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Tales of Kenzera: ZAU - A Metroidvania Journey Through Grief and African Mythology

Step into a world unlike any other, where African mythology intertwines with the rollercoaster of grief. Tales of Kenzera: ZAU, the upcoming game by S...

Jorge Jimenez

Mar 14, 2024

Tales of Kenzera: ZAU - A Metroidvania Journey Through Grief and African Mythology

Step into a world unlike any other, where African mythology intertwines with the rollercoaster of grief. Tales of Kenzera: ZAU, the upcoming game by Surgent Studios, is set to captivate players with its unique setting, personal narrative, and the allure of the Metroidvania genre. Prepare for an emotional rollercoaster as you embark on a journey of growth and acceptance, all while exploring an unfamiliar world filled with spirits, obstacles, and the echoes of a grieving heart.

The first thing that strikes you about Tales of Kenzera: ZAU is its African setting and its incorporation of Bantu mythology and folklore. In a gaming landscape often dominated by familiar Western tales, this fresh take breathes new life into the industry. Surgent Studios, founded by the talented actor Abubakar Salim, has crafted a game that not only delves into supernatural elements but also draws inspiration from Salim's personal experience of losing his father. The result is a title that tackles grief, loss, and acceptance with a deeply personal touch.

The game opens with a poignant quote: "Every story begins at the end of another...." We meet Zau, a young man mourning the loss of his father, as he summons the god of death to barter for his father's spirit. From this powerful introduction, the player is dropped into the mesmerizing world of Tales of Kenzera: ZAU, assuming the role of Zau in his quest to track down three great spirits. It's a poetic beginning, mirroring the Metroidvania structure that lies at the heart of the game.

Metroidvania, derived from the Metroid and Castlevania series, is a genre renowned for its exploration-focused gameplay. Players find themselves in a vast side-scrolling world, encountering obstacles that require newfound abilities to overcome. As you progress, the game rewards you with new powers, enabling you to revisit previously inaccessible areas. The beauty of Metroidvania lies in the joy of backtracking, exploring every nook and cranny of the world as it becomes familiar and comforting.

The Metroidvania structure is the perfect canvas for the depiction of grief, and Tales of Kenzera: ZAU masterfully utilizes it. Zau, a shaman like his father, begins his journey consumed by sadness and anger, endangering both himself and a girl he encounters. To attain his father's spirit, Zau must confront his loss, learn from his father's teachings, and ultimately grow and move forward. This mirrors the player's experience of navigating an unfamiliar world, accepting its rules, and progressing through the game.

While other games like Biogun and Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown have dabbled in unique twists on the Metroidvania genre, Tales of Kenzera: ZAU sets itself apart with its seamless integration of story and gameplay. As players come to terms with the game's world, Zau, the protagonist, discovers a life without his beloved father. This shared journey creates a storytelling experience that could elevate Zau to the ranks of iconic Metroidvania protagonists.

The release of Tales of Kenzera: ZAU is imminent, with the launch date set for April 23, 2024. Players can look forward to an emotional and unique adventure on PC, PlayStation 5, Switch, and Xbox Series X/S. However, if you can't wait to immerse yourself in this captivating world, a demo is available, offering a tantalizing taste of what awaits in the full game.

So, mark your calendars and prepare for an unforgettable journey through grief, African mythology, and the wonders of the Metroidvania genre. Tales of Kenzera: ZAU is poised to take the gaming world by storm, touching hearts and leaving an indelible mark on the industry. Get ready to embark on an emotional rollercoaster like no other, as you step into the shoes of Zau and explore the depths of his sorrow, growth, and acceptance.

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