Clash provides an enjoyable arena-based combat scenario for up to four players but is severely limited by its content and local multiplayer focus. Certainly Clash can boast an attractive and charming aesthetic but in the end it’s not nearly enough to hold on to a player-base.
Clash has 2-4 players duke it out in a simple, fast-paced arena battle across four maps, each with their own gamemode. Team Deathmatch splits players between two teams as each run, jump, and dash their way around an appropriately sized map, meaning to kill opponents for points. Deathmatch is much the same but with an all-against-all twist. Meanwhile, King of the Hill has two teams competing for points earned from standing within a sphere that randomly appears around the level, and Crystal Hunt spits out gems from fallen players you need to collect, with the first team to 20 being the victor. It’s an unremarkable and predictable arena combat experience but one that proves highly enjoyable.
Titles like Clash tap in to the competitive spirit wonderfully, encouraging frequent replay as you and your friends explore victory and defeat over each other’s slain characters. It’s compelling stuff that works splendidly within a party setting. Clash’s beautifully rendered backgrounds, immersive soundtrack, and quirky, unique characters adds an element of charm that can further pull you in, and it’s easy to learn, smooth, lightning fast combat is a joy to experience. However, you can only experience it locally.
Clash is restricted to local play only, furthermore, there are no AI opponents you can call upon. Instead Clash requires a minimum of two players to even begin a match. Moreover, only four maps are present, each locked to a specific gamemode, and whilst they offer a handful of secrets and are well designed arenas that complement their respective modes, it’s still a criminally limited amount of content.
In very little time at all you experience everything Clash has to offer, and whilst playing with friends locally unlocks the fun, it’s short lived. The learning curve is almost non-existent, the controls and mechanics are so simple you can master them within minutes. After playing a session this can’t help but leave you wanting. There’s no real skill involved. The level layout is also easy to read, allowing you to shift quickly across it to square off against your target, then all it takes is an unblocked dash to wipe them out. The block – a shield that lasts a few seconds – offers reprieve from death for a moment and a limited window for counter attack or fleeing, but despite a slight cooldown for its use it fails to provide meaningful tactics or strategy to the combat.
Clash looks beautiful and has a unique charm to its character design that’s hard not to enjoy, but ultimately it lacks substance. It’s in dire need of more maps, and perhaps that would be enough to raise it to average; greatness, however, is a target far beyond its reach. The mechanics and maps lack tactical depth, a lack of AI opponents and/or a campaign doesn’t cater to solo players looking for fun or practice, and a lack of online play restricts it to a niche market where there are better alternatives already.
Thanks to Xbox and FennecFox Entertainment for their support
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