By Jeffrey Matulef
Atlus has announced a sequel to Ace Team's surreal first-person brawler Zeno Clash, coming to Xbox 360, PS3, and PC in 2013.
The previous Zeno Clash was one of the trippiest, most disturbing commercial releases in the last few years, and the sequel appears to follow suit.
You needn't encounter the twisted horrors of Zenozoik alone this time though, as Zeno Clash 2 will feature drop-in/drop-out co-op as players control Ghat and his sister, Rimat, as the pair attempt to rescue Father-Mother, their father/mother/hermaphrodite parent/bird/nightmare fuel... thing.
I got a chance to play a brief demo of Zeno Clash 2 at E3 and the combat has been much improved since the first game. You can now target specific body parts and enemies will react accordingly. Hit an enemy in the right spot at the correct time and they'll get stunned. Occasionally, a marker will appear signifying a time-sensitive weak spot. Hit it, and you'll do extra damage in glorious slow-mo.
Not present in the demo is Zeno Clash 2's RPG leveling system, a first for the series. This will allow players to increase their strength, defense, stamina, and other stats.
Fast, brutal, and unsettling, my brief hands-on with Zeno Clash 2 was a lot of fun, and I look forward to beating the stuffing out of more bird-men in 2013. In the meantime, check out the E3 trailer and despair.