A Symphonic Onslaught: Soaring Through the Cosmos with Chorus review

6 min read Chorus, the 2021 debut title from Deep Silver Fishlabs and developer FISHLABS, is a space opera that throws you headfirst into a frenetic ballet of destruction. You take control of Nara, a skilled pilot haunted by a dark passenger – the enigmatic entity known as the Faceless. Together, they pilot the sentient starfighter Forsaken, a weapon of immense power and a key element in the struggle against the cult known as the Circle. May 12, 2024 18:46 A Symphonic Onslaught: Soaring Through the Cosmos with Chorus review

Chorus doesn't waste time with lengthy introductions. You're thrust into the heart of the action from the get-go, dogfighting through swarms of enemy ships in a desperate bid for survival. The narrative unfolds through fragmented memories and cryptic conversations between Nara and the Faceless, piecing together a story of betrayal, sacrifice, and the struggle for freedom.

A Symphony of Space Combat

The core gameplay of Chorus revolves around intense, fast-paced space combat. Forsaken is not just a ship; it's an extension of Nara herself. Drifting, a unique mechanic that allows you to powerslide around enemies at high speeds, becomes the cornerstone of combat. Chaining drifts together builds your "Gate Gauge," unlocking powerful psychic abilities like "Rift Tether," which allows you to yank enemies towards you, and "Chaos Warp," which teleports you short distances, leaving a trail of destruction in your wake.

Mastering these abilities and chaining them together creates a sense of exhilarating flow. Dodging enemy fire, drifting around asteroids, and unleashing devastating psychic attacks becomes a symphony of violence and strategy. The combat feels incredibly responsive, with tight controls and a satisfying sense of weight to your movements.

The variety of enemy types keeps combat engaging. From nimble fighters to heavily armored cruisers, each requires a different approach. Learning enemy weaknesses and utilizing the appropriate weapons and abilities becomes an ongoing challenge. The boss battles are particularly impressive, forcing you to master your skills and adapt your strategies to overcome increasingly powerful foes.

Exploring the Open Galaxy

Chorus boasts a sprawling open world – the "Forsaken System." While not as expansive as some open-world titles, the system offers a wealth of activities to keep you occupied. You'll encounter derelict space stations teeming with enemies, hidden vaults containing powerful upgrades, and abandoned settlements hinting at the tragic fate of civilizations past.

Exploration feels rewarding, as you constantly discover new secrets and unlock valuable resources. The fast travel system allows you to seamlessly jump between points of interest, ensuring you can quickly revisit areas to complete objectives or mop up remaining collectibles.

A World of Potential, Not Without Flaws

Visually, Chorus is a mixed bag. The space environments are breathtaking, with swirling nebulae, pulsating stars, and the ever-present threat of black holes creating a truly awe-inspiring backdrop. However, some textures on space stations and planets can feel a bit bland. The character models, particularly for NPCs, lack detail, and cutscenes can feel a bit stiff due to limited animation.

The narrative, while intriguing in its premise, can feel somewhat disjointed at times. The fragmented memories and cryptic conversations used to tell the story leave some unanswered questions and may leave some players yearning for a more traditional narrative structure.

Despite these shortcomings, Chorus offers a compelling experience. The exhilarating space combat, unique drift mechanic, and open world filled with exploration opportunities create a captivating gameplay loop. The story, while cryptic, has its moments of emotional resonance, particularly as you delve deeper into Nara's troubled past and the nature of her bond with the Faceless.

A Chorus Worth Joining

Chorus is not a perfect game. Its visuals can be inconsistent, and the narrative may leave some players wanting more. However, its strengths far outweigh its weaknesses. The frenetic space combat with its emphasis on mobility and strategic ability use is a blast to master. The open world, while not the largest, is brimming with secrets to discover and activities to engage in.

If you're looking for a space opera that throws you headfirst into white-knuckled dogfights with a dash of dark storytelling, Chorus is a compelling experience waiting to be discovered. Just be prepared to answer the call and join the symphony of destruction.

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