There's a great moment in an early Simpsons episode, 'Lisa the Vegetarian', when after watching an Itchy & Scratchy cartoon Lisa notes the violence carries a serious message. Bart counters that it's just about laughing at people getting hit, and as he moves to leave the room Homer slams open the door in his face. The twin poles of chin-stroking and gratuity, brought together by slapstick - and a perfectly timed punchline. Violence as entertainment, in a nutshell.
Zeno Clash 2 is violence as interactive entertainment, a slightly different thing that's never been quite as neatly caught. Often it means shooting fruit-headed foreigners with assault rifles. But this singular world of anthropomorphic weirdos offers an earthier, much less dignified take - a place where everything is settled with fists. From start to finish this is a game about repeatedly punching humans and other animals in whatever they have for a face and, if nothing else, you have to admire that purity of vision.
It is this game's guiding light. Oddly shaped opponents line up and then get duffed up, with everything from piledriver finishers to flying fist-slams awaiting beyond the basic hooks. Left and right attacks are basic jabs, while holding either button charges haymakers and uppercuts; basic alternation, plus a few throws on stunned enemies, will finish off most everything.
UPDATE: Out on EU consoles "later in May at the earliest."
Update 2: Sadly Atlus has responded that Zeno Clash 2 won't arrive on EU consoles until "later in May at the earliest." Boo-urns!
Update: A recent e-mail advertisement for Zeno Clash 2 has listed the 30th release date as being applicable to both Xbox 360 and PS3 as well as Steam. This appears to refer to the North American PSN release, so it will likely hit XBLA in both NA and Europe on Wed, 1st May. [Editor's note: The marketing materials are misleading and in fact the release date only refers to the Steam release. The console versions are still to be determined.] We're still looking into whether it will arrive on the European PSN this week too.
Original story: ACE Team's sequel to its surreal dadaist first-person brawler Zeno Clash is due out next week PC, but in the meantime the developer has comprised a video detailing its numerous additions since we last set foot in Zenozoik.
You can now level up your character's "leadership."
New footage of the surreal dadaist first-person brawler Zeno Clash 2 has emerged in the recently released trailer below.
The sequel to ACE Team's cult-classic will allow you to play as either Ghat, the rebellious cavepunk hero from the first game, or his sister Rimat, who was previously an antagonist. Th sequel will support drop-in/drop-out co-op.
There aren't a whole lot of new mechanics detailed in the new trailer, but if you look closely you'll see that you can level up your character's health, strength, stamina and leadership, which suggests a greater RPG structure. There's also a map that implies this sequel will have more exploration than its aggressively linear predecessor.