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THE GLORY OF ROME synth-pop group Chvrches has become so popular (cause of Death Stranding probably) it’s now cool to stylize things with a V instead of the normal U spelling. Ironically, they also sound a lot like Pvris (of Mirror’s Edge Catalyst fame), who also follow this styling but that’s an argument for another time.) StarFox inspired space shooter Chorus (styled as Chorvs) is similarly guilty of this new fangled craze. But is this space shooter game with a seemingly obnoxious name any fun? Here’s our Chorus review:
Publisher: Deep Silver
Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S|X, Xbox One, Stadia, Luna
Release Date: December 3rd, 2021
In Chorus, you play as Naran, a mercenary who was formerly a member of the intergalactic overseers group known as The Cult. Nara was their premiere killing machine but suddenly caught a conscience after using her powers to literally blow up a planet. After destroying the planet, Nara burns away all but her rite of senses away and shakes the cobwebs free, demanding to extract revenge on those who once controlled her and pushed her past the point of no return. She aims to end them all as they seek to find Chorus, the ever-lasting song of peace united between all people.
It’s not a super deep story, and you could probably find reasons to complain that she’s a tokenized strong female character (shaved head, strong-willed) but she actually reminds me a lot of Jack from Mass Effect. I’d argue she might have been the direct inspiration for this character, minus the sexuality as Nara doesn’t exhibit any at all.
There’s a few other tokenizations thrown in for good measure, such as a few references to gay couples and a reference to a person using they/them pronouns, but otherwise this story is basically no different than every other game you’ve played where one person becomes the main hero and single handedly saves humanity.
In fact, Nara not only borrows some inspiration from The Matrix so much as down right apes it complete with the glowing runes on her forehead that look like the font from the operator screens and her eventual final form at the end of the game. Nara is cold and harsh but eventually opens up after regaining her lost ship Forsaken, and they have a buddy cop dynamic that makes the ship more likeable the pilot – but that’s probably because her weird ass whispering to herself like Brick from that TV show The Middle.
The premise of gameplay in Chorus is fairly straightforward: You fly around and assist the other members of the resistance and as you fly around each of the different star systems looking to regain Nara’s lost strength. On the way you’ll randomly save convoys from attacking space pirates, escort people who are trying to flee to the jump gates, and a whole bunch of other side quests to get your money and mods up.
While there aren’t a ton of customizations for Forsaken, you’ll be able to upgrade your weapons and purchase new mods – though almost all of the strongest things you’ll get come from side quests (aside from the most powerful missile launcher which you can buy about half way through the game.)
As you visit hidden temples to regain the aspects that Nara lost during her attack, you’ll regain abilities such as the ability to drift, the ability to withstand a lightning storm which also allows you to use that energy to deploy an EMP, and the super fun Rite of the Star, which allows you to charge through enemies at warp speed and destroy them in a single dart. The controls are fairly tight, though I personally think drifting is a little too floaty for my taste, which makes some of the timed puzzles a little more challenging than I’d prefer, but overall it’s a minor nitpick.
Chorus is a very pretty game that looks just as good on the PlayStation 5 as it does on the PC. It does include Photo Mode which is nice, but there aren’t many options aside from a bunch of different color filters that don’t vary too much. Sound wise, there’s not much here that’s all that memorable, but it’s about what you’d expect space lasers and explosions to be on a surround sound setup. Pew pew pew boom-BABOOM.
All and all, Chorus isn’t typically my kind of game but it was a pretty fun little romp. The biggest problem I had with it was how repetitive it was – most of the side missions are pretty much the same kind of thing and the biggest boss battles are repeated with a few slight twists to make them a bit harder.
Chorus is the perfect game to jump into and dink around for an hour or two before you zone out and move on to something with a little more substance. I think I spent around 20 hours or so completing just about everything for this Chorus review – I’m actually one trophy shy of the platinum.
With that said, Chorus also gets some high praise from me for being in a playable state without too many patches or bugs – something we don’t see too often these days. While there are some issues with the occasional mission bugging out if you get too far away and not immediately failing but rather continuing the script and then failing at the end, you can just retry to get through it.
Still, Fishlabs doesn’t ask you for a boatload of DLC or microtransactions with Chorus – they simply present you with a cool looking space shooter, and that’s a breath of fresh air even if it isn’t perfect.
I really wish there was a New Game+ option though, as I had almost maxed all of my skills out in the final mission of Chorus and lost all of that progress since the post game just returns you to the checkpoint before you start the last mission.
Chorus was reviewed on PlayStation 5 using a code provided by Deep Silver. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.