It is not often that you can clearly see that a game is actually trying to do something different from the norm. More often than not when a game company claims to have produced something special that is set aside from the norm they are stretching the truth. The makers of the Xotic are not one of these companies. The bright colors and flashing lights gives me sore eyes and a prolonged session makes it a little hard to see after. This is one of the brightest games you will play on your PC this, or any other, year. There is not a dash of sepia in any screen of this game. It is graphically bright and over the top. This is the Teletubbies of first person shooters. It is what you would imagine a bad acid trip would be like. It is an almost Lovecraftian hell you’re trapped in and have to escape.
Gameplay wise it is a first person arcade shooter action game with puzzles. Most of the game is made up of setting up complicated combos of blowing various colored blobs that are placed around each level. Combat is caused when manifestations of the evil that caused the colorful mess attack you to prevent your progress. Instead of “maps,” it is more like a level which you try to clear as fast as you can with the most panache. You are armed with a single weapon which you can buy power-ups and alterations to.
Therein lies one of the problems with the game — switching between variations of the weapon can be slow and frustrating in the middle of the frenetic pace of the game. It has a similar problem to Hard Reset in that area. At least at the lower levels I failed to see much difference between the variations of the projectile types. Considering you have enemies and various gun turrets to eliminate on several levels this can get annoying quickly.
Then there is the stability issue with the game. It crashed several times on me and the game has old school graphic glitches in the menus that make all of the buttons a blob. It means that you had to remember how to quit out of the game or hard-quit in order to solve the problem. There is a certain amount of in-game lag as well that can make it frustrating on the harder levels. Furthermore, the game requires you to share your score. When you are learning the game it can be quite annoying to see just how bad your score is compared to others.
Now then, ignore everything I have just said about the game, and just go get it on Steam. All the above would be bloody frustrating and cause a rubbish score were it a AAA or even AA title. Were this game to cost $50 for the PC I would say stay well away. Considering it is less than a tenner, it’s all rather moot. If you are between big titles or just need a laugh at something totally different then get this game. Its not a “session” game by any means and it has its quirky frustrations. Support the developers for taking a chance and get this game. It has some truly interesting ideas and may be a great concept even if the execution isn’t the greatest.
Xotic is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Animated Blood, Violence. This game can also be found on: Xbox 360