Chorus PlayStation 4 Review

Chorus features a vast galaxy where danger depends on the power of one’s spaceship.

By Fragnarok, Posted 29 Dec 2021

Chorus is a flight adventure game developed by Fishlabs and published by Deep Silver. Players take control of Nara, an ace pilot that has fled the cult-like Circle after having taken part in the genocide of an enemy world. With her stolen Circle starfighter, Forsaken, Nara has now joined forces with the fledgling Enclave Resistance freedom fighters.

Chorus|Nara|Fishlabs|Deep Silver

The Forsaken starts as a rather simple craft. Its propulsion is a bit slow, handling average, with a basic unlimited ammo gatling gun fired with L2, and a shield system. It features two additional speed modes: boosting with R2 to dodge threats and long-distance travel with R3. However, both make it increasingly difficult to control and turn the Forsaken accurately. The shields automatically regenerate in the heat of combat, but if it is fully depleted any damage to the actual hull will not restore until all enemies are eliminated.

Thankfully, once arriving at a friendly docking station, Nara can spend any found credits to improve or customize the Forsaken in various ways. The guns can be upgraded, or weapons like missiles and lasers added. Defensive boosts like shields and hull durability are within their own section. But unfortunately, customization slots are allocated towards both speed and extra damage bonuses. This often means that the Forsaken will either be deadly or evasive, but not both.

Chorus|Nara|Fishlabs|Deep Silver

At times, Nara will also temporally pilot other vessels as needed. One of the first instances is the Spirit battleship, which moves slowly but is armed with impressive cannons. Unfortunately, as the quest’s goal is more about shooting than speed the actual controls, camera, and movement of the Spirit wind up being counter-intuitive. Whereas the camera is always fixed behind the Forsaken, suddenly the Spirit has a fully adjustable camera controlled with the right analog stick.

Nara herself has a special power in the form of the Rite of Senses, a Circle ability that lets her scan and sees through objects. This radar is essential for finding items, passageways, new objectives, or spotting threats beforehand. Players should use the Rite very often, as many encounters are designed for one to first study a situation from afar and only approach once a strategy is planned. Rushing in blind will often only lead to defeat and even permanent death if players choose that option in the settings.

Chorus|Nara|Fishlabs|Deep Silver

Later on, as the story progresses Nara will gain further Rite powers that can be used on the adventure. This includes being able to drift during hyper speed, or completely teleport the Forsaken for a few seconds. These new Rite skills use up energy, so they can only be used for a limited time before recharging.  

Chorus is very much about exploration first, gaining awareness second, and taking action third. There will be a large amount of time slowly traversing from one-star system to the next. It typically pays off to methodically check out every nook and cranny of a new zone, interact with friendly ships and stations, hear story beats, and finally venture out towards dangers once fully upgraded.

Chorus|Nara|Fishlabs|Deep Silver

The game features a lot of story options that can affect or branch off. While a member of the Enclave Resistance, Nara doesn’t quite know everyone in the organization and is still under some suspicion as being a Circle spy. Players will have options of assisting, ignoring, or a few times antagonizing her allies. Additionally, a third faction is the marauding Space Pirates. While they have no qualms about looting helpless Resistance members, they are also enemies of the Circle. Players that negotiate or spare the Space Pirates may find them working to fight a common threat.

Despite the vastness of Chorus, players will almost always be at the helm of their ship. Even when supposedly inside a space station or moving on foot Nara is rarely seen. Most of the time she remains onboard the Forsaken, with an opaque cockpit blocking any possible character model. This causes Nara to feel less like the protagonist of her own story and more like a disembodied narrator. This winds up making it feel odd and almost out of place the few times she does appear in a handful of cutscenes. This is further compounded by Nara having some rather strange facial animations while trying to deliver an emotional speech.

Chorus|Nara|Fishlabs|Deep Silver

Chorus winds up being very open-ended, and players may have a greatly altered experience. How one builds and modifies the Forsaken will play a big part in how the game feels. It could be an exploration game where one traverses the stars, an intense aerial dog fight against fast but weak ships, or a slow war of attrition as durable crafts exchange potshots. However, when it comes to story focused mission, players may need to completely change their loadout and playstyle to deal with the current objective.
 

Kurtis Seid, NoobFeed
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General Information

Chorus

75/100

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): Deep Silver, Koch Media
Developer(s): Deep Silver, Fishlabs, Deep Silver Dambuster Studios
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: Space Shooter
Release Date: 2021-12-03

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