- Version Reviewed: Xbox Series X (Also available on PC, PS4, PS5 and Xbox One)
- Developer: FISHLABS
- Publisher: Deep Silver
- Release Date: 3rd December 2021
- Copy Provided by Publisher
Review contains no Spoilers
Chorus (Stylised as Chorvs) is one of those games, that as soon as i saw it at the Xbox Series X First Look event last year i figured it was going to be my cup of tea – there’s been a lack of space-based dogfighting games. Could this be the one to spark a renaissance?
The story of Chorus follows Nara, a former member of a cult who is now living in exile following an event that shook her faith. She now makes a living as a scavenger – a status quo that continues until the people you work for try to make a deal with the cult – which inevitably goes south.
You start out with a basic ship with few abilities, and this was where I found the game quite difficult on Medium Difficulty as I found that enemies could kill me a lot easier than I them. Once you get the second ship the combat opens up more and the difficulty of combat levels off somewhat – however (ashamedly) I’d had to drop the difficulty to get to this point!
Nara unlocks abilities called “Rites” – your first one (Rite of the Senses) will highlight items/places/quest objectives and when the button is held down will do so over a wide area. Rite of the Hunt allows you to teleport close to a target, Rite of the Storm will quickly disable enemy shields/power and weapons, Rite of the Star allows you to spear through an enemy and Rite of Control allows you to fling enemies at each other. Once you unlock the Rites, the combat becomes a lot more fun than just trying to track an enemy and kill it with your Gatling Gun.
Another issue i had early on with the combat was enemy targeting, i feel a more robust lock on system would have helped as i found it a little difficult to actually hit a lot of enemies early on as they were moving about – however Drift Trance does make this a much easier task.
I struggled with the controls at first until they eventually clicked – my main issue was constantly holding forward as if I was playing an FPS and walking when in reality after getting up to top speed, I simply needed to just aim around with the Right Analog Stick, once this clicked with me (about 4 hours in!) i had no major issues with combat and targeting enemies.
The closest recent game that I’ve played that I can compare this to is Ubisoft’s Starlink from 2018, however I had realised before writing this review that FISHLABS made the Galaxy on Fire series on Mobile, and you can see the DNA from that series making its way into Chorus as well.
Gameplay wise, Chorus features 4 Mission types – The main story missions, side missions (one off missions), Side Mission Chains (Interlinked Side Missions with stories) and Random Encounters which would be things like helping a ship that’s under attack. There’s a good amount of missions in the game but ultimately they all boil down to “go to X” “Kill X” “Find X”.
At least in the review build, i had an issue with mission objectives being identified (hopefully this will be fixed in the Day 1 Patch), as an example there was a mission where i had to find 3 fuel canisters in an area and the game did not highlight the first canister. I happened to find it by chance (whilst flying around the mission area for about 10 minutes) at which point it promptly tagged the second canister and then the third.
There were other missions where it wasn’t quite apparent where to go without some trial and error but this did lead to a little bit more exploration than i would have done otherwise.
The game is very detailed looking and running the Performance Mode on Series X appears to be 60fps (I’m not sure on the Resolution as I’m not a pixel counter – I’m sure Digital Foundry or someone will provide this information) with no apparent drops to framerate that i noticed during my playthrough – however i did experience odd issues with the feature where it wants you to focus on something happening and it becoming locked on a part of my ship rather than the event and me being unable to move the ship without restarting from a previous checkpoint save.
Overall it’s easy to recommend Chorus, it’s an entertaining game that plays well, has a good story and could be the foundation for an improved follow up with a bigger budget.