[gameinfo title=”Game Info” game_name=”” developers=”WXP Games” publishers=”Valcon Games” platforms=”” genres=”Shooter” release_date=”June 1, 2011″]
What do you get when you throw Bulletstorm, The Club, Oddworld, and Galactus from the Marvel Universe into a blender and punch the purée button? You receive a game developed by WXP Games and published by Valcon Games named Xotic. WXP most definitely pushed the purée button because Xotic borrows the arcade style high score gameplay from Bulletstorm and The Club while it pulls in the oddness of the Oddworld universe delivered on a plot that resembles the Galactus storylines from Marvel comics. Xotic follows a mysterious entity created to retake worlds pillaged by an evil orb of mental essence. Driven to madness by the loneliness of its form, the evil orb of mental essence likes to take corporeal form by possessing inhabitants and sucking the life out of the planets. Armed with the secret Macroterra weapon and Hologram platform/shield, the entity must get to work.
Xotic is a first person shooter and plays as such except the player is gunning for as high of a score as possible. Covering the levels, little red orbs/scabs are the main target and explode into a Hippy’s wet dream of terraformed vegetation. The idea is to keep a meter from hitting zero by chaining together the destruction of the scabs. The higher the meter at the end, the higher the multiplier on your score. The levels also contain enemies to be killed, power ups, and little doo dads that give points. The intention put into the design of the levels is for the player to find the most efficient route to scoring a high score mixing skill with planning.
To exit a level, the player must kill all the enemies in the level. The enemies use minimal AI as distracting the player is their main purpose. The longer a kill takes, the slower you complete the level. Once all the enemies are dead, a portal opens for the player to exit the level. While the concept of the enemies is understandable, frustration levels will rise when the player has achieved an awesomely high score only to have forgotten about some enemy that is hiding around a random corner. Xotic would be a perfectly enjoyable game with just the red scabs.
Despite being clearly developed for XBLA (telltale signs being the leaderboards, terminology, and general look of the menus on the PC port), the controls are extremely sluggish on the Xbox compared to the PC version of the game. Unfortunately for a game that requires precision, the sluggishness of the controls has a huge impact.
Xotic contains competitive gameplay thanks to the nature of the high score styled gameplay and leaderboards. Maybe if you jumped and shot the scabs up close rather than taking the time to aim from a distance, your score increases. It’s possible to spend hours just trying to get that extra thousand points and not notice the time fly.