One of my fondest gaming memories as a child was playing side scrolling brawlers such as Streets of Rage or Metal slug,  For some reason beating waves and waves of enemies, whether it was hand to hand or weapon combat, was a very satisfying feeling to me.  Luckily for me numerous independent game developers also had the same experience and are now beginning to publish the same type of brawlers that I used to love as a child.  ZHEROS from Italian group Rimlight Studios is exactly the type of game I remember loving as a child.

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Like all good brawlers of my past, ZHEROS has a very simple story line.  It involves a Sci – fi universe in which you can control the two members of the Zheros squad,  Mike and Captain Dorian.  These two character must work together to defeat the evil Dr. Vendetta.  A very classic villain who wants to transform the universe into his own personal playground.  In order to defeat him you must destroy his ever growing army of robots.  The story has a few funny moments and the two main characters keep things lighthearted.  While the cut scenes won’t necessarily make your jaw drop from the amazing visuals they are entertaining and appreciated.

The gameplay in Zheros is what you would expect from a brawler.  You take on ever-increasing numbers of enemies using a variety of weapons.  From punches to sci – fi weapons.  Your arsenal is pretty impressive and allow you to unleash some devastating combos.  As you progress through the stages you unlock better and better gear.  You also unlock gear points that allow you to upgrade certain aspects of your character.  They range from health to energy levels, which directly affect how often you can use your gun.  These options add a different layer to the game.

The environments are well designs and have a good variety to them.  Also the colors really pop in ZHeros.  Its a very well polished game.  The enemy AI isn’t top notch but is still enough to keep you entertained. The controls are decent with a keyboard and mouse but, using a controller is where this game really shines.  Especially if you are doing co-op. ZHeros has a very nice dubstep-y sound track.  It goes well with the constant action on the screen and gives the game a nice touch.

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ZHeros is a decent single player experience, but it is much better with a friend.  The mayhem that you unleash is very satisfying and trying to rack up bigger combos keeps you from noticing the repetitive gameplay.

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