Zenith comes from the relatively young game development and distribution company BadLand games, who have been on a bit of roll in recent times, but are something of a niche Anima, Technomancer, Pro Cycling Manager and the dominant WRC series and Farming Simulator ‘17. Zenith came through the Steam Greenlight programme.
The story of the Zenith brings you into focus of the character of Argus, a sword wielding retired wizard and arcanologyst with dry sarcasm and I don’t a flying f**k attitude, which is to be commended for an Action RPG, RPGs have had their fair share of smartasses, There were times when felt like I’m playing with Bruce Campbell. Profanities throughout. Brought into access to an ancient vault, get a sacred spectre… and that’s when it all goes pair shaped. It would be all too easy to say, it is a paint by numbers RPG from this point on, alas being roped in with pop culture references, multiple videogame in-jokes and parodies on display throughout which keep you wondering and quest-ing for what comes next. Two particular ones stand out early on, as not to spoil too much. Is Claude an oversized sword swinging adventurer with blonde spiky emo hair, who can’t stand up straight. Opening a glowing chest to a familiar Zelda-esque tune… only for him to sport and hold aloft ‘You’ve found a compass!’ “Pfft Junk” before tossing it away.
Combat and graphics feel rough around the edge, functionable. Lest not forget this is budgeted indie title. Zenith is not voice acted, which is fine lots of text, a little too much in some exchanges, though this is to mock on the JRPG irrelevant conversations. So we get it.
Music plays a part in any title adding to the ambiance and taking the player through an emotional journey with the action and conversation on screen, Zeniths music is a double edged sword, albeit blunt. It is bold and empowering, catchy Victorian style overture, bombasting strokes of a violin and blows of a tuba, echoing of an orchestra playing the theme to Fable. Only the pieces are around about a minute each, then repeat over and over. An irritating sound glitch is a glaring issue, when you go in and out of the inventory there is a note 5 times higher in volume to the game sound. Which may stun and deafen if listening on headphones.
There is a surprising large scale adventure to be had in the world of Zenith, it’s likely many will struggle, overpowered bosses can ravage a lifebar in seconds, where multiple attempts are required – strangely jarring as the game has a good flow action wise outside of the boss encounters. Having now gotten free to explore the world from the games earlier trundle, time to really ARPG Balders Gate style hacking, slashing and laying the magic blasting smackdown.
You’re welcome to come explore the world of Zenith, for a good price too!
PlayStation 4 Boxed:
Xbox One Digital:
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