Zeno Clash 2 > General Discussions > Topic Details
Unique Profile Name Jul 31, 2013 @ 7:37am
Sequel is a disappointment
Zeno Clash 2 has two things going for it. The story, which starts to reveal truths and secrets about the world at large and had the interesting characters of the golems, and the addition of permanent weaponry which gives you powers that open up tactics and a Metroidvania-esc progression. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much it.

Nearly everything in this game is done worse. The combat, while having more layers to it, is plodding and uninvolving. The AI is near braindead and instead of the aggressive and quick opponents from the first game we get plodding enemies that tiptoe around you and throw attacks that often have no chance of hitting. The ally AI is somehow worse and good only for distracting mobs. The combat is also less diverse than the original. In the original there were some enemies that were simply too dangerous or untouchable and had to be defeated with weapons and at one point a magic torch. In 2, every single enemy is defeated by punching them. Every single one. Even the giant enemy crabs.

The visuals… most of the environments look great, especially that one open field area near the beginning, and the texture work overall is improved. But the character models look awful. I firmly blame the switch to the unreal engine. I really don’t know whose bright idea was it to use an engine that notoriously bad at rendering flesh and hair for a game that’s primarily hitting fleshy hairy things in the face.

The voice acting is atrocious. The female lead sounds almost exactly like the one the female lead in the first game had that everyone hated; I’m not sound how even non-english speakers could’ve missed that. The world APPEARS to be open world but is actually restrictive and closed in maps, and the continued absence of a jump button highlights this. The music is simplistic and lifeless compared to the first, with quite a few bad remixes of tracks from the first game. And to top everything off the game is designed around Co-op when the first game was single player, and done is a way that makes it feel like they were just jumping on the Co-op fad (which is already started to die off). I shudder to think of how much of the development probably went into this.

I really enjoyed the first game. It didn’t matter if it was short or limited or somewhat ugly, it was an exciting new type of game with a setting that’s more exotic then what you generally find in video games. I can tell they were trying to expand things with the sequel, but I also felt like they were trying to do something that they simply didn’t have the budget, manpower, and experience to do. In the end I was disappointed by a clunky and ugly game with a big empty lifeless world and questionable design across the board. It’s not BAD persay, but it’s a mediocre experience that definitely wasn’t what I expected or wanted from Zeno Clash 2 .

Worth $8? I guess. Personally I’m hoping one day that it’ll get a Witcher-esc revamp and rerelease. Though with the death of the publisher who even knows if that’s possible.
Showing 1-15 of 15 comments
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Burn504 Jul 31, 2013 @ 8:13pm 
i really liked the first.. put off buying the second until days ago.. and just cant get into it. I forgot about not being able to jump and it definitely bothers me in this one.
Arpogest Aug 3, 2013 @ 11:25am 
The one thing sequel is entirely missing are random events. Spotting a hunting Zeno with rifle or some kind of enemy variation depending on progression / daytime would make a world of difference to ZC2's open world approach. Even a simple fist fight between two beings, cause right now everything and everyone is aiming for Ghat & Rimat only.
Last edited by Arpogest; Aug 3, 2013 @ 11:26am
Burn504 Aug 3, 2013 @ 8:17pm 
i did see enemies hitting eachother but im not sure it was on purpose...lol
Arpogest Aug 3, 2013 @ 10:26pm 
But you never see them fighting each other from the start, right? From the beginning their target is always Ghat.
meterore Aug 11, 2013 @ 12:20pm 
Nice review - I agree with everything you said. The combat and enemy AI is the biggest disappointment.
Sharkey Aug 13, 2013 @ 3:17pm 
I enjoy 2 a lot for the improved combat, the story and the wonderful enviroments
However if they want to open world again in 3 some sort of climbing system and better character models is probably needed as well as better AI and maybe random events
Also I would say the voice acting has charm
Adolf Stalin Aug 14, 2013 @ 1:54am 
Rath-bird fields. Period.
sere Aug 18, 2013 @ 4:25am 
You're opinion is cool and all but the the specific reasons for which you share your disdain for the Unreal Engine 3 are not only extremely exaggarated or untrue, the engine isn't even the cause for this problem you perceive. "an engine that notoriously bad at rendering flesh and hair for a game" ...can that even be taken seriously? especially in the context of license cost for commercial games?

The game was not designed around coop in the way you suggest. There is nothing missed from the single player experience, nothing hinges on coop and there are plenty of people, such as myself, that haven't given coop one chance or a second thought that judge this game one of our favorites of all time.. coop is simply a feature to allow a friend to play, much like games from the 80's and 90's that came in boxes "Features Simultaneous 2-Player Action!!", games like Conta and Legendary Wings. I am not sure when gaming culture suddenly put "coop" on a pedastal when the simple and straight forward implementations of the idea has been in practice for over 20 years, Zeno Clash 2 uses this idea.. any classic CPS2 arcade beat em' up? Come on!

The combat was changed so that just about everything could be defeated by melee. Why you have a problem with that? I am unsure, since you can meter build and open up several strings of combos why complain that a 2 mode firing mechanic is suddenly no longer desirable? Many of us found it good balance and design and purely a matter of preference. Go play double dragon or final fight.


No offense, I think your opinion sufferes because you just don't have the experience with some of the inspirational material behind either Zeno Clash game and therefore are also at a loss with appreciating the original material.
Last edited by sere; Aug 18, 2013 @ 4:30am
JojoTheSlayer Aug 25, 2013 @ 7:43pm 
I havent played far into the game yet, but even after just playing the tutorials. Its clear that they broke the ONE thing that made Z1 great. The fighting. Sure, the setting and story was strange and decent in the first one, but it was that you felt you where in the fight that made the game good.

In Z2 they added more stuff to the fighting which could have been good, but what they failed to understand is that the difference between most beat em up games and actual fighting is that you do not do combinations action in the future like you can mentally do in say, Chess.

Its going to be a bit hard to explain, but when you punch in real life, you punch and only when your body is ready to do something else you can punch again etc. As in a game, you press to punch, but you cant press again until you are ready to punch again. In Z1 they did this good and you felt you were connected to your character when he was fighting. In Z2 they just said screw that and added Dance Dance Central like combinations you could press in one go and watch your character perform the actions long after the inputs. Pulling you strait out of the fight and screaming to your face the game isnt Z1!

Thats this games biggest sin in my view.
Everything else I could probably have put to the side if they got the fighting perfect.
LagMan_pt Aug 26, 2013 @ 9:45am 
I think the open world of zeno 2 is a very uneven experience, you have this huge scenarios some of them very artistic, but their just so lifeless and static, theres never something interesting going on except for the usual weirdness but even that is kinda taken for granted, no conversations to hear, nothing to interact with, you just run mindlessly back and forth looking for cubes and butterflies, i got bored with a lot of the questing and just wished there where more guys to punch and more challenge. Zeno 1 didnt cause this boredom because it was a more concentrated experience.What kept me going was the story (i like the new direction its going by the way) and curiosity. It doenst matter if you have a large playground when theres only sand to play with i guess. I think mostly it lacks depth and variety, I think this is the main cause most reviews of this game only rate 5 and 6. Coop could have spiced things a bit but i consider it unplayable and laggy. I feel the sequel didnt improve much the better parts of zeno 1 (manly the punching and crazy setting) it just added stuff but sometimes less is more. Overall i enjoyed the game, its a nice brawler with some punch to it, i just feel it still needs something more to be a full fledged game
Last edited by LagMan_pt; Aug 27, 2013 @ 8:21am
sere Aug 30, 2013 @ 2:24am 
Originally posted by JojoTheSlayer:
Its clear that they broke the ONE thing that made Z1 great. The fighting. Sure, the setting and story was strange and decent in the first one, but it was that you felt you where in the fight that made the game good...

...In Z2 they added more stuff to the fighting which could have been good, but what they failed to understand is that the difference between most beat em up games and actual fighting is that you do not do combinations action in the future like you can mentally do in say, Chess...

...In Z2 they just said screw that and added Dance Dance Central like combinations you could press in one go and watch your character perform the actions long after the inputs. Pulling you strait out of the fight and screaming to your face the game isnt Z1!

"Most" is not an idea that functions very well when injecting the attributes and merits of "beat-em-up" into discussing ZC2. There are too few examples or similar games to justify, "most".

"Beat-em-ups" as themselves, however, come in a wide enough variety where play-mechanics are so varied between them that again, "most" is something nearly impossible to determine. For instance, any Capcom Play System 2 brawler and its difference when compared to river city ransom.

I think the fact they made an entirely new collision system for ZC2 with plenty of trial and error results.. it should go without saying they understand alot more about physical act of fighting than you give them credit for.

There is without a doubt, though, a crucial apples to oranges comparison here concerning the combat mechanics. Many of us have been labelling ZC2 as a "beat-em-up" given the campain/level advancement and progression. Yes, ZC2 can certainly be called "beat-em-up" but therein lies the problem, that label suggests (and we too easily assumed) ZC2 will have certain mechanics that follow the "b-e-u" formula but ZC2 uses FIGHTING GAME timing and mechanics. The combos in ZC2 mimic the behavior of combos in Street Fighter in that button presses must adhere to a quickly timed sequence. Also, there is "meter building" that also mimics the meter building of most FIGHTING GAMES. Guards, Guard Breaks, Tech Hits, Parries, and Supers/Ultras. Not to mention the biggest sign of all, the scenario segue which displays the portraits of incoming enemies along with health bars derived from the same FIGHTING GAME template (subtle difference from the b-e-u templates).

The combat in ZC2 is leaps and bounds better than combat in ZC1. If punches were thrown by having to wait until the animation was over then not only would the IDEA of advance combos not work but the overall combat would be limited to very shallow experience with less demand on skill.
|>LN<| Aura89 ✂ Mar 9 @ 7:20pm 
I agree with everything the main poster said, especially about UE3...seriously, worst decision you guys could have ever made. I called it when you announced it, and ZC1 in most areas looks better then ZC2, especially character models/movement/talking, this game makes me FEEL like i am playing a "first game developed by company" and yet ZC1 gave me a "Wow, small, but so much potential, i love it!"
sere Mar 10 @ 1:51am 
Originally posted by |>LN<| Aura89 ✂:
I agree with everything the main poster said, especially about UE3...seriously, worst decision you guys could have ever made. I called it when you announced it, and ZC1 in most areas looks better then ZC2, especially character models/movement/talking, this game makes me FEEL like i am playing a "first game developed by company" and yet ZC1 gave me a "Wow, small, but so much potential, i love it!"

Is the 0.5 hours logged playtime accurate? If it is then you have not seen enough to say "ZC1 in most areas looks better than ZC2". I don't hide the fact that I am a biased fan and love Zeno Clash 2 but I can't imagine anybody who has actually played both games to their end would agree with the "first game developed by company" sentiment much less even take it serously. Not to further burst your bubble but you didn't really "call it". If you bothered to play past Halstedom you would be eating your words, especially the ones about character models/movement/talking since animations per enemy have actually increased and don't suffer from the noticable mirroring present in ZC1. Models in ZC2 are demonstrably more complex and detailed compared to ZC1 and lighting throughout the game is much busier

Scripting and AI differences between Source and UE3 can only give you so much to complain about but UE3 was the best choice they could have made in selecting a different engine for their sequel. The workings of the dynamic day and night cycle would not have been possible in Source.

Don't feel attacked, not slinging dirt here at all but please play the game until you have been through most of the bird fields as well as the desert. Very few game levels or environments (if any at all) are as initially jaw dropping as those.
|>LN<| Aura89 ✂ Mar 11 @ 8:11pm 
No, the .5 hours is incorrect, probably due to the fact that i have satellite internet and a 10gb per month cap (meaning, i turn off my internet connect if i'm not using it just in case something wants to use the bandwidth) i'm not sure

And i am absolutely sticking with what i said, and yes, i did call it, unreal engine sucks, there's very select few games that actually make the engine look good (and all of them are heavily modified versions of the engine)

I'm not going to say every aspect of ZC2 is worse then ZC1 graphics, functionally, etc., because obviously from a technical standpoint, UE3 has many things over on the source engine, plain in simple, but it doesn't mean as a whole ZC2 looks better then ZC1, and i'm sticking with the latter.

I LOVED ZenoClash, and was so hoping to get the sequel when it was announced, there was really no other game i was looking forward to for quite some time, and now that i have played it, every time i have played it, i feel "Oh ZC1...the good ol' days...what happened to you?"

Also, why exactly would the day and night cycle not be able to be done in source? I'm not sure i understand why would would think this...
sere Mar 13 @ 12:00am 
Originally posted by |>LN<| Aura89 ✂:
Also, why exactly would the day and night cycle not be able to be done in source? I'm not sure i understand why would would think this...

Sorry, I mentioned the day and night cycle without explaining why it was worth bringing up. ACE explained it as a feature that utilizes real time lighting in an atypical way that not only ps3 and 360 versions of zc2 couldn't handle but other engines as well. They have the technical details when reading their article but sadly, I do not have the link handy right this moment. It was, however, and element once brought to your attention.. could make you go, "oooohhhh" for not noticing before or maybe just for being a person who appreciates the finer details or subtle touches. It was only in the PC ZC2, I will try to find the link here soon.
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