Saturday, February 1, 2014

PC Spotlight #74: XenoRaptor

Title: XenoRaptor
Developer: Peter Cleary
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Price: $10
Very rarely do I impulse-buy games. I saw XenoRaptor on TIGForums last night and was instantly intrigued by the crazy description and impressive GIFs. If "a weapon which teleports attack bears into the cockpit of enemy ships" doesn't peak your interest, nothing will. I tried the demo and then purchased the game ten minutes later,  I'm a big fan of dual stick shooters and bullet hell mayhem action games, and XenoRaptor does not disappoint.
The last indie that compelled me to buy it so fast was Broforce and in a similar fashion, XenoRaptor is wild, over-the-top, and just fun. The controls are fluid and very responsive, allowing you to evade enemy fire and enemies themselves with ease. But being able to maneuver with ease doesn't mean the game is easy. The gameplay has the same fast, frenetic, frantic pace of Assault Android Cactus, as bullets and enemies fly in from all angles, and you must constantly stay on the move, rarely given a moment to rest. However, XenoRaptor offers the player far more freedom in terms of gameplay. From engine types to customizing your loadouts to altering your dragons color pattern, you have a wide range of options to mix and match. Want to be a teleporting, mine dropping, laser blade wielding cyberdragon? Or evasive and armed with railgun and chaingun? Or do you want to mind control enemy ships and use your laser like a tractor beam? All those playstyles are equally viable.
 XenoRaptor's charm extends to its environments and visuals as well. Controlling a weaponized space dragon mech is just feels more exciting and cooler your usual SHMUP ship, and better yet, the health and overheat meter is represented Dead Space-style, by lights on your dragon's body, keeping the UI minimal and the screen free of clutter. The backdrop of planet, stars, and asteroid fields are impressive and in some instances play a role in gameplay. Asteroids can be dragged along with your tractor beam or used to funnel enemies through chokepoints so they destroy themselves.
XenoRaptor doesn't just offer hectic single player chaos; you can also play co-operatively and competitively. I haven't tried those modes yet, but they're there for people who enjoy multiplayer. The game is still in beta, with more maps, enemies, bosses, and ship components to come. If you're a fan of arcade shooters, bullet hell fun, and tactical depth, XenoRaptor is right up your alley. You can purchase XenoRaptor or download the demo from the developer's site, follow the game's developer on TIGForum and Tumblr, and vote for the game on Greenlight.

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