When I first started playing Zheros, I was impressed. I was over joyed that someone had made an enjoyable, easy to control, well handling, good-looking side scrolling beat em up. Then I played more than five minutes of the game and I came to the conclusion that someone had made an overly difficult, simplistic, irritating to control, decent looking side scrolling beat em up. Let’s delve into this a little further, As I have a few reasons why this game is on my “Dear God Please make it go away” list.
The biggest complaint about the game is the difficulty, which comes from a few different areas of the game. First is the controls, rather simple with two main attacks, a light and a strong attack, and you have a gun that runs out of power rather quickly. The gun can be refilled by defeating the repetitive enemies that you are going to be bombarded with, enemies in which you cannot help but be hit by. Thankfully, the developer has decided to place many health packs in the very uninspired levels that you will travel through.
The enemies will drive you through the roof with frustration, as they seem to be able to attack through your attacks and cause damage. Some bosses have attacks that unless your timing is to the millisecond correct, you’re going to be hit. Even if you are attacking the enemies, and/or bosses, they can still break through those attacks to hit you. ALl the while you are dealing with these enemies, you have environmental traps to deal with that are near impossible to not get hit by. Overall, more stress than a simple beat em up should be giving you.
Now, lets dissect the game itself a little bit. The game can be played either solo, which is NOT recommended due to the difficulty, or CoOp, which brings a little bit of relief to the difficulty, but not much. You can play as either Mike, The Brute character, or Dorian, who is more into finesse attacks. Throughout playing the game you will collect RP, which will let you upgrade each character in three categories, Their fighting power, shield power, and their gun power. You have two different worlds to play, and three difficulty levels.
While the controls are one of my areas of complaint, they are rather simple. You have a Light attack, and a heavy attack. A jump button, and an evade button, along with using your triggers to use your weapon and your block/shield. While I know some people will think this will lend itself to younger, less experienced gamers the difficulty level will make most novice gamers want to give up rather quickly.
The game graphically looks really good, although uninspired environments, and repetitive enemy design brings it down to ‘decent’ looking in my opinion, I could see people liking the aesthetic of the game. The music of the game fits the visuals, and tone of the game very well.
Overall, not a game I would recommend to anyone who doesn’t like games that will test your skill, will, and determination to live. I really wanted to like this game, as it harkens back to the days of, imo, Double Dragon, TMNT, and Battletoads, and while still better than previous entries in the Double Dragon series, it still fails a bit short in living up to those older titles.