Clash: Artifacts of Chaos from NACON and ACE Team is an action game that places you in the role of secluded martial arts expert Pseudo in the strange land of Zenozoik. Check our Clash: Artifacts of Chaos review!
Clash: Artifacts of Chaos from NACON and ACE Team is an action game that places you in the role of secluded martial arts expert Pseudo in the strange land of Zenozoik. That means this new adventure takes place in the same setting as 2009’s Zeno Clash and 2013’s sequel Zeno Clash 2. You are called into action when your path crosses that of The Boy, a small creature that possesses great powers that, unfortunately, get the attention of Gemini, the Mistress of the Artifacts. It’s then that Pseudo decides the best course of action is to protect The Boy. You will, therefore, need to find the Great Artifacts that will make it possible to tip the scales in your favor, but… at what cost?
Before you begin, you can decide how you want the game to be displayed, so you’ll choose the rendering style for the graphics: if you want to have animated lines or not. You can further refine this in the settings menu under Rendering Style, where you can also change the graphics to a black and white presentation, as well as fine-tune the hatching lines distortion, hatching lines size, and reduce or increase the overall effect.
How will you take on the journey that Clash: Artifacts of Chaos has to offer? During the day, you’ll control Pseudo himself. During the night, you’ll control his dream form. This is important because there are some areas that Pseudo can’t reach during the day. Why? Because they’re locked away from him thanks to the many thorny bushes he’ll find. Since he would very much like to keep all of his flesh, you’ll have to wait until the night to use Psedo’s wooden dream form to walk past them without being killed in the process.
Once you get going, you’ll control your character with the left analog stick as you use the right one to control the camera. You can press in on the left analog stick to run. The X button will be for jumping, with the Circle button allowing you to dodge incoming attacks. You can attack enemies with the Square button, and you can unleash a Special Attack with the Triangle button that will be slower but more powerful. If you want to survive, you’ll need to make good use of your parry, which is mapped to the L1 button. You’ll also need to search for empty fireplaces where you can set camp so that you can then carry on your adventure from there, as well as sleep until it’s nighttime.
You can switch stances by pressing left or right on the D-Pad, depending on which stances you’ve managed to unlock. The game will offer you three different options at the start – Slash Stance, Boxing Stance, and Spear Stance – and you’ll get to pick a starting stance. By changing stance, your attacks will change the types of attacks you use, as well as the Special Attack you can use. By pressing in on the right analog stick to lock onto an enemy, you’ll be able to rush forward to attack your opponent, dodge before one of their attacks can land, and then counter with a new combo of regular hits followed by a Special Attack.
As you battle against opponents, you’ll start to fill up the gauge at the bottom left corner of the screen. Once that yellow bar is full, you’ll be able to engage in first-person melee combat. During first-person melee combat, you’ll have a new set of attacks. Deal enough damage, and you’ll get to perform a special and powerful finisher attack. Once the bar is full, press the R1 button to go into first-person melee combat, which will certainly remind you of the cult classic Zeno Clash and its sequel.
On the upper left corner of the screen will be a Stamina Guard meter. Many of Pseudo’s actions will consume some of the Stamina Guard, so you’ll need to keep an eye on it while in combat. Pseudo will automatically guar as long as there’s some of the Stamina Guard left, which will lower damage received by 50% while also experiencing less knockback. This will allow you to quickly recover from a mistake so that you can unleash some combos and dodge other attacks before an enemy can overwhelm you.
While playing through Clash: Artifacts of Chaos, you’ll be able to collect a variety of ingredients. By moving them from your adventurer’s bag to a cauldron, you’ll be able to prepare health brews. Depending on the ingredients you use, your health brew can end up with some additional properties that go beyond just restoring some of your lost health. You can have as many health brews as you have flasks for. When you sleep in the tent, any empty flasks will be filled with water, which is good for restoring 25% of your health. You can heal your wounds by pressing the R2 button.
Oh, and let’s not forget about the Ritual! The Ritual is a short game of chance and strategy in which each participant will choose a Consequence Artifact to participate. Only the player who wins the Ritual can activate their Artifact. Doing this will grant an advantage to the combat segment that will follow. You’ll throw a set of dice to try and get the higher total number, which does require a bit of luck.
You can also use Tchaks to affect the value of the dice in the play area. Choose which Tchack you’ll use and where you’ll place it on the playing area to affect the dice within its area of effect. Whoever has the highest dice score at the end of the Ritual will win the match. By pressing the Touchpad on the DualSense, you’ll be able to configure your Ritual Belt. By doing this, you’ll b able to assign better Tchaks to your belt so that you can increase your odds of winning the Ritual minigame.
As you defeat more and more enemies and bosses, you’ll gain experience points. Once Pseudo obtains enough, he’ll get to level up, which will reward you with some Skill Points. Skill Points can be spent at the dummy at camp to boost Power, Endurance, Aggressiveness, and Constitution. Power will increase damage dealt as well as a stun for all combat stances and attacks. Endurance will boost your Stamina Guard ring. Aggressiveness will boost your Attack Bar so that it’s filled up at a faster pace. Constitution will increase damage resistance as well as stun resistance.
The game was originally launched back in March, and it has recently received a major update that adds some quality-of-life improvements, along with some extra content. There were many bugs that got squashed, and we’re now even getting a New Game Plus mode that unlocks once you complete the game and the credits have rolled. You’ll be able to start all over again while keeping all of your character’s upgrades while having to take on more powerful and deadly enemies and bosses. You’ll also get access to new content exclusive to this mode, such as new war paint for Pseudo, new hats for The Boy, and an extra armor set that you’ll need to find within the world of Clash: Artifacts of Chaos.
Clash: Artifacts of Chaos offers some additional options that you can tinker with to customize your experience. These include changing the field of view in the third-person and first-person perspectives, adjusting the camera sensitivity, enabling or disabling subtitles, changing the language, and inverting the Y-axis. You can also decide if the game should load large areas at specific transition zones in order to favor performance or if it should stream everything as you go in a seamless way. You can also change the team color for the Ritual minigame and even adjust the subtitle font size, something that all games should have available.
And now, let’s talk about the trophies! Clash: Artifacts of Chaos has a full trophy list with a Platinum trophy waiting for you. On top of that, this is a Cross-Buy title, so if you own a PlayStation 5 console, you’ll be able to download the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 versions of the game, with each one featuring its own trophy list. Each list is split into 6 Bronze trophies, 8 Silver trophies, and 7 Gold trophies. Many of them will pop as you progress through the game, but there are several that will require you to find many items for Pseudo’s physical and dream form so that you can equip him with sets of armor that will boost his stats. You’ll also have to find all special attacks, as well as create a handful of weapons for Pseudo to use in combat.
Clash: Artifacts of Chaos is an action game that places you in the role of secluded martial arts expert Pseudo in the strange land of Zenozoik, the same world where cult classic Zeno Clash and its sequel. It’s a game where you won’t be able to button-mash your way to victory since most creatures in this land can destroy Pseudo in a couple of hits. You’ll need to attack, dodge, and attack again as you chip away at each enemy’s health. This is twice as true for bosses, who can destroy you in a blink.
Clash: Artifacts of Chaos is available as a Cross-Buy release, so your $39.99 purchase will allow you to download the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 versions of the game at no extra cost. There’s also the Clash: Artifacts of Chaos Zeno Edition available for $49.99, which includes the base game, the Supporter Pack, which includes 2 Zeno Clash-inspired armor sets for Pseudo, three customization items for The Boy, and an exclusive artifact to use in the Ritual, as well as the game’s official digital artbook and the original soundtrack.
This Clash: Artifacts of Chaos review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by NACON.