Xbox Live Gold Subscribers have access to a variety of free games this month. One of them is Zheros, available until February 15th.
While Zheros is free to download, is it worth your time? Let’s take a look:
If you’re unable to view the video, here are our impressions:
Zheros is a colorful side-scrolling styled action adventure game. You’re able to play as the dim-witted bruiser “Mike” or the quick and agile “Captain Dorian.” Each has a unique combat style. Gameplay is combo-based and often frenetic, with large numbers of enemies on the screen at one time. These enemies can vary broadly in the health and abilities, and the game can be challenging for those inexperienced with button-mashers. I played Zheros on the easiest difficulty and was still struggling at times. It’s not my typical Xbox game, but my overall experience was enjoyable. You’re even able to team up and fight the game’s villain, Dr. Vendetta, with a friend in cooperative mode.
Players collect points as they progress through levels, which are used to unlock different abilities and combos. It’s a nice use of some RPG elements. You can develop your character in a way that best suits your combat preferences.
The art style of Zheros is reminiscent of 1980’s Sci-fi, with a focus on bright lights and neon colors. It succeeds at appearing different from many of its contemporaries. Character models are stylized as well to give the game a more cartoony feel, which works well with the humor present in Zheros. Unfortunately, cutscenes fall flat due to poor sound design and the introduction of enemies appears as a ripoff of what we’ve seen in Borderlands. It’s a little sad, actually. There’s a lot of creativity going on in Zheros, but those two aspects hold it back from becoming a more memorable game.
In the end, Zheros is a decent action-adventure game. If you enjoy side-scrollers, it’s worth checking out. Xbox Live Gold Subscribers can download it for free from the Xbox Live store. If you don’t have Xbox Live Gold, Zheros retails for $19.99.