I greatly enjoy top-down shooter games, especially ones like XenoRaptor
which are set in space. In general, if you like ridiculous weapons, crazy customization, high-score chasing, and really chaotic gameplay, then you definitely should pick this game up.
is a fast-paced twin-stick shooter. The movement of the player's ship feels natural, especially if you are playing with a controller like I was. Aiming is not a problem, and there are 4 skills that the player can use: 2 basic weapons that generate Heat
, a special weapon that uses Ammo
, and a movement skill that uses Fuel
. The number of weapons and combinations that are possible in this game is already varied, and is sure to increase as the developer adds more of them. Each weapon plays out in its own unique way, so there are many styles of gameplay that can be catered to, provided that you can unlock the weapons and modifications first.
The enemies are generally combinations of characteristics, for example a fast chainsaw ship that uses a chaingun, which does make the level varied enough that they are not grindy, but similar enough that you can easily tell at a glance what type of enemy you are fighting. The bosses must be defeated in order to unlock weapons and modifications for your ship permanently. Each has a separate drop list and will always drop a new mod until you have acquired all of them. Unfortunately there does not appear to be a way to tell when you have gotten every mod from a specific campaign level until you have defeated both bosses without getting another drop.
Chaotic as the levels are, it would be near impossible to beat the level without the use of power-ups that are dropped occasionally when you kill an enemy. That being said, there are some readability issues with said power-ups that can make it a nuisance. Medkits
will fully heal the player's ship to prevent you from dying. Coolant
(and all other weapon power-ups) will reset your Heat
bar, which if filled will prevent you from firing your basic weapons until it has cooled approximately half of the bar. Ammo
, a subset of Coolant
, will add Ammo
for your special weapon, which can be shot even when you Overheat. Speed
drops will replenish your Fuel
and make your ship move faster. An important thing to note is that you can overcharge your Health, Fuel
, and Heat
, but it is not nearly as efficient as its intended usage. Unfortunately, the Medkit
and standard Coolant
power-ups are both green and about the same size, so they tend to look very similar and can be a bit confusing. While you can look at the minimap because it uses more distinctive icons and even though the game will circle the power-ups that you need urgently, it is still frustating. The Speed
power-up, while not as vital as the other two, is very small and hard to see. Again, it appears distinctly on the minimap, but it is a problem nonetheless.
I have absolutely no clue on what manipulates the score multipler. Generally killing stuff increases it and getting yourself rekt will drop it.
Currently the user interface is very bare-bones: The main menu has a few items, including the Hangar and game modes, but there is no tutorial or additional information that will tell you what power-ups do. While you do get a basic control list when you press F1 in-game, you will need to figure out what everything is and does on your UI.
The Hangar is where all of the customization magic occurs. You start out with a very basic set of weapons and mods for your ship and you need to unlock them by beating bosses. It is very nice to have the weapon firing pattern and numerical statistics visible, making it that much easier to make an informed decision about your loadouts. When using a controller, you may run into some problems with controlling the interface, but if you use a mouse and keyboard you will have no problems.
As an aside, the start-menu has a very odd textbox that I am not sure of its purpose, and the name submission after you complete or fail a campaign mission will always reset to its default every time you start the game again. Again, not really an issue, since you probably won't be easily getting top ten, but it is a tad bit annoying.
The player's ship is customizable and you can see it in your gameplay. Weapons all look unique and the particle effects look great. The enemies all look the same in style, but are very easy to distinguish from different types. Not much to complain about here.
As for options, you have several aspect ratios and resolution options. You can also adjust Antialiasing, Anisotropic Filtering, and Texture and Shader Quality.
The sound effects for the weapons are varied and good quality. The background music definitely fits the game's over-the-top space battle aesthetic.
There are only 2 volume sliders: Master volume, and Music volume. So while you can turn down the metal music if you do not enjoy that type of music, there is no way to do the opposite if you only wanted to listen to the music.
Multiplayer is most definitely unfinished, but it has been explicitly stated by the developer that this is one of the priorities at this stage. I will update this when it is more complete.
Aside from some small annoyances with the user interface or just a lack of information on basic game mechanics, XenoRaptor
is a great twin-stick shooter experience. With a bit more polish and once multiplayer is full fleshed out, I would whole-hearted recommend this game to anybody that shows a remote interest in this type of game. Right now, it is still worth investment if you want to contribute to the development of the game and deal with a few minor issues.