When Chorus first was announced back in May 2020, it was clear that Deep Silver was creating a special game. The slick ship, Forsaken, spinning through space, the tight looking controls, and the feel of flying an X-Wing through the death star was something that really got me excited about the game.
Space fighter simulators have been surprisingly lacking on consoles, and the ones that have come out haven’t nailed the formula, until now! Let’s blast into hyperspace and find out why Chorus deserves to be in every space combat fan’s game library.
Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Google Stadia, Amazon Luna and PC
Reviewed on: Google Stadia
Developers: Deep Silver Fishlabs
Publisher: Deep Silver
Genre: Space combat
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
A journey of redemption
In Chorus, you play dual protagonists: ex-cultist Nara, who is an interesting ace pilot with a haunted past and Forsaken – a sentient AI starfighter and her closest ally, with a mysterious backstory of his own to unravel.
Both Nara and Forsaken’s quest for redemption takes you across the galaxy and in some instances beyond the boundaries of reality. You fight to unite resistance forces against the Circle and their leader, the Great Prophet, at all costs.
While I don’t want to spoil too much of the story, I can tell you that the game’s story and your journey is intriguing. However, on occasion, Chorus’ story is hard to stay with. At times, the story advances with still pictures on the screen accompanied with dialogue that is voice acted.
To be honest, I would have preferred some animated lip movements. Though, I can appreciate that the developers decided to leave it as a secondary focus.
Tight and fast-paced gameplay
If I was to summarize Chorus’ controls, I’d say they are tight and fast-paced. Every star fight feels like it is an adrenaline filled experience. Taking out small enemies and perfectly lining up a laser beam feels extremely satisfying. Furthermore, I feel like Chorus’ combat is essentially a perfect mix of arcade and simulation.
However, I do have a few issues with the game’s UI and HUD. Finding enemies can be difficult at times with the small icons the game gives you while flying. Many times, while looking for enemies, I was bombarded by their lasers when I least expected it. I would like a bit more clarity for finding enemies and occasionally objectives. On a more positive note, boss fights are better. During these events, you are placed in an arena of sorts to condense finding your adversary in the openness of space.
Speaking of openness, the coolest part of Chorus is that you get to explore space and side quests. Rather than giving you a linear experience, the developers choose to use waypoints and the open world to load in game. Flying to destinations and admiring the vastness of space, stations, asteroid fields and more was much more interesting than a loading screen. And you can fly and barrel roll all you want.
Upgrade weapons, cosmetics and more
Chorus also has a fair bit of customizing to it as well. Docking at your home base gives you chances to upgrade weapons, some minor cosmetics, and skill points. Occasionally, I felt this slowed the pacing of the game down along with the missions that require players to find stuff.
Thankfully these take just the right amount of time usually to not completely slow the game down. When you’re dogfighting with space pirates, Chorus is at its best. Navigating menus and customizing Forsaken is a nice, personal addition, but for the most part, drew me away from the otherwise fantastic gameplay.
Beautiful open world adventure in space
Chorus has a nice look and feel to it, though I would have liked to see a bit more going on in the background. The game offers two performance modes: High frame rate and quality mode. On both PS5 and Xbox Series X high frame rate runs at 4k 60fps without raytracing. And, performance mode runs at a reduced resolution, 30fps and introduces raytracing into the mix.
Chorus cannot be reviewed without mentioning music. Every atmospheric melody sets players right into the dark world of the game. The composer and Deep Silver Fishlabs really sets a haunting tone for Nara’s epic encounters and the game ends up feeling like a space opera completely should. Forsaken’s theme, along with the other tracks kept me hooked and drowned in the game world.
Chorus is a compelling single-player experience
No bones about it, Chorus is a spectacular space fighter. In my opinion, there aren’t enough good games in this genre. Thankfully, Deep Silver Fishlabs delivers an absolutely exhilarating experience with Chorus.
The tight controls, fluid battles, intriguing story and open world exploration make this a title I highly recommend to space combat fans. If you can make it through the seek and find missions, you’ll find an addicting gameplay experience in Chorus for hours and hours.
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF CHORUS
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5
+ Tight controls and fluid battles
+ Intriguing story
+ Good range of upgrades and new abilities
– UI/HUD can make it difficult to locate enemies
– Static characters with no lip movement