Games With Loths – S0E0: Pilot (Zeno Clash)

Welcome to the first issue of a new Loths adventure: Games With Loths. We’ll kick this off with a fun little game I found on Steam, namely Zeno Clash. I have no idea what it’s about but apparently you can punch things and /v/ said it’s good. Well, that and there’s also this:

zeno clash

Without further ado, let’s get started. I think the download’s done.

As the game starts up, we’re treated to a lovely 5 minutes of beautiful loading screen. This is off to a good start. A modern game takes about 15 minutes to load on this machine. Soon thereafter, an ominous city shows up with a bunch of text over it, which I’ll assume to be the main menu. A quick scour through the settings and we’re ready to start the game on extreme mode, because if you don’t play it to hate yourself you’re not playing games right. The only bummer right now is that I can’t get my screen to display the game right so we’ll be playing with half the game cut out of view. All the more fun for me, it’s not like I was going to get past the tutorial anyway.


The game begins and we’re dropped right into… something. I don’t know what the fuck is going on here. Is that a giant a cockroach having a fistfight with some dude? I probably should have read the game’s description before buying it. Anyway, after a fantastic cutscene we wake up in the midst of an acid trip gone awry. The worst part of this scene isn’t the nightmare chickens or the warping image or even the half naked Fallout cosplayer with a voice that sounds like five packs of cigarettes daily, who is watching the aforementioned chickens ominously. It’s the fact that as soon as I only so much as touch my gamepad I do a 720 spin pirouette with the speed of a power drill on crack. Actually I’ll just tinker with the settings to clear that. One second.

Forget coffee, kicking chickens is what gets you really going
Forget coffee, kicking chickens is what gets you really going

So it appears as though the game only recognizes one of the sticks from my gamepad dated anno 2003 so my options are either a) beat the game by doing nothing but turning and walking or b) use a keyboard. Since ooption a) leaves my chicken murdering skills somewhat lacking, let’s decide to switch.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you my first kill. This game is way too easy.

Feel my wrath
Feel my wrath

After my semi nude throat cancer ridden friend has taught me the ways of handling an apparent DMT overdose, I come back to life and escape the scene of the previous grasshopper genocide to seek asylum in one of HR Giger’s fever dreams, accompanied by the personification of 80s power metal. The trip to sobriety is cut short though. A quick triple genocide later, we’re somehow transported back to trip-your-balls-off-land, this time with a mission to shoot recently beheaded chickens with a DIY shotgun before they run out of juice. I’ll have to assume the family of this game’s developer was brutally murdered by a gang of hoodlum chickens since I can’t explain this chookocide any other way.

We're not gonna take it
We’re not gonna take it

I find out that my tripping buddy is actually dead and after being given a bomb shaped like a skull that was supposedly the cause of his demise, I am told to detonate said bomb. Expecting a magnificent blast of carnage, I throw it in good spirits. It hits the ground. Its fuse burns out. It… pops like a firecracker. That’s one embarrassing end to Mr Undead Tom Walts’ life. I fall asleep and somehow we’re back in the real world, or whatever passes for that in this universe. There’s a convenient set of hand guns lying next to me that look like crabs and a convenient pack of rabid dogs approaching for me to unload the guns at. However, despite frenzied clicking and making “pow pow pow” noises at the screen, they fail to die and get to reward themselves with a wonderful mouthful of something resembling a human. I’m not too sure what my character is exactly.

Pow Pow Pow

Anyway, since the game just faded to black and isn’t doing anything anymore, I assume I died and it’s probably a good time to put this aside and go and do something else with my life. All in all this is probably the most surreal game I’ve ever played, safe for the post-modern masterpiece that is Bad Rats, so it’s good enough for me. Zeno Clash has well and truly earned the Loths’ seal of approval despite being so dated that it runs smoothly on my 32bit era computer.