lot of different areas, which can be quite overwhelming, but also very interesting and fun.
Edmundo: I worked in art direction, writing, 3d and 2d artwork, level design… just as Carlos, I worked in a lot of different areas.
2. Where did you get the idea to do a game of this type? How did you come up with such a strange world?
Carlos: We drew a lot of inspiration from unconventional sources and decided to avoid basing our work on current popular trends. We looked at the medieval punk fantasy art of John Blanche of the 1980’s, the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch and the movie ‘The Dark Crystal’. We knew we had to make a game with a distinct style and a lot of visual impact… that was our goal.
Edmundo: When writing the story, I decided to take the term “punk fantasy” seriously, and deduct from that concept what the world could be like: I thought it should be a land without a state or authority of any kind, where every character has his own values, which of course would create a very chaotic society. But I still thought it would be good to have some kind of authority figure in the world to be the antagonist of the story.
The only form of authority which has never disappeared in the world is the natural authority parents have over their children, so that influenced the creation of the “Father-Mother” character, who is the most powerful creature in the city because he/she has many children.
3. How did you go about refining the first-person fighting mechanics? Did you look at any other games to see how they approached it?
Carlos: The very first approach we did to first person combat mechanics was before several first person fighting games like ‘Condemned’ and ‘The Chronicles of Riddick’ were released. Our first version of this game was developed many years ago on former Lithtech’s Jupiter System (the engine of the game ‘No One lives Forever 2’), but that project was unsuccessful and we had to re-think our design when we evolved to the Source Engine. I think it is fortunate that we designed our own approach to melee combat before many of the more popular melee fighting games were released, because we basically designed this from our own angle instead of trying to implement it in a way that someone else did and to try to improve that. We obviously had a look at what was done in other titles, but we used it as a reference to see what felt better and what felt worse compared to our own solution.
4. Although the central idea is first-person brawls, there are other stages where things are mixed up a little, like boss stages where you use a hammer or a rifle. How much effort was it to keep things fresh, both from a gameplay and world design perspective?
Carlos: It was a lot of effort because of the work involved in adding new features and also because for the PC game basically David Caloguerea was the only programmer. I really think that for a project this size David did an incredible job. Adding any new game mode meant a whole bunch of extra work from the development team and I still am quite impressed that we were capable of doing all we had to do.
It was very important for us to break apart from the regular melee combat from time to time. I think the game would have been too repetitive if we would have only based it on fighting levels. But it is important to say that we are adding new attacks and weapons to the Ultimate Edition and this will make the combat even more varied and interesting.
Andres: Actually, when we developed some of the alternative stages we were somewhat concerned that the new gameplay mechanics would feel underdeveloped when compared to the rest of the game. Our first iterations of the ‘endworld’ section were a little dull so we spent a lot of time thinking how to create an interesting experience that allowed you to take a break from the hectic combat. Surprisingly though, after the game was released, we read many very positive comments from those sections. Many people enjoyed the change of pacing –even during the boat trip level where the game is focusing on character development and the player is confined to a small space.
5. How did the idea to do a 360 version come about?
Carlos: We always wanted to create a game for all platforms, but for a startup studio getting a game published on a console is too hard (especially if you’re from Chile). It was the success of the PC game which has allowed us to create a special version for the Xbox 360, and we’re very happy to be able to reach the console crowd with our bizarre title.
Andres: We were approached on more than one occasion by Microsoft before we teamed up with Atlus. The game generated a lot of buzz and the post release scenario put us in touch with a lot of people. We got many requests from the community to get the game on the Xbox 360 and we felt it would fit really well in the XBLA catalogue.
6. Are you going to make any tweaks or changes based on feedback from the PC version?
Carlos: Definitely! One of the main changes is adding coop play for the tower challenges. We have been asked for some sort of multiplayer component for a long time and we’re happy to be including that now. There are several things we are doing with the game… I definitely think there is going to be a lot of new content to look at.
Andres: We’re always listening to the feedback we get from the game community. As developers we’re really active at the official forums discussing with people who are playing the game or just want to learn more about the crazy world we created. We’re also always on the lookout for reviews and media reactions. It’s important for us to stay in touch with our fans and the media because through their input we can improve our future games. We’re going to be really active in the web after we release ‘Zeno Clash: Ultimate Edition’.
7. Anything else you’d like to tell people about Zeno Clash?
Carlos: The game is a surreal adventure in a completely alien world, and it’s like nothing else out there. I think a lot of console gamers will be impressed by the game and those who might think it is a bit too weird for them: Play the trial when it is out and give it a try. I’m sure you’ll be surprised. Where else can you play a game where the antagonist is a huge hermaphrodite creature, eh?
Just finished seeing the game and it's shaping up quite nicely. Pricing wasn't announced, but they did mention that it'll be 1200 points at most. That is a good price for an upgraded port of the PC version that was $20.
The controls look like they're being adapted to the 360 controller well, as melee attacks are put on the right and left triggers (normal and power attacks, respectively) and shooting controls are like most with zoom on LT and fire on RT.
Besides the story mode, the Tower Challenge mode from the PC version returns with co-op, both online and offline, so you can team up with a friend to fight enemies and see how you rank with others around the world. There is more that Atlus will be revealing, but we only got hints to what else they have to show off.
I did get to see achievements and half of them (points and number) are Tower Challenge-related for beating them, so that is a big part of the game.
This game has intrigued me since it's PC release (but I am horrible at most games with a mouse and keyboard). I will definitely be downloading the demo and can't wait to check it out. Price will be the big factor for me too.
Atlus U.S.A., Inc. today revealed a previously unannounced gameplay mode, Zeno Rush, for the upcoming first-person brawler Zeno Clash: Ultimate Edition™ for Xbox LIVE® Arcade for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft.
Zeno Rush mode lets players compete against themselves and each other (via online leaderboards) in trying to complete select scenarios from the single-player campaign in the shortest times possible. With the focus being on speed and efficiency, mastery of the game's sophisticated melee combat system and the various special moves at the player's disposal is critical. The addition of the Timehammer, a new weapon with the ability to shave seconds off a player's Zeno Rush time, adds a fun new element to the visceral battles Zeno Clash is known for.
While it missed its original release date, Zeno Clash: Ultimate Edition is still scheduled for release in Spring 2010. A new official release date will be made public as soon as possible.
Rush mode has been revealed as a sort of challenge mode to test your skills against others.
Release Date has been revealed along with a new trailer:
ATLUS ANNOUNCES NEW OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE FOR ZENO CLASH: ULTIMATE EDITION, UNVEILS "CHARACTER GALLERY AND AWARENESS SYSTEM" VIDEO
Remember remember the 5th of...May?
IRVINE, CALIFORNIA -- APRIL 28, 2010 -- Atlus U.S.A., Inc. today announced that the upcoming first-person brawler Zeno Clash: Ultimate Edition™ for Xbox LIVE® Arcade for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft will finally be available for your punching, kicking, and headbutting pleasure on May 5, 2010.
Additionally, Atlus released a new video featuring the Character Gallery and Awareness System in the game. As players progress through the game and meet intriguing new characters, they will be unlocked in the gallery and available for viewing at any time. The awareness system provides an enhanced interface for fighting, helping the player keep better track of who they're up against and where they're located via handy on-screen indicators. This allows the player to fight more efficiently, especially when they're up against more than one enemy.
Zeno Clash: Ultimate Edition will be available on Xbox LIVE® Arcade on May 5, 2010. Visit the official game website (www.zenoclash.com) for more information.
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