Tuesday , February 20 2024

Videogame Review: ‘Chorus’

Another run completed, another life improved. Sav thanks me but it will never be enough. The pain I caused, the lives I ended, nothing can make up for that. All I do pales in comparison to the evil I allowed to exist. The evil I was a part of.

Shutting myself off from the rites stopped the Chorus from echoing in my head, but did I really need to leave Forsa behind? He was a part of me, was he also a part of my evil? No, he gave me a choice that day, he said I did not have to open the rift, but I did.

Did I leave Forsa trapped as a way to shield myself from the pain, to further distance myself from the past, the rights, the Prophet? Perhaps, but all I can do is try to make things better moment by moment, day by…wait, what is that? I hear it, faint, but it is there, NO, the Chorus is back in my head, they found us, found me.

Have to find Sav, have to warn him, but if he finds out how I know will he turn me away? It does not matter, they are coming, they want this system, they will indoctrinate everyone and drain the humanity, love and life from all these people, my friends.

This ship is not Forsa and I have shut out most of my rites and senses, but I am still a killer and I will fight them till my last breath. I am coming for you Prophet, I will end the evil you spread and perhaps save myself while saving this system.

This is the story of Chorus, a sweeping 3rd person space-combat shooter that frankly blew me away with its action, style and addictive gameplay. The game focuses on the skilled pilot Nara, who is gifted with supernatural powers and a sentient ship.

Nara was once second in command of the Circle, a cult led by the Great Prophet, but she left them after destroying a planet in their name. Wracked with guilt she locked away her powers and sentient ship Forsaken, or Forsa. The game picks up with Nara helping out a group called the Enclave when the cult re-appears to take over the system.

From there the game goes into overdrive, with enemy forces appearing from all angles, the Enclave overpowered as they try to fight back and Nara choosing to fight back at their side. She re-joins her ship and slowly unlocks her lost powers in a bid to try and stop the Circle once and for all.

The first thing I need to comment on is how absolutely gorgeous Chorus looks on the PS5; each area had wow moments. While it is definitely not space realistic, it certainly looks stunning and runs beautifully as well, with crisp framerates and lightning-fast load times.

The main crux of gameplay in Chorus is space battles, and the intuitive and effective controls plus smooth gameplay make battling hordes of cult ships effortless and fun. As the game progresses Nara gets different skills and weapons that really add to the sheer fun of combat, making me recall the classic PS1 Colony Wars.

What I really enjoyed is that the weapons and skills are complementary. Missiles work great against armored ships, the disruption skill blitzes shields and stuns enemies, the Gatling gun is a great all-purpose weapon. Battles became a bit of a dance as I used the skills and various weapons in alternating fashion.

The mission structure is also executed incredibly well, with main missions, side missions, random encounters, and items to find scattered all through the various systems. Nara has a skill to find hidden locations or encounters that is easy to execute and keeps the game moving at a crisp pace.

Speaking of crisp pace, the flight mechanics also shine, with boosting for short-range flying, sub-light engines for long trips, and the ability to quickly drift to track enemies. I never tired of flying around from point to point as it is just plain fun and as mentioned everything just looks so good.

There are so many things to love in Chorus that I haven’t even mentioned, such as perks that are unlocked by completing battle challenges and upgradeable ship components. These perks and unlockable/purchasable parts add extra depth to this great game.

The story itself is a little clichéd, but is well represented with full cutscenes and tons of little story segments in the form of monologues and unlocked memories. I actually really enjoyed how Nara talks to herself, much like Senua in Hellblade, to show her torment and guilt.

The developer Fishlabs Games cut their teeth on the mobile Galaxy on Fire series and took a lot of that experience and learning to create Chorus. This is a fantastic sci-fi space opera shooter that I enjoyed immensely and should be checked out by anyone who likes fast-paced and exciting science fiction experiences.

Chorus is out now on Xbox Series X and Xbox One, the PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4, Google Stadia, PC via Epic Games Store and Steam, and Amazon Luna. I was given a PS5 review code by the publisher for review purposes.

About Michael Prince

A longtime video game fan starting from simple games on the Atari 2600 to newer titles on a bleeding edge PC I play everything I can get my hands on.

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