We mainly know developer BKOM Studios from their mobile games, but Zorro The Chronicles (we feel there should have been a hyphen or colon there) is a big multiplatform release that’s being distributed by Nacon across PCs and consoles. We took a look at the game on PlayStation.
When it comes to iconic heroes of big (and small) screen, Zorro is one of those characters who you’d picture would have more videogames behind his name than he actually does. His combination of sword fighting and agility seems like a great match for the medium, so we were eager to see how masked vigilante’s antics would play. The game is based on a recent children’s show, which accounts for the cartoon-like presentation and accessible gameplay.
Being (or getting) familiar with the show and its characters isn’t needed, but helps as it introduces you to Ines and Diego, the twins you can play as during the game’s eighteen stages. And while the core gameplay remains similar, there are small differences between the characters that determine how reliant you can be on things like special moves.
While aimed at younger players, a good comparison for Zorro The Chronicles wouldn’t be one of Outright Games’ kid-friendly titles, but rather a more mature game like Assassin’s Creed. You’ll run into plenty of combat, often facing large numbers, and you’ll mix this up with platforming, moving across rooftops and engaging in stealth or attacking from above. You can even tag enemies you’ve spotted before attacking, allowing you to plan your attacks. And while exploring, you can also engage with little mini quests like plastering the town’s walls with posters that mock the main villain of the story.
The developers clearly put a lot of effort into trying to make this a fun experience for players, as you can get away with just button-mashing your way through combat but you’ll notice a lot of custom animations that see Zorro pulling off attacks that use the environment or trigger animations. He’ll carve his signature Z in the clothing of opponents, or he’ll knock them into scenery elements as part of your optional objectives. It’s perhaps too easy for experienced players who’ll wish for more responsive controls, but it’s fun and makes any player feel like they’re actually Zorro.
And while the youngest players will feel perfectly happy just engaging in combat, players looking for a bit more variety will enjoy taking to the rooftops for a stealthy approach, taking down enemies one by one – something that becomes a bit of a necessity at high difficulty levels as well. Sure, the gameplay isn’t as involved or refined as in the games that lead the genre, but for something that works for a younger crowd Zorro The Chronicles does a good job at bringing the format to a new audience.
But just as the controls could use a bit more refinement (for the more discerning players out there), so too do the visuals have small clipping issues here and there. Certainly nothing game-breaking, but we hope this’ll get fixed post-launch nonetheless. For Zorro fans or those looking to play something that’s a bit like Assassin’s Creed with their kids, this is a decent choice that sits in between the kid-friendly games by Outright and the more mature games out there.