Clash: Artifacts of Chaos is a game that defies easy categorization. It is an action-adventure game with elements of beat ’em up, souls-like, and platforming. It is also a game that takes place in a surreal and grotesque world of Zenozoik, where human-like creatures fight for survival and power using their fists and strange artifacts.
The game is developed by ACE Team, the same studio behind the previous Zeno Clash games, which were first-person brawlers with a similar aesthetic. However, Clash: Artifacts of Chaos switches to a third-person perspective and introduces a new protagonist: Pseudo, a hermit who lives in isolation with a mysterious creature called the Boy. Pseudo’s peaceful life is disrupted when he is attacked by mercenaries working for an unknown enemy who seeks to capture the Boy and his artifact. Pseudo must then embark on a perilous journey across different regions of Zenozoik, fighting enemies and bosses along the way. The story seems a bit cliché, but is deep enough to keep you hooked just enough to finish the game.
The gameplay of Clash: Artifacts of Chaos revolves around melee combat, which is fast-paced and brutal. Pseudo can use his fists or various weapons to attack enemies, as well as dodge, block, parry, counterattack, and execute finishing moves. The combat system is responsive and satisfying, but also challenging and unforgiving. Enemies can deal heavy damage and knock Pseudo down if he is not careful. The game also features some souls-like mechanics such as stamina management, checkpoints that restore health but respawn enemies, currency that can be lost upon death but retrieved later, and upgrades that can be purchased from vendors.
The game also has some platforming sections that require Pseudo to jump across gaps or climb walls using his artifact. The artifact is a metal sphere that can be thrown at certain surfaces to create temporary platforms or hooks. The artifact can also be used in combat to stun enemies or activate environmental hazards. The platforming sections are not very difficult but add some variety to the gameplay.
The game’s most striking feature is its art style, which is colorful and bizarre. The game’s world is filled with strange creatures, landscapes, structures, and artifacts that create a sense of wonder and curiosity. The game’s graphics are not very realistic, but have a unique charm and personality. The game’s sound design is also impressive, with fitting music tracks for each region and sound effects that enhance the impact of combat.
The game’s technical performance on PC seems to be relatively solid even on medium grade PC graphic cards. Considering the fidelity of the graphics, it was surprising to see there didn’t seem to be many cases of stuttering, occasional crashes, or graphical glitches such as missing textures or models during gameplay. The game provides ample graphical optimization options if you do run into any issues.
Why are there No Multiplayer Modes in Clash: Artifacts of Chaos?
One of the biggest flaws of Clash: Artifacts of Chaos might be its replay value considering the developers didn’t add any type of multiplayer component. Similar to Marvel Avengers, some might feel the gameplay gets repetitive. When the game was first announced it was advertised as possibly having multiplayer modes, but some time later in a post on Steam the developers explained how the game became so complex that they had to discontinue the development around the online coop modes. They made sure to remove all mentions of online capabilities from the product pages, so people didn’t feel misled.
Overall, Clash: Artifacts of Chaos is a fun and creative game that offers a unique and visceral combat experience in a weird and wonderful world. If you are looking for an artsy action game with a twist, you might want to give this one a try.