Chorus

Icon - Calendar Released: 3 Dec 2021
Icon - Edited Reviewed: 17 Apr 2022
Platform: PC

Chorus

I played Chorus during one of the recent Steam demo festivals and was instantly impressed. It's kind of strange that it otherwise never showed up on Steam. It's is an arcade space shooter which does really well in some areas, but badly in others. I'd definitely recommend trying it; there are so few good space shooter games out there. Absolutely support studios who make games with this standard of quality. There are some really odd design decisions, but the visuals are amazing, and combat stays fun throughout the game. The story and dialogue is bad, but if you can ignore the last part of the main story - the gameplay is really good fun. Finished in 12 hours.

Pros

  • It's really pretty, and it runs perfectly. Optimisation is top notch
  • Enemy health bars come in three colours; blue for shields, red for health and yellow for armour. You're also equipped with three kinds of weapons, colour coded to deal with those bars - lasers, gatling guns and a missile launcher
  • Unlike most space shooters, you're equipped with really fun special abilities ("Rites"). These let you leap behind enemies, disable shields, or speed through enemies to explode them.
  • You can also drift / power slide, which lets you travel in one direction and shoot in another. This is a key mechanic which never stops feeling awesome
  • The voice acting is pretty good, but the writing isn't
  • Good controls for mouse and keyboard
  • The best part of the game for me was taking down larger ships. They all have systems that you need to take out in order, usually finished with flying through the interior of the ship and blowing up the core. It's great fun every time. It's a shame there aren't more of those
  • The drift and dodge mechanics work really well for bombing runs when facing larger ships
  • Good variety of enemies

Cons

  • The first thing you'll notice as soon as you start playing is that you can't yaw, roll, strafe or reverse. Which feels insane for a space shooter. You can only go forwards, brake and evade (which barrel rolls your ship). This is particularly annoying when there are agility challenges in small spaces. You can't reverse, so if you miss something, you have to awkwardly manoeuvre around by only going forwards. There are a lot of narrow corridors in the game so this is particularly irksome.
  • Most of the non-combat parts of missions involve pressing your scan-o-vision to look for memories, and listening to the weird internal dialogue of the main character talking about things that don't make any sense
  • The game kind dumps you in the middle of a story without explaining much about the context, like who the cult are, what you did, who the faceless are. I never really managed to pick it up. The story and dialogue gets much worse towards the end of the game. Honestly I didn't think the story / dialogue could get much worse after playing for a few hours, but the last hour of the game is really REALLY bad.
  • The main character whispers to herself, which sounds weird every time. Yeah ok, so characters talking to themselves out loud doesn't make a ton of sense sometimes, but when you talk to yourself inside your own head, you don't do a creepy whisper either
  • Both of the main Faceless bosses are fairly badly designed. Both of them have a lot of visual effects, things flying around and stuff to dodge that you usually can't see, and they both, again, put you in a high speed corridor shooter in a game where you don't have proper maneuvering controls
  • Same comment for all of the Rite temples. Every time you gain a new ability, you have to fly through a temple at high speed with no visibility and dodge things, without the proper controls to do so. It's an incredibly weird design decision.
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