Every now and then, I’m tasked with reviewing a game that is so incredibly not fun that it truly makes me question why I play video games. ZHEROS not only did this, but it also made me call into question why I even continue to wake up in the morning knowing that, while very slim, there is a possibility that some poor soul could be trapped on an island with only this game downloaded to his PlayStation 4. Suffice to say, I wasn’t very impressed with Rimlight Studio’s first venture, being more akin to something you’d get in a box of cereal or a kid’s meal from a fast-food joint than an actual game made for non-marketing reasons.
“ZHEROS” is a sci-fi beat-em-up in which you take control of either a large-chinned baboon man, pink-haired rent-a-center Zarya, or a stereotypical Asian robot woman who occasionally mimics Bruce Lee to battle very much endless waves of robot hordes. As far as I can tell the story consists of an evil space man with a truly evil top hat who for some reason, is sending a massive robot army to attack a space lab. The reason I’m not very familiar with the story is because it consists of literally one cutscene with no dialog. I’m not exaggerating; one cutscene. But hey, classic beat-em-ups aren’t known for their high depth of storytelling right?
Beat-em-ups are mostly about, brace yourself, beating people up. It’s the face paced, over-the-top action that takes place on various levels and against varied enemies that make for a great beat-em-up. If you’re looking for such things, keep looking. The combat is clunky, unintuitive, and irritating. Relying on unlocking and mastering new combos instead of moves, the core gameplay just doesn’t fit with the beat-em-up style. You’ll find yourself overwhelmed every time you try to pull off a combo. The game is amazingly difficult, and it’s mostly due to poor design. Checkpoints are poorly spaced or completely non-existent, meaning one wrong move can and will set you back 10-15 minutes, while simultaneously crushing your soul.
The gameplay is so repetitive I honestly had to force myself to play this title. Every section of every level feels exactly the same. For lack of better words, the game is just not fun. If the combat felt right, if the enemies and/or levels were interesting, that would be enough to keep me going. However, when everything is just as bland and similar as the last, it just takes a toll. They do attempt to mix it up with a few platforming sections, but if I go into detail, I’ll get flashbacks and end up having an aneurism.
The game consists of two worlds; Space Lab and Forest. Both are nice looking at first glance, but once you realize that every level in these worlds look nearly identical to the last, the aesthetic of seeing a massive metal tank and cables for the four millionth time will begin to wear off. The visuals are decent. The color scheme is actually pretty vibrant and interesting to look at. While it’s not the most original looking game, it does well to pass the bar and doesn’t hit us with the same dull brown colors as most games have been sticking with these days.
The sound design is minimal. I say that because it’s basically not there. A few crashes, smashes and grunts, mixed with some of the most forgettable music I’ve ever come across, it fits perfectly with the rest of the game; being forgettable. The best thing about the game is the availability of local co-op. It’s the perfect tool for sadists who enjoy making those closest to them suffer. Really, it’s just experiencing the same game with a soon to be former friend, but I applaud the inclusion of it.
+ Local Co-op
– Frustrating controls
– Insanely repetitive
– Will make you question your will to live
Sound and music: 1/5
Replay value: 1/5
In overall, “ZHEROS” is a rather mediocre and flawed beat-em-up game. Furthermore, I really dislike that this is the first outing from Rimlight Studios. As the game is so very lackluster. So I wish the best for them in future releases, but I must encourage people to avoid this game. As it’s repetitiveness, difficulty, and overall lack of any character whatsoever leaves you with a game that is more suitable for prisoner interrogation than entertainment.
Developer: Rimlight Studios
Release date: 2016-11-14
Spent time: +5 hours
Average grade internationally: 47%
PEGI age rating: 3+
Price: 9,99 USD
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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