NeonXSZ is a remarkably agile first-person spaceship shooter and exploration game with RPG-like loot and leveling. Offering both openworld freeform gameplay and tightly structured combat arenas, it's a single-player sandbox where the only limit is your imagination.
User reviews: Positive (39 reviews) - 97% of the 39 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 22, 2014

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Early Access Game

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Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“NeonXSZ has been in full-time development for over three years and already offers 100+ hours of stable polished gameplay. With overwhelmingly positive reviews from the players, Early Access was the obvious choice to help support the game during it's final stages of development.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“NeonXSZ arrived on Early Access in Aug 2014. The June 2015 patch essentially made the game content complete. We are now in the final polishing stage. The 1.0 release is expected later in the year.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“As the game is now content complete any further changes are expected to be cosmetic and interface related. Some small balancing changes are likely as we refine the effects of the upgrades and ships based on player feedback.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Solid on all three platforms, fully featured and content complete. The game is now very close to it's final release.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“Yes. On July 1st 2015 the price will raise from $20 to $25. NeonXSZ is a huge game and we chose to start at a low price and steadily increase it as content was added. $25 will be it's final price.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“The community has already been a huge part of NeonXSZ's development. The game wouldn't be where it is today without listening to and responding to the feedback from thousands of players.

During the summer of 2015 we will be actively involving the community and asking for feedback during the final polishing stage.”
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Recommended By Curators

"NeonXSZ is an excellent slice of space combat, that takes the Descent formula and adds so much more."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (24)

November 24

Development Update - Nov 24th

With the game now content and feature complete and a couple of months having passed since the last update, we wanted to let you guys know that everything is going great behind the scenes in preparation for the 1.0 release.

After the last update, the first job was to take a step back and decompress. After a couple of weeks away from development it became clear how stressed and wired I'd become from pushing so hard for nearly 4 years to get the game finished. Doubts and tension faded and I was soon refreshed and ready to start work on the final release trailer.

The New Trailer
Trailers are obviously very important for gaining attention for the game, but previously there was never enough time to dedicate to creating something special. The current trailers/videos were made over a year ago and at that time I knew they would need replacing soon enough. It made sense to focus development time on the game rather than the trailers but for the final release we needed a trailer that really showed the quality of the game.

I always knew that creating the final trailer was going to be a big job. I knew I'd need to first dedicate time to simply improving my skills in that area before I could even begin to put together something special. So that's what I did.

I started out by spending a few weeks capturing hundreds of in-game clips and experimenting with various editing techniques. The weeks following that were spent creating cool intro and outro sections for the trailer to give it the visual punch and professional edge that it needed.

Similarly to regular game development, that stuff takes much much longer than most people realize. So much work was thrown out and replaced because it didn't reach the standards I wanted, and the stuff that did work required endless hours of iteration and tweaking to get just right.

I could go on and on about what I learned during that whole process, and at some point I may even write up an article for gamasutra or r/gamedev discussing all of that stuff, but for now I'll conclude by saying that the new trailer is now complete, tweaked, polished and ready for the 1.0 release. I'm super happy with it but I'll not be showing it until January next year. More on that below.

Once the trailer was finalized I moved on to replacing the current branding images for the game. Much like the old trailers, putting the branding images together for the original EA Steam release was a bit of a rush job. The game deserved better, more eye-catching, and professional branding, and I'm happy to say that this is now also done and looking great.

So What's Next?
There's still more behind the scenes work to be done. I'm planning to completely redesign the game's website and the main Steam page along with plenty more smaller but equally important jobs. For example, I've already contacted GOG in the hopes of getting a simultaneous release there.

During the development of the trailer a number of visual tweaks were made to the game. Nothing major but you can expect a game update with those changes to appear around the new year to coincide with the final Beta phase.

The Beta phase is mainly a formality as we all know that the game is in great shape and bug-free. The beta release will be simply to confirm that we have a rock solid release version of the game.

Mid January 2016 will see the launch of the new trailer, branding, website, and Steam page along with the 1.0 launch press release and review codes being sent out.

The final release date is planned for mid-February 2016, but the exact date will depend on any other major game releases at that time. Ideally, the release date will be locked down before the final marketing push.

That's it for now. I just wanted to keep you guys in the loop as to what is currently happening and to give a heads-up on the imminent beta release.

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August 28

Build 0.95 Released

We did it! After nearly 4 years, NeonXSZ is now both content and feature complete.

Build 0.95 adds the last major new feature: Objectives/Achievements. We don't like to do anything the normal way around these parts so in NeonXSZ the achievements award in-game currency (uranium) rather than some e-peen points. They also don't expect the player to jump through some crazy tedious hoops to complete them.

A typical objective may be something as simple as 'Kill 10 ships in the F1 hull'. They are designed to encourage the player to try out all the different hulls, gadgets, upgrades and play styles that are possible and in turn help the player to get the most out of the game.

The reward sizes have been balanced so that these new objectives are also entirely optional. For a sandbox game this is obviously important. We want you guys to play NeonXSZ however you damn well please, but if the totally open ended game structure doesn't suit your taste you can now follow a list of objectives throughout the game and be rewarded for completing them.

New and improved Gadget FX:
The second most noticeable change in this update is an improvement to the visual effects for many of the game's gadgets. Above you can see the new Blink effect, and below we have the much improved Gyro Shield. See the full patch notes below for more details on the changes to the other gadgets.

So is the game finished?
Pretty much yes, however we aren't planning to do a final release just yet. First we'll take this latest build for a spin, make whatever tweaks necessary, and then enter the final Beta phase. Beta will likely last for a few months and further visual improvements are expected.

During the beta we'll be working on new promotional videos and preparing all the behind the scenes stuff to hopefully ensure a successful full release.

You guys have been amazing throughout Neon's development and we can't thank you enough for all of your encouragement and support. Be sure to push the game to breaking point now and let us know if you run into any bugs or issues. If you have any last minute suggestions for tweaks and improvements please do let us know.

Build 0.95 Changelog
  • 68 new Objectives/Achievements added. Can be found in Options/Objectives.
  • New Advanced Gadget FX toggle option added to Options/Video
  • GyroShield visuals dramatically improved with new shaders, and other improvements
  • Ship spawn effect tweaked
  • Ship spawn effect added when launching drones
  • New sound effect added to the Barrier gadget when activated
  • Barrier brightness increased for better visibility
  • Barrier outline added
  • New animation effect added as Barrier reaches max size.
  • Black Hole gadget particle effects now only appear when Advanced Gadget FX is enabled.
  • New effects added to Blink Gadget. Psychedelic rings appear along the length of the Blink path. Blur reworked during Blink when used by the player. Dynamic environmental recoloring effect added while Blink is used by the player.
  • New blinding flash effect added around the target when hit by CorruptAI : Blind gadget
  • Impunity now has a new, additional, shield visual effect
  • New, simple, but high performance, Leech visual effect added. Advanced Gadget FX must now be enabled to see the previous fancy bezier curve based leech effect.
  • Neutonic Shield shader tweaked with subtle kaleidoscopic effect.
  • Slight rework of the Shockwave visual effect.
  • Electrocute gadget's visual effect transparency increased for better visibility while installed.
  • New positional marker effect added around all floating turrets to make them more visible.
  • WarpPipe shaders tweaked
  • Docking ports with upgrade shops are now guaranteed to also have garage services
  • Docking ports with dealerships are now guaranteed to also have Quantum Teleporter services
  • New Introduction page added to the beginning of the in-game help system
  • New Objectives page added to the Beginners section of the in-game help system
  • Non-player ships can no longer be pushed around during docking procedures. This prevents a number of potential issues with docking bays.
  • New toggle option added to Options/Video to enable/disable the Vignetting effect. This setting is automated when using the game's video presets. Disabling this should improve GPU performance for very low end systems.
  • Tooltip popup delay reduced to 0.3 from 0.5 seconds.
  • Fixed missing loot pedestals and teleporter frames from Station 7 Arena 4.

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“NeonXSZ’s gameplay is nearly flawless in execution. It can’t be overstated just how well Intravenous Software nailed gameplay, and I can’t think of a single thing I would change....This is absolutely exhilarating when fighting several enemies at once, and the fact that I often needed to take a breath after a long encounter is a testament to how exciting combat can be.”

“Neon XSZ was great fun when we played it last fall, and its ongoing development has only improved the game flow, structure, and balance.”
Hardcore Gamer

“The customisation and upgrade system in NeonXSZ is particularly impressive, with dozens of ships to choose from and over 700 Upgrades available through loot drops and trading, you’ll be able to make your ship truly unique.”

About This Game

NeonXSZ is a remarkably agile first-person spaceship combat and exploration game with RPG-like loot and leveling. Offering both openworld freeform gameplay and tightly structured combat arenas, it's a single-player sandbox where the only limit is your imagination.

You are the anomaly, injected into cyberspace to stake your place in a war of virus versus machine. During your journey you will fly dozens of ships and loot hundreds of upgrades allowing you to create totally unique spacecraft with which to wage war. Will you protect the operating system or join the infection to bring it down?

George Weidman - SuperBunnyHop said:
"Fast-paced, freeform modular combat and exploration rewards players with an incredible amount of customization. You make your own adventure-- It's Sid Meier's Pirates! in cyberspace."

What is it like to play?

At it's heart Neon is a mouse-look twitch shooter. Don't be dusting off your old joystick or Xbox controller for this one.

We took the feel, speed and responsiveness of classic shooters like Quake or Unreal Tournament and squeezed them into spaceships trapped inside internal environments. We then added the replayability, loot explosions, procedurally generated worlds, shops more usually found in ARPG's. To finish it off we put the whole thing into a sandbox environment so you can create your own unique tales of victory or defeat.

Neon's core gameplay focuses on the adrenaline fueled speed and thrill of spaceship dogfighting. Ships are small and lightning fast with the ability to strafe in all directions and turn instantly in zero gravity. You can create anything from blisteringly fast fighters to slow, heavy, tank like destroyers and tweak them with a nearly one thousand upgrades to suit your play style.

We may have taken inspiration from many classic games but the combined result creates a game unlike anything you have played before.

If that sounds like your bag of chips then get ready for one hell of a ride. We're on the final stages of development now. If you are still on the fence, check out the recent announcements and player reviews.

Welcome to cyberspace.

Current Features:

  • 60-200+ hours of fully featured gameplay dependant on difficulty choice and playstyle.
  • ~1000 persistent enemies per game from 4 warring factions.
  • Every enemy has unique AI
  • Dozens of ships to loot and fly
  • Fully interactive cockpit.
  • 950+ Upgrades and gadgets to loot and install.
  • Procedurally generated content. No two game sessions are ever the same
  • 80 Levels of upgrades used by both the player and enemies
  • Challenge arenas - Scripted multi-stage event arenas with high level loot rewards.
  • Multiple, huge, totally open game worlds (7.5km x 7.5km)
  • Change the look of the entire world and your ship, at any time, to suit your tastes.
  • AI ships have access to the exact same ships, weapons, upgrades and gadgets as the player.
  • AI ships drop the equipment they have installed, not random loot. If you can kill it, you can loot it.
  • Buy and sell Upgrades, Weapons, and Ship Hulls at hundreds of docking bays throughout the world.
  • Every object is physics-enabled. For example:
    • Weapons and explosions cause knock back.
    • Ships can push each other around.
    • Loot can go into orbit around the player creating defensive walls.
    • Ships can drop energy walls anywhere, blocking incoming fire and the movement of other ships.
    • Physics based shields that swing around ships based on their movement direction.
  • If you see it, you can loot it, fly it, and use it.

Development Roadmap

Patch 0.93. released on June 3rd 2015, brought the game to content complete status. Over the next few months we'll be working on final polish with an expected 1.0 release later in the year.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP \ Vista \ 32 or 64bit
    • Processor: 1.8 Ghz single core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB Direct X 9.0c compliant video card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 300 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Mouse and Keyboard (Xbox 360 Controllers supported but not recommended)
    • OS: Windows Vista, Win 7, Win 8 - 32 or 64bit
    • Processor: 2.6Ghz dual core
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Geforce 9800GTX+ / GTS 240, Radeon HD 4830 / HD 6800M, Intel HD4000
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 300 MB available space
    • OS: OS X 10.7 or later
    • Processor: 2Ghz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB NVidia or ATI graphics card
    • Storage: 300 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Mouse and Keyboard
    • OS: Ubuntu 10.10 or later (see below)
    • Processor: 1.8Ghz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Geforce 210, 9600GT or better. Radeon HD 3670 or better.
    • Storage: 300 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Mouse and Keyboard (Ubuntu is recommended but so far there has been no issues reported with other Distros)
    • OS: Ubuntu 10.10 or later (see below)
    • Processor: 3Ghz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Geforce 9800GTX+ / GTS 240, Radeon HD 4830 / HD 6800M, Intel HD4000
    • Storage: 300 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
24.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 17
Early Access Review
As an old Freelancer player feeling at home with endless waves of nasties to hunt down for loot in your own little spaceship, NeonXSZ is an amazing breath of fresh air, making me feel at home and yet bringing in the amenities and quality of life that we have come to expect from newer games.

To compensate for the lack of a 'story' you get so much more here than in Freelancer in terms of loot and customization (those who love checking all the little stats have so much to do in the in-game upgrade shops, and the loot explosions after each kill feel like Christmas: loot comes inside spherical bubbles that go with the most satisfying pop as you collect them) .

The game is all about killing the bad guys, level up and get to try out the many new unlockable hulls while upgrading the dozen or more equipment parts that keep enhancing your killing machine. So even if you have the option of picking up standard kill or fedex missions at every shop, the point is to get into the action and, well, kill the bad guys.

With every hour I played I came to appreciate more and more the incredible care and skill with which the (interactive) cockpit has been designed, conveying a huge amount of information without it ever feeling cluttered (I wish flight simulator cockpits were optimized like this!). The graphical quality of the environment and the effects is astounding and makes this EA game totally feel like an AAA title (let alone that I have never met with a single bug since I bought it). Adding to this, you can even customize the environment colors so that nothing will hurt your eyes as you hunt (including flipping the color of the enemies to a different high-contrast choice).

There is no standard in-game tutorial but the learning curve is very gentle because the low level enemies are push-overs and, besides, you can customize the difficulty curve to just where you like it (even the travel speed can be lowered, so that you don't need to be worried about this being a twitch-game that shuts you off if you lack Korean-like reflexes. The many colorful, detailed in-game help pages have been added recently and provide all the information one needs, and the rest can always be learned from exploration and trial and error (it helps that the death penalty is very mild, inviting you to go back into the action with no regrets). So even if the ultra-detailed cockpit may at first overwhelm, don't worry, keep killing the bad guys because it will grow on you and one day you will be able to immediately find the info you need where you want it.

Finally, speaking of levels and longevity, I have been taking in the sights and enjoying the leveling-up of my ships' components, so that after 16 hours I am still at level 12 or so, while I understand that one can work it up to 80! Seems like a huge amount of play value to me and so, summing it up, now that I recently passed the 500 game mark in my Steam collection I have never before seen a 'small' indie game done with such an incredible attention to detail and one that I could more sincerely recommend to all loot-addicted space flight fans in need of a high-quality fix. I know that we have been repeatedly disappointed by a number of Freelancer lookalikes in the past several years, so while we wait why not take this gift of a perhaps less ambitious, yet amazingly satisfying game?

If anything in this review resonates with you, please do yourself a favor and give NeonXSZ a try - it won't cost you a dime, and it will probably suck you in.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
117.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 19
Early Access Review
Simply one of the best games i've ever played. It offers an open world, intense fast paced FPS action in 6DoF (that i never knew existed or that I wanted), intense customability, and endless-seeming content. Easily one of the best purchases on steam i've ever made. Once workshop modding is added I will really be able to enjoy this game to its fullest potential. I'd also like to see more immersive faction wars in the future and perhaps a fleet/squad mechanic.

12/10 better than you'd ever think it could be. by an entire 2!! :VarrSmile:
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 1
Early Access Review
I've only played just under 3 hours or so and wanted to share my first impressions because I saw that the forums were a tad bit dead apperently.

Too long didnt't read is basically: This is one of the very few if not the only Early access games I haven't eventually been disapointed with.

So, keeping in mind I'm "one of those damn young'uns" being only 19, I had not ever heard of a 6DOF game before, and had no idea what it meant when I picked this up, because like the smart buyer I am I do ALL my research first /sarcasm.

It turns out I really should have... Because I wish I'd known about this genre sooner! This game is one of the few, or really, possibly the ONLY Early access game I've played more than half an hour AND enjoyed thouroughly. sadly, any Early Access game I've played prior to this has fallen under one or the other but not both, be it because of lack of time, or lack of interest, or just genuinley bad games.

That being said, I can definitley see this not being everyones cup of tea, but It is a very interesting game to say the least. the controls take some getting used to and the gameplay is different than anything i've played before but it is lots of fun none the less.

to me, it kind of feels like what i'd expect you'd get if you mixed a space-sim like X with an arcade or action shooter like ye olde doom or wolfenstien. it's a great game for people who want to try something a bit different than most any game today, and it's worth a buy, even if you have to wait for a sale.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
35.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 19
Early Access Review
Overall, the game is fantastic. It really does build and put a twist on Descent's game mechanics with taking pieces of upgrades from destroyed ships and collecting them until you've got all the pieces, then equipping them at a docking station. Though, unlike Descent, there are enemies that you have no chance of killing on your own, which is where the reinforcements call comes in handy if you have allies close by that will help.

The only problem I have is with the optimization on the CPU side. When I turned up my MSAA to max, checked all the checkbox graphics options, increased the light slider from 4 to 5, and decreased the render distance from 4000 to 3500, my gtx670 seemed to not even need to run at it's stock clock speed, but that's because my 3770K CPU was technically maxed out.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 7
Early Access Review
I never thought I would enjoy motion sickness this much
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny