LifeisXbox’s Chorus review | Yeah, it is Chorus by the way. The game logo might confuse you to think Chorvs. This space shooter is created by German developer Fishlabs. After looking them up I noticed how similar it was with their previous work with the franchise Galaxy on Fire. At least that’s what screenshots are telling me, as I didn’t play the mobile games. Unfortunately, they went bankrupt after Galaxy on Fire 3 but Koch Media came to the rescue and they could start development for Chorus in 2017. This game immediately got my full attention when it was announced at Microsoft’s Xbox 20/20 event. A mix of reasons but primarily the visuals in the trailer were hard to ignore, I will write about those beautiful visuals later as this still remains a huge selling point in the release version. Now when talking about space shooters the inevitable Everspace is hard to ignore but Chorus manages to set itself apart with a decent storyline, powerful abilities and two interesting characters. So buckle up and prepare to travel with lightspeed through our Chorus review.
Be prepared to take a million screenshots with all the beauty that Chorus has to offer
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X| Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion from the writer.
What we liked!
- Nara and her ship Forsa | In Chorus you take control of protagonist Nara, she carries a large emotional backpack as she was previously part of The Circle. A cult group that conquers worlds in the name of peace. They call it Chorus, hence the title name. She did this with her sentient ship Forsa. The relationship between Nara and Forsa is a bit complicated as she trapped and abandoned Forsa when she quit The Circle for seven long years. Nara comes into a situation where she needs her powerful ship again and seeks him out again to stop invading Circle forces. The tension and dialogue between the two make the story fun to follow, albeit with a bit Bold and the Beautiful drama.
- Space combat | Once you are in the cockpit of Forsa you kinda become a God in space, with insane powerful abilities. Still, the game has a perfect balance. You might be an impossible force to stop but the game still finds many ways to challenge you with for example Cult ships that are much harder to beat. One thing that makes the combat feel excellent is Forsa’s ability to drift, here you can keep a high-speed momentum while facing Forsa’s guns in another direction. Chorus introduces some timed shooting puzzles too when you first get the drifting ability, this might be hard for some to overcome but this hard-learned lesson is important for beating harder combat fights. To be honest, I hoped for more stuff like that in the game but I was surprised that Fishlabs didn’t do much else with it. The same could be said about Forsa’s weapons, you have three of them. A Gatling gun for rapid shots at the enemy, a laser to quickly diminish shields and a powerful but inaccurate missile launcher. It is nice to switch up the weapons but with Forsa’s powerful abilities it is perfectly possible to only use the Gatling gun.
- Abilities with space combat | While progressing in the game Nara reawakens her lost abilities and this is really a game-changer. They are called Rites and it starts pretty basic with a vision ability, later on, Nara and Forsa go into beast-mode and can teleport behind enemies or disable their movement. I loved disabling ships and seeing them crash against larger spaceships or asteroids. You’ll really need these abilities to get an edge in combat, while the game starts pretty easy you’ll definitely be sweating in most fights, depending on the difficulty mode.
- Chorus constantly impresses with breathtaking visuals | I’m very impressed with the visuals from Chorus, even more so if you consider that this is the developers first console game. The star systems look absolutely stunning and each system has a distinct look to it,. Debris is everywhere, human-made spacey things look impressive and the effects are beautiful. You can travel kilometres in every direction and seeing the planets and asteroids in the distance is wonderfully created. It begs for a photo mode and that’s exactly what the developers included! So be prepared to take a million screenshots with all the beauty that Chorus has to offer.
- Boss fights | Prepare for a frustrating endurance race when it comes to boss fights. Chorus turns from fun space battles to repetitive and long tasks when you face one of the few stronger opponents. A missed opportunity if you ask me as the game mechanics could have been used for more exciting stuff.
- Weird side-missions that add zero game value | It is never a good idea to force the player to wait, especially if the waiting time reaches 20 or more seconds. That’s actually what you have to do in some side-missions. Rebooting other friendly spaceships by hovering next to them for ten seconds isn’t really bringing any value to the table. Near the end of Chorus I was pretty done with the escort or fly to point A and B side-missions too, so I simply started to ignore them and continued with the main missions.
What we disliked
- Slow start | Whether it’s a movie or a game the first moments are crucial to keep the attention. Here’s where Chorus has an issue, as the start is rather slow and easy. I understand the need to let the player get familiar with the controls and mechanics but it was loosely leaning towards a bore-fest. Luckily things spice up after an hour or so when you meet Forsa and new enemies are introduced that give more challenging space fights.
- Annoying issues | Few times side-missions and even a main mission got stuck and I couldn’t proceed. The objective simply didn’t appear, very frustrating stuff. Another constant issue is the disappearing debris when you fly near it, you can compare it with pop-up in the distance but here it happens up close. Performance isn’t always superb either, frame rate regularly drops and being a space shooter it is very noticeable.
How long to beat the story | 12 hours
How long to achieve 1000G | 30 hours
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