Friday, February 21, 2014

PC Spotlight #79: NeonXSZ

Title: NeonXSZ
Developer: Intravenous Software
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Price: $19.99 (currently $9.99, 50% off) 
If there was one word to describe NeonXSZ, it would be "ambitious." A blend of Descent-style ship combat, copious loot, procedural environments, and a wide range of weapons and parts to equip, NeonXSZ is a fast stylish expansive action game.
From the get-go, NeonXSZ separates itself from other games. It's not the kind of experience that will hold your hand and guide you with missions and objective arrows. Instead you're let loose in this large word of transport tunnels, cityscapes, and other open areas, with only a few tutorial messages and then free reign to go and do as you please. It's a game built on exploration, in both exploring the world to find missions and enemies to fight and exploring the mechanics. I found this worked very much in the game's favor, especially with my favorite feature: the cockpit.
Given the perspective and mechanics, the cockpit plays a huge role in combat and gameplay, and the fully  interactive dashboard adds a great sense of immersion/ very screen has a function and it's fully interactive. You can rotate the digital map in the corner screen and change the secondary camera screen from front to rear view. Locking on to a target display their information on another screen. You can choose and change your weapons by selecting the icons on the center console. But beyond that integral aspect, the overall gameplay impresses as well. While the movement and controls take time to learn and adjust to, soon it'll be possible to easily skim through tight spaces or fly forward and let your momentum carry you while firing at enemies behind you. The gameplay is fast-paced and fluid, from close dogfights to distant firefights where using your displays and targeting systems is a must to blow away your enemies. The wealth of weaponry and equipment - drones, teleportation, shields, homing missiles, and more - and ship types allow you to craft the kind of playstyle.
NeonXSZ is an expansive game that really opens up once you take time to learn its system and mechanics, and should appeal to fans of deep customization, exploration, and fast fluid combat. The game is still in alpha, but is extremely playable and more content is on the horizon, such as the Combat Arenas and new areas that will be added in the next update. You can purchase NeonXSZ on Desura and vote for it on Steam Greenlight.

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