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the game awards 2023

Tales of Kenzera: Zau Is A Magical Metroidvania Inspired By Bantu Myth

by Charles Harte on Dec 07, 2023 at 10:00 PM

The Game Awards are packed with eager looks at highly anticipated games, but the ceremony is full of plenty of surprises too. One of them is a flashy Metroidvania called Tales of Kenzera: Zau, the debut game from Surgent Studios.

Zau is a boy on a quest to bring his father back from the dead. Guided by Kalunga, the God of Death, he uses his ability as a warrior shaman to defeat the ancestral spirits that roam the land of Kenzera. His main tools are a pair of magical masks; with the Moon mask he can manipulate time and crystalize enemies, and the Sun mask allows him to launch fiery spears. Studio founder Abubakar Salim says that the two masks are reminiscent of the Devil May Cry series with the way they allow the player to flip between ranged and melee modes.


The world is inspired by Bantu lore and imagery, with bright colors and mythical beasts. Additionally, the game will be scored by Nainita Desai, a British composer who made the music for Half Mermaid's Telling Lies and Immortality.

Salim founded Surgent in 2019, but most gamers would currently recognize him as the voice of Bayek from Assassin's Creed Origins. According to him, the passing of his father motivated him to create a new project – he wanted to tell a story of grief in the form of a video game. With assistance from the Ridley Scott Creative Group and Critical Role, five years later, Tales of Kenzera: Zau tells that story.

The trailer ended with the news that Tales of Kenzera: Zau will be coming to PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, and PC on April 23, 2024.

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Tales of Kenzera: Zau

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