Some games don’t really go the extra mile to create a story, an atmosphere or a feeling. Those games rely more on gameplay to do the job, and would rather polish it than its lore. 10 Tons’ Xenoraid falls into this category.
Developed and published by 10 Tons
Available on the PS4, PS Vita, and Xbox One. Reviewed on the PS4.
*Review code provided by 10 Tons
We all (well some of us, really) remember the days of Galaga. The classic arcade game captivated millions of gamers into spending massive amounts of coins in order to play it, and eventually into buying home console systems to further the enjoyment. Taking a page directly from that arcade classic, 10Tons’ tries to replicate and then build upon that experience with a hit and miss result.
In regards to the backstory, it isn’t terribly deep. In between missions you get orders from your superior officers, but these messages doesn’t really build a sense of atmosphere because the gameplay always falls into the same pattern. The banter is text only, making it feel simplistic, and you never really care about any characters and they quickly become skippable sections.
The art of the game is simplistic, given that it seems that something artistically powerful wasn’t really in the developer’s interest. The stages change depending on the planet or system that you’re currently completing missions in, and that’s about it.
The gameplay in Xenoraid is quite fun in a arcadey way. In a ladder-like system of missions, the player gets to shoot his way though hordes of enemy alien ships that have different types of movement and attacks, and this is where this game is at its best. Letting you move your ship around the screen to evade asteroids, other ships and their attacks, the polished twin stick mechanics and the different enemy variations combine to give the player a fun ride. But the problem that comes from this is the fact that the games does get a bit repetitive, and in the end doesn’t offer enough possibilities as to get you hooked from start to finish.
In between missions, you get access to the tech lab, where you get to fix and edit the ships that you use in missions. You’re able to use up to five of them, and can switch between them at will in each mission. The damage that was done in the previous mission transfers to the next, forcing you to either fix the ships using the currency that you get doing missions, or sell the damaged ships and buy new ones. You also use this currency to buy different ships that you unlock that have different weapons, adding some variety to the experience. Also, you have the option to buy different perks for your ships. The effects of these can range from cooling your ship’s weapons faster, to your ships having more armor and even making your projectiles seek their target. It’s quite noticeable that without these options the game would have fallen flat, but it adds enough to create a sense of progression and satisfaction as you go through each mission.
With that said, this game is more of a casual experience, good to play from time to time to take a break from other games. That being said, it’s not necessarily a problem, if you’re looking for something that distracts you from complicated, deep, or exhausting game mechanics, this is definitely a good option to check out.
There’s two main modes in the game, story mode and survival mode. Both of these modes give you the option to play either Solo or in Co-op. The addition of the Co-Op is definitely welcome, and it makes for a good, fun time playing with others. This definitely cements the feeling of an old school arcade game that Xenoraid looks to accomplish, and makes for a good time if you have people over who are into casual gaming. This also saves the game from the fact that the story isn’t the longest that I’ve witnessed.
At the end, I believe that the developers accomplished what they were looking to do with Xenoraid, and that is to give you something that you can play without having to think too much about it, or get too caught up in other aspects apart from the gameplay. It’s a Sci-fi world that doesn’t make you learn the names of alien races, or made up space elements, but rather uses Sci-fi as a setting to let you shoot and burn space ships. If you’re looking for a game that you can boot up and play with family and friends right away, Xenoraid is a game that you can enjoy. Even though it doesn’t have a story or the atmosphere that a lot of people look for, it does have a simplicity that many others also seek, and even with its flaws, it’s well built and entertaining game.