When it comes to open worlds the best ones are where you just love to wander the world, or in the case of Chorus, fly through it. Chorus falls in that category. Described as “semi open-world”, controlling Nara and her sentient ship Forsaken, you fly through the stars, helping people and fighting a cult that you were once a part of. It’s a classic redemption storyline as Nara haunted by her past wants to put right the wrongs she helped cause. Though with one of those wrongs being the destruction of a planet, me thinks it’s going to be quite hard to redeem herself!
At the start of Chorus you’re given the basic flight controls. Everything feels quick and responsive, from movement to combat. And as the game progresses you’re introduced to your living spaceship “Forsaken” who gives you even more abilities. It can be a little hard to get to grips with at first as one of these skills is essentially a way to drift around corners like you’re playing Ridge Racer. It took a while, and there was a portion of the training that reminded of me of the tutorial in the original Driver, not something you want. But I eventually got used to it, even if it never truly felt natural.
It’s not long before you’re thrown into the first area at which point you’re allowed to gawk at the visuals. It looks quite stunning on the PS5 and I was often jumping into the photo mode. From here your map shows your points of interest, with side missions to do as well as your main quest. Each area looking like just a collection of space stations, built inside asteroid fields. Feeling very much like a “we are all stranded in space and have no planet of our own” aesthetic. Amazingly they still managed to make each area feel different enough that it isn’t just full of metal and rocks. I never got bored wandering the environments.
The main story itself wasn’t enough to grab me and with what felt like it was full of standard word generator sci-fi terms, it was confusing at first before I really started to understand what was happening. At that point though it was still hard to care, when bad stuff happens to your allies it was hard to really be bothered by it all. After all, the only interaction you’ve had with this person is a small box at the side of the screen. There are cut scenes where Nara is outside of her ship, and these do look far better than you’d expect from a space combat shooter, but they were sadly still not enough to get me interested. So, if it’s a solid sci fi story you’re looking for then maybe Chorus isn’t it. If what you’re wanting is to just solve peoples problems like some sort of Space Jesus, then this might be more down your alley. And it’s always worth doing side content in order to get credits or upgrades for your ship, which is much needed during later encounters.
What the side stuff entails usually involves youe standard open world style scenarios. Kill some stuff, escort people etc. But there’s something very moreish about it. A bit like how the original Mass Effect doesn’t have the most fantastic side quests, yet they’re somehow addictive and you want to do them all before the final credits roll. Again, being a space hero, helping people in need is a rather popular role playing scenario. At least it is in my eyes.
Difficulty can be a little uneven. While initially struggling on Normal, a quick bump down to easy about partway through and I was enjoying it a lot more. Special abilities you unlock allow Forsaken to pull off more impressive moves, and tieing them together as you take down enemy cult ships feels excellent. The other top marks go towards the music. Right from the menu you’re accosted with a bombastic theme and choir chanting. It made me think of Halo with a little bit of Farscape in there as well weirdly enough. In fact, the whole audio team deserve praise, from music and sound effects to the voice acting wihich is top notch for the most part.
Developer Fishlabs have crafted something quite impressive here with Chorus. A great world to explore with an awful lot of style. A few issues with difficulty and story aside, it’s defeinitely put the developers on my “to watch” list and will be looking closely at what they do next.