Bizarre brawler Zeno Clash is coming back in Clash: Artifacts of Chaos

Remember Zeno Clash? Released in 2009, it's a first-person brawler set in the very strange world of Zenozoik, where you first flee your angry siblings after attempting to kill your Father-Mother and then eventually fist-fight your way back to sort things out once and for all. We don't have a review for it on the site, but in the July 2009 edition of the magazine (via Metacritic) we gave it an 84% score, calling it "a completely welcome contrast to anything you've ever played, supported by the most intense first-person fisticuffs we've seen in a game."

A sequel followed in 2013 that didn't quite live up to the original—"In losing focus, it's lost much of the charm," we said in our 67% review—and after that, developer Ace Team moved on to other, also-weird things, like The Deadly Tower of Monsters and The Eternal Cylinder. But now it's going back to where it started with Clash: Artifacts of Chaos, a new first-person face-puncher revealed during today's Nacon Connect event.

It's not clear whether this is a direct sequel to the Zeno Clash games or a similar-but-separate thing, but it does take place in the same game world, and quite clearly comes equipped with the unique visual style of the series too. One apparent difference is that Artifacts of Chaos will be third-person rather than first, which may make its brawling more accessible (or at least cinematic), and it's possible that the board game seen in the trailer will figure into gameplay as well: Ace Team said players will "explore the unique world of Zenozoik and defeat the best warriors while respecting the strange rules of the Ritual."

The YouTube description goes a little deeper. Instead of Ghat, Clash will feature a new lead named Pseudo, "a powerful warrior on a quest to obtain the Artifacts of Chaos." It also sounds like battles will vary depending on the outcome of the game seen in the trailer—"a deadly game of dice that decides the rules of engagement."  

It's not much to go on, but I am definitely interested. There's no release date at this point, but the trailer indicates that Clash: Artifacts of Chaos will be available on Steam and the Epic Games Store. Enjoy some screens below.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.