"Chorus" Comment: A Universe Odyssey with Personal Style

2021-12-08 13:02:02 By : Ms. Fang Wang

In space, no one can hear you talking to your sentient murder ship

Scale is an interesting problem that developers need to solve in space games. The universe as we know it is infinitely vast, so any game that takes the player into the void needs to convey its hugeness in some way, while still creating a closed game world that can be explored without the player feeling infinitely small. How do you make someone feel like an indispensable part of the universe, while showing them that they are nothing but a dust in the galactic wind?

In Chorus, the developer Fishlabs overcomes this problem by capturing the absolutely daunting spatial scale by essentially crimping speed. This is not to say that the game feels slow—on the contrary, especially when you are fighting a group of enemy gunships zooming around you—but speed is used for scale services. It takes time to traverse the universe of the game, even at the highest speed-but the journey is often the focus, giving players many opportunities to appreciate the dazzling scenery, vastness and scale of the universe.

Chorus also showed a deep personal story centered on Nara. Nara was a pilot who escaped from an interstellar cult, and her own past is also part of it. Haunted by guilt, haunted by illusions—and the nagging inner monologue that echoes the psychosis that Senna experienced in "Hell's Blade: Senna's Sacrifice"—she is a charming central figure. However, Nara herself was never really controlled-although you will see her full image in the cutscenes of the story, or her face appears on the communication screen, she spends the entire playable part of the game on her In the spacecraft, players will completely pilot these 360° space environments filled with asteroids and space stations.

This is a kind of balance that embeds the player into this strange universe on a personal level, and at the same time makes them marvel at the sea of ​​stars-and this universe is definitely a strange universe. Chorus hits the sweet spot between hard science fiction and exaggerated space fantasy. It combines realistic spaceships, speed gates and orbital structures that have an influence and presence on them, as well as legends and cultures that provide dark religion and quasi-mysticism. .

The "Chorus" of the same name is the work of the evil Great Prophet. It is the unifying force of a group of space enthusiasts dedicated to uniting all lives in one "song", whether they like it or not. Think of "Dune", "Warhammer", and even the larger scope of the cult TV show "Lexx"-all of which are dominated by huge galactic empires, in which sometimes literal gods are used for their own glory Manipulate material reality. This should give people an idea of ​​the tone Chorus wanted. This is a clever comment on religion and blind faith, but gives way to a more cosmic terror in the form of the Faceless, which is something that violates reality with dark intentions.

The blurring of the boundaries between science and magic also severely affected the way Chorus plays. Although Fishlabs' previous work on the Galaxy on Fire series might make people look forward to a "straightforward" space shooter, it tends to be dreamy. Not only does Nara possess a variety of superpowers called rituals - allowing her to perform techniques such as scanning the surrounding area or conducting short-distance teleportation on the battlefield - but she also has an almost symbiotic connection with her sentient spacecraft Forsa.

This relationship not only affects combat, but also affects sports. Although Forsa-ominously, short for "Forsaken"-can be equipped with various Gatling guns, laser beams and missiles to deal with space enemies, each weapon type is best suited to target certain enemy types, which is its core feature one. Chorus is the ability of Nara and Folsa to enter a "drift trance". Just like letting the car drift in sharp turns in Forza Horizon 5, this is a more compact way of turning and maneuvering than moving along a traditional arc, but in three full dimensions, zero gravity, and The observance of the laws of physics is problematic.

Chorus' whole exercise method is very interesting. Despite controlling a ship, it has never been like a typical video game vehicle control. On the contrary, the movement of the boat is more like a video game that people usually do, with the left-hand joystick guiding the movement and the right-hand controlling the camera. Although squeezing L2 will produce an acceleration, and L3 will activate the sub-light drive in the open space area (this is another ingenious technique that can bring home the vastness of the universe, even in the sub-light, it will not It feels like something is moving very fast) Forsa rarely feels like a controllable machine. The only thing that reminds you that you don't actually control a person is that there is no going backwards, no "walking" backwards-pulling the L lever back will only stop the Forsa or any other boat.

The combination of interesting abilities and elegant movements makes space combat in "The Chorus" a pleasure. Blending explosive acceleration, arc-shaped trajectories, and master drift Trance to make impossible turns without losing power, while you cycle and spin in space to chase enemies, it feels incredible.

Each weapon type also has a different feeling to them. Gatling guns prefer to dispatch close-range fighters or fixed turrets to fire in bursts of bullets. Lasers need to be fired precisely but can cause huge damage and missile shells when burning energy shields. The curtain tears the ship’s heavy physical armor. Forsa often says that he wants to "hunt" cult ships, and soon you will feel that you did that, especially when Nara regains her hunting ritual ability, you can jump directly behind the enemy ship to kill it. Rites The more Nara recovers, the more Chorus can cultivate a sense of symbiosis with Forsa, creating a feeling that truly embodies flying.

Although in the indoor part, the kinematics is not very interesting. The choir's universe is big enough to hold the huge shrine that Folza can fly over, navigating their twisted buildings to restore Nara's lost rituals. In these closer ranges, high-end navigation skills become frustrating, especially for drifting. The existence of the beautification door puzzle makes the situation worse-the "Seal of Regeneration" must be exploded continuously in a short time, and arranged in a maddening way that requires precise use of rapid drift and trance movements to shoot in a very short time. Place. Quite convincingly, video tutorials are embedded in the game to show players how to perform tricky stunts-Fishlabs believes it must implement these video tutorials, which fully demonstrates the actual ease of use and intuitiveness of these actions.

Attempting to present a universal scale at the level of Chorus also has some drawbacks. The action is divided into clusters of spaces separated by jumping doors, rather than a huge expanse of space. Each one is quite impressive in its own right, and full of optional side missions to pursue or upgrade materials and credits for tracking, but isolating the area can sometimes destroy the sense of immersion.

However, this is largely forgivable when considering Chorus' pure cosmic beauty. This game is basically a porn for astronomy nerds, wherever you look at it, you can show a stunning starry sky. Any angle, any plane, any direction-this is a game that often allows players to pause in the crossfire, just to make this moment immortal with the photo mode. There is no doubt that Chorus is one of the best games of the year.

In a strange way, due to the directionality of space battles and the focus on Nara's complicated and haunted past, Chorus' elevator propaganda may be "interstellar fox meets hell's blade". However, it is much more than that-a unique universe full of knowledge and characters, after they shoot down the last enemy ship, they will resonate with the player and stay for a long time.

We checked Chorus on PlayStation 5. It is also available on PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC and Stadia. It is now available in all formats.

It feels like "The Chorus" has been receiving attention before it was released, but after the release of "Dune", now I feel that the best time has come for anyone who wants another dose of space weirdness. It combines mechanics and magic, science fiction and fantasy-even horror elements-and is not completely unique, but their arrangement will make many people feel innovative and fresh. Considering the thrilling space combat and its otherworldly beauty, Chorus is a game that will surely surprise players.

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