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Clash: Artifacts of Chaos Review


If you’re a fan of melee-focused games like Sleeping Dogs and Sifu, you might have been intrigued by the recommendation to try out ACE Team’s Clash: Artifacts of Chaos from your Xbox Series S. However, after spending some time with the game, you might have walked away confused and disappointed because of its buggy design and obtuse mechanics.

A Unique World and Captivating Graphics

Artifacts of Chaos is the third game in ACE Team’s Zeno Clash series, set in the fantasy world of Zenozoik. You play as Pseudo, a martial artist who must protect a magical creature named Boy from the tyrannical Gemini and her minions. The combat and graphics are the highlights of the game, with captivatingly gross visuals and crunchy melee combat that allows you to create a fighting style that’s uniquely yours.

The game has a highly saturated, Oddworld-esque aesthetic that is unique and disgusting. Characters have deformed faces and limbs, monsters have jagged teeth and rotting flesh, and the game is so gross that you can almost smell the stench of grafted bodies wading in the air as you navigate lush terrain and rocky pathways. Despite the lack of originality in its storytelling, Artifacts of Chaos is wholly unique in its perverted beauty.

Crunchy Melee Combat and Cool Fighting Moves

The third-person brawler occasionally switches to first-person, allowing you to learn a variety of martial art stances and moves to create a fighting style that’s uniquely yours. When combat works, it’s stylish and satisfying as you punch enemies right in their ugly faces. You can also do some cool fighting game shit, including dodge-canceling combos to reset your animations so you can keep the pressure up or performing special moves that can interrupt your opponent’s attacks.

The combat is hilarious and brutal, making for a challenging yet gratifying combat experience that sees you battling humongous troll-like eyesores, frightening three-legged beasts, and other unspeakable horrors.

Obtuse Mechanics and Buggy Design

The rest of the game, however, is mid at best and obtuse at worst. The map is buried in the game’s rudimentary menus, and there’s no compass or marker, so navigation is more about intuition and memorization than the game guiding you to the next location. The game also has performance issues, with stuttering animations, characters that miraculously blast off hundreds of feet into the air, and enough bugs that make Cyberpunk 2077 look competent.

The game lacks explanation, and there’s no real way to relearn the brief tutorials you miss in the heat of combat. The ritual, a dice-throwing board game initiated at the start of major encounters, becomes totally inconsequential as there’s an element of randomness and the effects make no big difference because enemies have such massive health pools.

Day and Night Exploring and Risk-Reward System

Nighttime happens when you either rest at a camp or die in a fight. Pseudo is actually a wooden puppet that’s somehow animated to move and talk, and he can equip various body parts that strengthen his attack and defense while also being able to traverse thornier paths now that his skin is removed. The world slightly changes at night, as well, with tougher enemies roaming around looking for skulls to bash in and shortcuts opening up for simpler travel.

There’s an interesting risk-reward system at play here, where you can stay out late to gain more experience, but rest up till the morning to get your skin back. It’s just a shame that so much of the game is so buggy that it borders on unplayable. The lack of polish and the brittle design causes the game to crumble under its own weight, making it the most obtuse Soulslike game so far.


If you’re a fan of melee-focused games and captivatingly gross visuals, Clash: Artifacts of Chaos might initially be an intriguing choice. However, the game’s obtuse mechanics and buggy design significantly impact the gameplay experience, making it hard to recommend despite the appealing combat and unique world.

Rachel Chen
Rachel Chen

Rachel Chen is a talented Chinese-American sports journalist with a passion for covering NASCAR. A graduate of New York University's journalism program, Rachel has made a name for herself as one of the most insightful and engaging sports writers in the industry.

Rachel's love for NASCAR started when she was in college and a friend took her to a race. From then on, she was hooked on the adrenaline and excitement of the sport. Her favorite sports include NASCAR, basketball, tennis, and swimming. She has a keen eye for detail and is known for providing insightful analysis of the latest news and events in each sport.

When she's not busy writing about sports, Rachel enjoys cooking up her favorite dish of hot pot and exploring new restaurants with friends. She also loves attending NASCAR races and cheering on her favorite drivers.

With her depth of knowledge and engaging writing style, Rachel Chen is a standout in the world of NASCAR journalism.


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