Xotic is an arcade-style first-person shooter created by indie developer, WXP Games. Your objective is to gain points by collecting tokens while shooting enemies along with orb-like scab plants. Xotic is a title begging you to acquire massive combo scores and awesome power-ups to keep you coming back for more. Despite its lack of shiny modern graphics, Xotic packs a formidable punch and will most definitely provide you with hours of enjoyable gameplay.
FOV And A Whole Lot More
You start the game with the typical choice of three difficulty settings: easy, normal or hard. The choice not only influences your game difficulty but also changes your level score, which I will come back to later. Personally, I like to take the middle ground in my games to show myself what I’m up against so I chose to play on normal, which proved to be a good base point. Next comes the tutorial showing you the UI, what to shoot and how you earn points as well as power-ups.
Your first few missions are relatively easy but steadily increase in difficulty. The more levels you complete, the more experience points you gain for upgrades. You are also able to unlock new maps. There are four in total. You start with Underhome and then gain access to Drifting Canyon, Forgotten Subway and Vanishing city. The level design on all four maps is mostly linear but you do need to look out for tucked away enemies or power-ups. As far as controls work out, they are quick and easy to understand, something I love over a game with ten different hot keys. The game runs on a standard WASD configuration with space bar to jump. Left click fires your normal shot and right click a special shot of your choice.
Sadly the default mouse sensitivity is quite sluggish. It appears WXP designed Xotic to be controlled via a gamepad first while the keyboard and mouse played second fiddle. The upside is you are easily able to increase the sensitivity which uses a numerical slider. After messing around with the setting for a few minutes, I was able to get somewhat comfortable although the game never gave me that true PC FPS feel. Xotic goes a step further in the graphical department by including the option to increase the FOV in-game. This is an awesome feat coming from an indie developer when most AAA studios can, but won’t, include this functionality.
Your Results May Vary
You gain points for doing a number of things. Collecting floating orb essence and power-ups, killing enemy creatures and shooting at scab plants to set of chain reactions.With all of these factors present, you are required to keep your eyes open and your head on a swivel in order to dodge enemies while chaining combos and looking for collectibles to boost your score. So you get to watch your points increase while you’re playing but it’s once you’ve completed a level that you get to a descriptive list to see how they are allocated. Across the board, your initial score is calculated from your in-game actions. This is then increased depending on your difficulty setting, your time taken, the amount of Terraform you removed, your accuracy, and your best chain reaction. Each of these give you a star which in turn gives you more bonus points. Next comes the genius part, Xotic’s integration with the Steam user system. You can compare your score to your friends or the entire population of players meaning that you can see what you need in order to achieve top ranks on the leader boards.
Here’s the part where you get a payout for all of the hard work you’ve been putting into the removal of the Terraform from your planet. The upgrades come in visible usable rewards and passive rewards. Your visible rewards are the the ability to upgrade the Macroterra, your biological weapon, with a number of shiny new abilities ranging from fireballs to electric bolts. Your passive upgrades include increased health, armour, and energy for the Macroterra as well as the ability to absorb health and point globes from further away. Each upgrade has three ranks which you can unlock by spending points. You gain a set amount of points for the completion of a mission and you can either spend them quickly or, as I like to do, save them up and go on a mass shopping spree. Whatever you spend your points on, it definitely helps you out later on as enemies get harder to kill and deal more damage
Conclusion – Is It Worth Your Money?
Yes. Xotic is brilliant. It’s wonderfully colourful and the best part is that it is an original concept not just another COD wannabe FPS. It is also very addictive. When you see the scoreboard, you don’t simply go to the next level, instead you constantly think to yourself, “I’ve got to get higher on that scoreboard.”You may think you do not have competitive side but this game will bring it out and at the same time you’ll enjoy it. It’s also in my opinion, pardon the bad pun, exotic. It’s a breath of fresh air to a market swamped with repetitive RPGs and FPS style games. It brings something from the arcades of the past and revitalises it in a very good way.
Xotic Technical Summary:
- Time Played – 8 hours
- Widescreen – Yes, In-Game Adjustable FOV
- 5.1 Audio – Yes (v1.3 addressed 5.1 issues)
- Bugs – Sometimes bodies left behind, enemies sometimes stop moving.
- Control Scheme – M/K or Gamepad (Controls are a bit sluggish on default)
- DRM – Steamworks
- Availability – Steam
- Demo – Yes
- System Specs – 3.2Ghz, Phenom II X2 , 2GB RAM, GeForce 9800 GT
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