ZHEROS The Forgotten Land DLC review

5.2

Average

Like many, I picked up ZHEROES from Rimlight Studios, on the Games with Gold program a few months back. January 2016 it would appear. Where does the time go? The gameplay centres on two main characters as you fight your way through hordes of invading enemies in a futuristic universe. Rimlight have released The Forgotten Land DLC for ZHEROS, does it add to the game, improve the mechanics and features, or is it more of the same?

Initially, ZHEROS has two main worlds that you can battle your way through. These happen in the form of chapters in-game until you reach the final levels of beat-em up goodness. The Forgotten Land DLC runs along this exact format, with your character allowed to traverse along a prescribed route, usually from left to right, engaging enemies with fisticuffs along the way.

Just as in the main areas of this title, you can pick from a male or female character, with both having a similar devastating effect on the enemies that you’ll face.  In the original, you face robots, droids, mechanical enemies. Automatons. In The Forgotten Land, you face all manner of mutant oddities from small, gun-toting, bug-eyed beings, to a huge dragon that is seemingly impossible to defeat at first glance.

Forgotten

As with the main game, you’ll be relying on your fists as your main offensive weapon. This is all well and good, but it means you’ll need to get up close and personal with the bad guys. That, as it turns out, isn’t a problem as the majority of them are more than willing to come and attack. You will be very quickly and massively outnumbered. This is and isn’t a bad thing, all at the same time. It isn’t as you’ve got the moves to put the majority of them on their backs for the duration, but it is, as the slight button lag from controller to action is frustratingly long.

This usually prevents you from increasing your score as you’ll undoubtedly miss out on long hit combos. Not that I was playing it for the score you understand. Close quarters, it simply becomes a bit of a button-mashing exercise and quite quickly becomes tiresome.  Just like the initial release, you also get the option of using your exo-suit powers to generate a force-field if things are getting a bit too hot in the action department, or a limited-fire automatic weapon that pops up out of your arm. This uses the blue energy bar up and the top of the screen and very, very quickly depletes, so it’s of minimal use as a means to take out a horde of foes to give respite from the onslaught

Forgotten

This fight, get outnumbered and panic, goodness is all painted over a backdrop of an ancient forgotten land background. These are well defined and in some cases destructible, giving you easy access to energy and health pickups. Trust me when I say, you’ll need them.  The action is broken up by a nod towards platforming as you make your way from one gang of bad guys to another. This turns out to be simply running from left to right for the most part, however.

So, other than the new locations and enemies, is there much that this DLC brings to the original game? Well, other than an extra few hours of slightly frustrating gameplay and some sore thumbs, I have to say, not really. Yes, the backdrops are nicely drawn, but, like post-Brexit Britain, there’s no freedom of movement. You’re guided in one direction only and ultimately towards the obvious hordes of mutant oddballs that you’re going to face, in waves and waves.  If you enjoyed ZHEROS, by all means extend your play and enjoyment, but The Forgotten Land DLC seems to miss more than a few targets in my opinion and ends up ultimately forgettable.

Thanks to Rimlight Studios and Xbox for supporting TiX

Good

  • Visuals are very well drawn
  • More of the same beat 'em up fun

Bad

  • Quickly becomes a button mashing exercise
  • Linear progress feels restrictive
  • Weapons system feels pointless

Summary

ZHEROS The Forgotten Land DLC offers another location for the main ZHEROS title. It extends the game with some nicely painted and animated locations, but is let down by being simply too much 'more of the same'. You'll quickly become outnumbered and the lag from button to action is more than a little annoying. The weapons system, which could've done with a slight overhaul, is still mainly pointless and you'll resort to good old fashioned punch and run in the end. Average at best, but if you enjoyed ZHEROS, go for it.
5.2

Average

A lifelong gamer, staring at the wrong side of the forties, I'm a huge Halo series fan. Started gaming way back in the days of the Amstrad CPC464. Midlander through birth, married with son, COD virgin, so be gentle. Twitter: @PhilK_TiX