Clash: Artifacts of Chaos

Clash: Artifacts of Chaos

Could have done with a little more order during the development.

Clash Artifacts of Chaos

Sometimes a game comes along that’s just… weird and Chilean studio ACE Team’s latest game Clash: Artifacts of Chaos is very much that.  On paper it’s an action-adventure title that has a focus on melee combat which seems pretty normal, but fire it up and it’s a really unique experience that is set in the Zeno Clash universe.  In itself that was a bit of an odd duck of a title, being a first-person fighter/shooter.  So if you have played it or its sequel you’ll have an idea of the world you’re in.

You play as Pseudo – a martial artist who becomes the bodyguard of the “Boy” – a small creature (bird thing) with healing powers.  But, as is the way, you can’t have powers in these worlds without someone wanting to take them from you, and here it’s the tyrant Gemini and her henchmen that are out to stop you.  It’s your job to stop them and protect the boy at all costs, as well as a number of other odd, random and weird things.  To be fair to the tale, world and characters you meet in Clash: Artifacts of Chaos, it has a real sense of intrigue to it all, as you honestly don’t have a clue what is going on 9 times out of 10.  Gameplay is also “strange” as you start by picking a combat stance from Slash, Boxing and Spear, though there are more you will unlock and you’ll even be able to combo them later in the game.  Your starting stance will teach you the ropes of movement and dodging as well as parrying and the games interesting combo system that’s split between attack direction, as well as strength of the attack.  Then there is the ultimate ability where you can beat seven shades out of enemies, but in first person which is a twist and arcs back to the studio’s roots.

Combat could have been a fast paced affair where you duck and dive to then unleash a flurry of attacks, but in reality it’s all a bit stiff and slow, with enemies serving as nothing more than punching bags that swing the odd punch or two.  You can grab a few weapons as well, which tries to mix things up but never really has the impact you would hope for.  Then there are the Ritual battles that often happen before bigger fights, which are based on a dice and artefact game – that will grant a tactical advantage to the winner from a range of different options, such as an extra ally or a fog cloud.  When not battling in Clash: Artifacts of Chaos you can rest at camps where you’ll level up and sleep, because at night your “spirit” leaves your body and you can access areas that are blocked off to you during the day.  This sees you getting to explore the world a bit more, though the world isn’t the easiest to navigate if we are being honest.

Visually the game is very striking with a comic book/watercolour look… full of lush colours and characters in equal measures and is easily one of the game’s biggest selling points as it’s a joy to see unfold.  Soundtrack wise again it’s a cracker full of emotional strings and choir tones, with a real vibe of an epic RPG at times.  Voice acting however is like the gameplay… a bit lost and weird at times.  Clash: Artifacts of Chaos is a mix bag on all fronts, pinching ideas for other titles, while forging fresh ones that just don’t stick together that well.  Is it different?  Yes.  Is it weird?  Yes.  Is it worth your time?  Maybe… it’s a world full of wonder, but be warned the gameplay just lets it down too much and too often.

An Xbox review copy of Clash: Artifacts of Chaos was provided by ACE Team’s PR team, and the game is out now on Xbox, PlayStation and PC for around £30.

The Verdict


The Good: Weird | Visually stunning | Not afraid to try something different

The Bad: Weird | Sluggish and slow paced combat | Hard to navigate world

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Stuart Cullen

Scotland’s very own thorn in the side of the London gaming scene bringing all the hottest action straight from The Sun… well… The Scottish Sun at least, every week!

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