I’m not typically a huge fan of space combat games. I find them to be mind numbing, predictable and often far too easy. However, Chorus is a game that grabbed my attention in a way that other games similar to it hadn’t. The game’s presentation was suspenseful and gripping. The visuals in the trailer were beautiful and captured the otherworldliness of space environments in a way that I hadn’t seen in the gaming medium before. Seeing as this wasn’t typically my thing, I walked in with no expectations and just pure curiosity. Things took some getting used to in the beginning I’m happy to report that what I enjoyed it. Deep Silver has been on quite the run with their publishing the last few years. The team over at Fishlabs has created a rewarding space combat title with interesting lore to boot.
The story of Chorus centers around a woman named Nara. Nara, a reformed space warrior and cult-follower, has a change of heart when she can no longer stomach the corruption of her destructive organization known as The Circle. She has a change of heart when she sees the death and destruction that she herself causes at the hands of her leader and master manipulator; The Great Prophet. After her exile from The Circle, Nara and her sentient combat ship known as Forsa (Short for Forsaken) are tasked to work together to destroy The Circle and The Great Prophet in pursuit of redemption for the pain that they caused. It’s important to mention that Forsa is sentient and is partially made from the consciousness of the games main antagonist; The Great Prophet.
Chorus is easy to play on pick-up. You fly throughout various regions of space throughout the games story. Forsa is a fast and reliable ship that makes swift turns and evading with proficiency rather effortless. I had a lot of fun with the flight mechanics. Nara has access to special abilities known as Rites to assist her in combat, and they’re pretty great. I found the most useful ability to be the Rite of Sense. The Rite of Sense allows Nara to discover waypoints and enemies with ease. Forsa can be upgraded with credits found while flying around the games respective regions. I had a lot fun both avoiding and chasing down enemies. Their A.I is rather engaging and I never felt for a second that things were too easy or difficult. The sheer variety of enemies also surprised me and kept me on my toes.
While its story is the mystery that drives the title, the side quests don’t feel tacked on. From delivering cargo to assisting another NPC take down a squadron of enemies. It all handles well and feels natural to the setting. However, I found the voice acting to be very hit or miss. But it was mostly miss. Most of the characters sound either very similar or almost like robots. It was kind of hard to get personally engaged with other characters. For example, the game’s protagonist speaks with almost no emotion whatsoever. While the story at its core is very interesting and very original, the lack of emotion and character detail really made it difficult to care.
I was really impressed with what Chorus has to offer visually. The seamless transitions between the large, beautiful backdrops were amazing. I often found myself getting lost while doing missions just because I need to see the way things progress visually. I would sometimes slow down to a complete stop just to ponder what was in front of me. Beautiful pinks and blues wash out into black space with amazing particle effects. I thought that the game’s ship models were very imaginative and well-detailed compared to other space combat games. The games ethereal soundtrack also adds to the almost hypnotic visual immersion. It truly feels like big-budget space action movie, at least visually.
I had a good amount of fun with Chorus. I walked in looking for a take on the space combat genre that could finally get me invested. There was definitely a good amount of love and care put into this title. The team at Fishlabs has put together something flawed but ultimately really exciting. For years, games based on flying around in space and shooting other space ships just did not appeal. Chorus has changed that and I hope that it does well so the developers will capitalize and make it’s next chapter even better.
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