Xenocide
Gameplay 5
Graphics 5
Sound 6

Apart from an interesting gameplay gimmick on each of each five levels, Xenocide is a fairly basic and generic top down shooter. It only has five levels, a very limited selection of guns and a paltry amount of power-ups. Shooting waves of enemies while trying to stay alive is still fun for a short while, but it won’t take long to experience everything on offer and then grow bored of the repetition. While the basis for a good game is definitely there, Xenocide just never does anything to elevate it above the competition, which is a real pity as it had potential.

Gameplay: Running and shooting will always be fun, but the lack of weapons and variety results in repetition way too soon.

Graphics: The visuals are competent enough, but a little too bland.

Sound: Unimpressive sound effects, but the soundtrack at least sounds good

Summary 5.3 Average
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Xenocide

Developer: Confused Genius | Publisher: Spawn Point OSK | Release Date: 2015 | Genre: Action / Top Down Shooter / Indie | Website: N/A | Purchase: Steam

Bloodthirsty aliens have invaded and it appears that they are hell-bent on killing you. If you want to survive their assault, then you are going to have to grab a gun and spill some blood. That about sums up Xenocide, a top down shooter from Confused Genius. Recently we have seen some very good games in this genre, such as Nation Red and there are also plenty of classics, such as Crimsonland, which means this game has its work cut out for it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take very long to realize that although it is a competent enough shooter, there really isn’t much to it.

Xenocide is fairly straightforward and only offers you five different arenas in which to play. These levels can be played in local co-op with a friend, but that’s it. There’s no story, no campaign, no other types of modes, nothing. Just five levels where you have to survive for as long as possible while killing as many waves of enemies as possible. This would still have been forgivable if the game gave players a reason to come back beyond beating their own high scores, but once again Xenocide disappoints in this regard. Instead of perks and unlocks that make some of the best games in this genre such a blast to play, you will have seen everything that Xenocide has to offer in a matter of minutes. You simply pick a level, choose from three primary weapons, two secondary weapons and three types of grenades, before selecting your power-ups. There are eighteen power-ups to choose from, split into three tiers, but you can only pick a handful of them. These power-ups will then randomly spawn during the level while playing. This means that apart from the shotgun, SMG and rifle, there are no other guns that will appear while playing. You can switch to the mini-gun or laser gun until their ammo dries up, but the lack of weapons really counts against Xenocide, especially considering the vast arsenal found in Nation Red. At least the ammo for your primary weapon is unlimited, but then again these guns are so underwhelming that it hardly matters.

The power-ups consists of things like fire bullets, electric bullets, mortars, nukes and leaching life from your enemies. Instead of making a selection you can also let the game choose a random selection for you, but unless you want an impossible challenge it is advisable to take along some type of health power-up. Although Xenocide only features five arenas, we have to give Confused Genius some credit for at least trying something different with each one. Your basic goal on each level is to stay alive for as long as possible, but each level also features a different type of gimmick.

For example, on the train-yard level there is a train that drives through the middle in regular intervals and fires that you have to keep lit to keep the amount of enemies manageable. You can lure enemies on to the tracks to let the train take care of them, but watch out that you don’t get run over as well. Another level sees you trying to cover the most distance in an endlessly scrolling city while killing the waves of monsters. There’s even a level where you can power on fairground rides to take down zombies and one where you have to destroy alien teleporters. As interesting as these gimmicks are the first few times, once you’ve seen them all the game can become really repetitive.

Xenocide is powered by the Unity Engine, which means it looks very generic at times. Video settings consists of setting the resolution, enabling or disabling vertical sync, choosing the shadow quality, level of detail MSAA level and whether or not you want FXAA. You can also choose between playing in window or full-screen mode and whether or not you want the film grain effect to be on. To be honest, none of these options really make the game stand out visually, but overall it looks decent enough. Since the game seems to follow some type of alien invasion theme, your enemies appear to consist of aliens, drones and strangely enough, flaming skulls that can explode. Shooting enemies leaves a nice splatter of blood on the ground and since the visuals are 3D, it means that blowing up enemies means that they can actually fly up into the air, which looks rather neat. The five levels on offer are very different from each other, but none of them really stood out as anything special and overall the game could really have benefited from a couple of additional levels.

In terms of audio, Xenocide allows you to adjust the volume of the music as well as the sound effects. The sound effects are all rather generic, but the music at least sounds good. None of the tracks are particularly memorable, but they are definitely a step above the generic tunes found in many other games. Xenocide can be played with either a keyboard and mouse or an analog controller. If you want to play the local co-op mode, at least one of the players will have to make use of a controller. The controls are straightforward and responsive with the usual left-click to shoot and right-click to throw grenades scheme. Xenocide also has a “dodge” button, which hurls your character in the direction you have chosen. It looks very unnatural, but at least it is quite effective for avoiding damage. The power-ups that spawn on the map automatically activate when you run over them and disappear after a while if you don’t. The game does feature a “killstreak” bar that fills up as you kill enemies, but overall the scoring system is fairly basic.

At the end of the day it is really the lack of variety that hampers Xenocide the most. It has none of the gun variety found in Nation Red and the lack of unlockable perks, items or power-ups means you will have seen everything it has to offer in just one or two rounds. Trying to beat your own high-score is fun and so is playing with a friend in co-op, but there is just nothing that makes the game stand out from the crowd. It does try to make the levels a bit more interesting than what you would normally find in the genre, but with only five to choose from the boredom soon sets in. If you are a fan of the genre, then you might be able to squeeze a few hours of fun out of this one, but everyone else would be better off playing Nation Red.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
  • Processor: Intel / AMD 2.0 GHz CPU
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia 8800GT or equivalent
  • DirectX: Version 10
  • Storage: 400 MB available space
  • OS: Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
  • Processor: Intel / AMD 2.0 GHz or higher CPU
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVidia or ATI-based graphics card
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 400 MB available space

Related posts

Chime

Chime

It is a pity that Chime does not have more songs and levels as the game is extremely addictive. It plays like a cross between Tetris and Lumines, but is unique enough to keep you hooked. The audio plays a big role in the game and features tracks from some famous artists so this is a great title to add to your library. Gameplay: Simple but very addictive. Graphics: Simple but stylish. Sound: Tightly integrated with the gameplay.

LOST ORBIT

LOST ORBIT

Hang on to your jetpack and dodge the perils standing between you and your home system in this action packed game from PixelNAUTS. The controls are responsive, the story interesting and flying through gauntlets of obstacles is simply exhilarating. The game is also quite easy on the eyes and features a great soundtrack to boot. Unfortunately, the 40 levels on offer fly past way too fast, but overall Lost Orbit is an easy game to recommend. Gameplay: Boosting through space while swerving around obstacles and making use of whatever you can find to increase your speed is a lot of fun. Graphics: Colorful and very polished. Sound: Great voice acting and an even better soundtrack.

Professor Lupo and his Horrible Pets

Professor Lupo and his Horrible Pets

Professor Lupo and his Horrible Pets is a fast paced puzzle game with a great story and interesting enemies to outsmart. Playing as a intern trying to escape a doomed space station that is overrun by deadly alien pets is a lot of fun and the strong narrative elements makes it even better. The game also features a surprising amount of content and can keep players busy for a long time. Some more variety for the environments would have been nice, but the great monster designs make up for this and their varied behaviors keeps things fresh. Overall, this is one of our favorite puzzle games of the year and a must-have for any fan of the genre. Gameplay: Five chapters with a 100 challenging, but entertaining, levels to conquer. Graphics: The hand-drawn visuals look great and the monster designs are really neat. Sound: Features a great soundtrack, decent sound effects and even full voice acting.

Drakensang: The Dark Eye

Drakensang: The Dark Eye

Drakensang is one of those games that harkens back to the days of hardcore role playing with a party of characters and an epic quest. While it is great to see something like this in an age where dumbed down console ports are becoming the norm on PC it does require a considerable investment in time and patience from players. A good game, albeit somewhat generic. Gameplay: Definitely aimed at hardcore role playing fans. Graphics: Treads a fine line between colorful and realistic. Sound: The music is OK, but overall audio is average.

Ef: The First Tale

Ef: The First Tale

As far as visual novels go, Ef: The First Tale is one of the best that I have played to date. There isn't much in the way of choices but the story is engrossing and kept me hooked until the end. Ef is also one of the longer titles I have played in the genre but remains polished and charming throughout. For a feel-good story with likeable characters and some great dialogue you can do far worse than Ef. Gameplay: A visual novel with very little choices but a touching story. Graphics: Beautiful artwork and plenty of scenes. Sound: Original Japanese voice acting and an amazing soundtrack.

Hidden Folks

Hidden Folks

Hidden Folks is a game where you get to search large, detailed, hand drawn landscapes for people and items. This is repeated across four different landscapes made up of 14 levels. The gameplay is simple, but addictive, while the monochrome visuals and mouth-originated sound effects further add to the charm. If you are looking for something that is easy to pick up and play, but challenging enough to keep you busy for a while, then we recommend you give Hidden Folks a chance. Gameplay: Very simple, but finding all the hidden folks is quite a challenge. Graphics: The art style looks great and some of the larger scenes are really impressive. Sound: Instead of traditional audio the game uses mouth-originated sound effects for everything.

Leave a comment

four × 2 =