XBLA Zeno Clash lets you bash in faces, won’t hurt your wallet

When Zeno Clash Ultimate Edition hits Xbox LIVE Arcade this March, gamers are in for a heck of a deal. Atlus, the game’s publisher, tells us the game should cost “no more than 1200 MS Points.”

I had a chance to preview the game — an updated version of the award-winning independent PC title — and I have to say, that’s one hell of a deal. This isn’t a direct port of the PC title, either — developer ACE Team has worked in a number of tweaks that should have even fans of the original perking up their ears.

Visually, the title (which is powered by the latest version of Valve’s Source Engine) has been given a slight overhaul; the tech, coupled with the bizarre world of Zeno Clash, makes it one of the best-looking XBLA games to date. Also new to the title is a cooperative challenge mode, which allows players to team up with a friend (online or off, via split-screen) to fight off waves of bizarre combatants, using brutal melee attacks and a curious selection of firearms.

I was also interested to hear that the voice of Deadra, the game’s NPC female protagonist, was re-cast and re-recorded for Ultimate Edition. According to Atlus, fans had expressed they felt the original voiced dialogue was… strange. Considering what a trippy mind-job Zeno Clash is to begin, think about that for a second.

Spanning 19 chapters, the game’s single-player experience should run the average gamer anywhere from six to eight hours. Coupled with the game’s cooperative mode and other surprises Atlus still hasn’t revealed, “no more than 1200 MS Points” sounds like it could be one of the best deals on XBLA.

Zeno Clash Ultimate Edition is set for release on Xbox LIVE Arcade this March; there are no plans for PlayStation Network version at this time.

Nick Chester