Zorro: The Chronicles | Review
Zorro: The Chronicles, developed by BKOM Studios and published by Nacon, is out. Check out the review of the game here.
Zorro: The Chronicles – Many games for kids are specially made, but that doesn’t necessarily mean someone older can’t enjoy them. A good example of this is the Pokémon series. Officially, this series is aimed at children over the age of five. Still, there’s a large group of adult actors who have had fun with this franchise. The developer of Zorro: The Chronicles targeted children between the ages of 6 and 12. This is a very specific indication of who the game is for, and it should also mean that not everyone older than has to watch it anyway. Still, we give it a shot as adult players.
Zorro: The Chronicles is based on the French cartoon series of the same name that aired in 2015 and 2016. The series featured a young protagonist fighting against evil with her twin sister, Ines. The game follows the same formula and you can play as either of these two heroes. The story you follow in the game… well, you are probably fighting evil. All the game tells you about this is a few sentences of context at most before starting a new level. Nine out of ten are about Zorro or his sister having to pull out, find, or release something or someone. Zorro: Chronicles shouldn’t rely on his story anyway.
Am I seeing it right?
When you start playing Zorro: The Chronicles, you’ll probably blink a few times to make sure you’re seeing everything right. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think you were playing a PlayStation 2 game remastered to 1080p. The game is similar to the cartoon series, but the different characters are presented quite simply, and the environment does not exactly use many polygons and is rather bare. You see how simply buildings and the like are put together, especially as the camera is moved over the environment with each new level. The game runs at 60 frames per second just fine, although there are some drops from time to time.
Just because a game doesn’t score well graphically doesn’t mean it’s bad. You just get the idea that you’re playing a PS2 game here. You are presented with eighteen separate levels, each taking place in a not very expansive setting. You can roam freely in principle but it doesn’t make much sense because there’s almost nothing special to do. You have to complete a series of missions to experience the adventure. Then you have to go from A to B or beat it to find something or someone and then go to C. It’s exactly what you’d expect from a game three generations ago, but that doesn’t really impress today anymore.
It doesn’t get better
You will encounter many enemies during the adventure. However, the heroes react a bit slow to your commands and therefore the combat is fierce. You can also choose stealth to take down your enemies, but this again feels like you’re playing a game from the PS2 era. It just doesn’t play well. The game, on the other hand, sounds coherent as a whole, but not the way you want it to be. Being able to choose between Zorro or his twin brother doesn’t offer variety, either. Despite having different attacks, the controls remain the same and therefore the gameplay is the same.
And here we go again, the war itself can be called very fundamental. You have one button to attack with your sword and one button to show stars to enemies with your whip or take out their weapons. If the corresponding icon appears on the enemy, you can dodge your opponents’ attacks. So this brings some variety to the movements, but you don’t use it much in practice. For example, the game contains various enemies that must be eliminated in a certain way. However, this number is so small that for most of the game you just press the button and it quickly gets boring.
There is little to do and experience other than fighting. You can still delete any posters that may be found in the area, but that’s it. As an extra layer in the game, there are still upgrades you need to unlock. To do this, you need to defeat the enemies by completing certain tasks during the fight, such as fending off your enemy’s attack several times or destroying chests. Upgrades allow you to gain more life energy or disarm stronger enemies. It’s a nice addition, but not because upgrades suddenly make the game a lot more fun. This can be traced back to normal gameplay as it remains the same. Also the unpleasant thing is that sometimes there is an annoying bug in the game that makes your character unable to walk anymore.
For adults and late teens, Zorro: The Chronicles certainly has little to offer. It is therefore not surprising that the game is aimed at a very special group, namely young children. It offers a combination of combat and stealth gameplay, which the developer says is a nice introduction for kids who want to explore these genres. But the problem is, they haven’t really taken into account what kids play these days anyway at a young age. They are now used to much more complex games and better looking games. The look and feel and gameplay of the PlayStation 2 is long overdue, even for these young gamers. Maybe six and seven year olds can have a little more fun with this than others, but then it’s really over.
Also available on: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC.