Game Review: Zenith (Xbox One)


Developed by Infinigon & published by BadLand Games, Zenith is an action RPG that tries to combines classic gameplay with comedic storytelling & fails miserably at both.

The story surrounds Argus, a wizard who was responsible for causing the apocalypse. Many years later he sets out to right the wrongs. All alongside a band of characters that he meets along the way. An unlikable anti-hero, it’s a real struggle to get behind him as a character.

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From the start the biggest problem with Zenith becomes apparent. It just doesn’t know when to shut up. This game has so much dialogue & so many pointless conversations. Ones that drag an already boring experience to even lower levels.

So much of it feels contrived & forced with constant, beat you over the head, references to other games & franchises. It’s often cringe-inducing to see a game like this poke fun at Final Fantasy, Skyrim or The Witcher when they are far superior releases.

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This isn’t smart writing, it’s lazy as most of the humour tries to come from this or the over use of the world ‘fuck’. For some reason Infinigon seems to think the idea of fantasy characters swearing non-stop is hilarious. It’s not. It’s distracting & childish.

A painful experience to play with bare bones role-playing elements & a seemingly pointless levelling up system. The latter is based around the armour pieces that you equip with each offering differing bonuses (often minor) towards weapons & magic.

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There is a skill tree but you won’t know when you’ve earned skill points as the game doesn’t notify you of this. I played through almost half the game without realising it even existed. When you do get points to spend the skills are so useless giving the most minor of stat boosts & within a couple of hours you’ll have most of them unlocked.

Combat is about as much fun as stepping on a piece of Lego bare-footed. In the style of a hack & slasher, enemies just run & you attacking constantly. To fight back, you do the same.

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That’s it. Most battles seem to come down to whom has the most health as you blindly hammer the button to attack while getting hit yourself. There is a dodge & shield function but you can’t attack while using them so they are mostly pointless.

Your only other mode of attack is the one that you’ll use the most. Magic projectiles & area attacks that are often the most effective way to defeat enemies. Even then you’ll be constantly on the move as the enemy just keeps on coming. It’s relentless but at least in the open world they can be avoided.

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The game has some notable tough-difficulty spikes, often when facing off against bosses. The final boss in particular is surprisingly tough for a game that rarely challenges except for when you reach the aforementioned spikes.

The game is very generous with its health potions, however you can only use one per minute resulting in a lot of running around avoiding enemy attacks while you wait for the timer to recharge.

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There are a number of differing locations for you to visit throughout your 10-12 hour play-through but most fail to inspire. You’ll find yourself avoiding any that aren’t related to the story. Often this is because of the horrendous loading times but you’ll often end up having no choice but to explore. As the game frustratingly chooses to give no arrow or indicator of where you need to go.

Hardly the most visually striking game already. It has some terrible frame-rate issues that make it look like a game from 10 years ago. Its detail is lost & in a game lacking in so many other departments this issue is near unforgivable.

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The game improves slightly towards the end. Just as the story begins to take shape but the effort needed to even get to that point is not worth it. A shame because you can kind of see what they were going for here. A nice idea, a terrible result.

Zenith
  • 3/10
    The Final Score - 3/10
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