Tuesday, 26 January 2016


Zheros is the beat ‘em up brought to you by Rimlight Studios which is currently free for Xbox Live Gold subscribers. I played my fair share of the free Games with Gold games each month but this one stood out for many reasons. The main being it is a retro styled, button bashing heap of joy set on stealing precious hours of your life sending you on a cliché ‘quest’ to save the galaxy from a dangerous villain. That never gets old.

You are given the option of two hero’s. The blonde haired, ape like super soldier mike or his agile red haired counterpart, Dorian. Neither have a back story nor does the game itself.
Zheros starts with a long cut scene filled with the usual suited villain sending his army to invade a colony on to be squandered by the hero’s timely arrival. None of the characters speak so the occasional grunt has to suffice. Once you are past the intro, you are thrown straight into action with barely any instructions or controller hints. I would take a few moments to open up the controller layout through the start menu and familiarise yourself before proceeding. The game itself initially looks fantastic. The cartoonish graphics and level style really throw you back to those arcade days. But as you proceed further through the 20 levels you realise that every level looks very similar to the last. Each level is linear with absolutely no exploring available. This was a disappointment as I was hoping to have a little modern twist where I could side track and look for those hidden treasures.

You can fight with your hands or shoot with your gun but combos are essential to defeating the almost endless packs of enemies. Using combos also leaves you defenceless against other enemy’s attacks which can become increasingly frustrating as the majority of enemies are in groups. You also have a shield which can become useful if faced with ranged attacks.
The enemies themselves consist of basic style robots which attack either by shooting, melee or dropping/throwing bombs. They attack in groups and are relentless.
Zheros has a little RPG feel though as throughout the level you earn RP points based on combo’s, speed and evades. These points are presented at the end of each level and can then be spent on upgrading your gun, melee or shield increasing their effectiveness.

But the most frustrating thing with Zheros is the lack of checkpoints. Some levels have the one while other don’t have any meaning that if you die, you must restart the level. You could have defeated all the enemies in the level to then miss the ledge when jumping a gap and falling to your death forcing you to restart. This in itself is enough to turn some players away as repeating levels can become very tedious.
All in all Zheros was fun to begin with but quickly became a long and frustrating experience.

Story  1/10
Graphics 6/10
Gameplay 3/10

Overall  3/10

Oh Cushions

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