Xotic is a new first person shooter that boasts quite a twist.
You plan as an alien race with an symbiotic bond with an insect like creature (which happens to be your gun) and your job is to purge planets of a virus like infection. The basis for the game is relatively simple, you run, you shoot and then you collect points. You maximize your points by shooting plants in the environment that destroy other nearby plants to create multiplier chains. Xotic is a game that rewards repetition to find the most efficient chains in conjunction with killing enemies. It's an arcade game through and through because at the end of the level your points are multiplied by how many factors are applied. Things like difficulty, power ups, and time taken all factor in to your total end score.
Xotic boasts that it's something completely different. While it looks very unique it doesn't feel very unique. It has a very classic corridor shooter feel to it. You run, you gun, and you move through corridors. They did include a decent cover mechanic, but it really takes some reworking of the button mapping to make it useful. By default your lean out button is the right bumper, and shooting is the right trigger, it feels kind of clumsy trying to get two fingers on the shoulder buttons. To choose which direction you lean out you actually hit the X or B button to switch your gun to your opposite hand. X for left hand and B for right hand. The movement felt rather generic, you slide across the ground and then aim and shoot.
The graphics were pretty lacklustre actually. The environments look pretty cool but it feels like this game could be on a Playstation 2 or an original Xbox. It still supports high definition and all that good modern stuff, the models and textures just look a bit out dated. Not to say that that's necessarily a bad thing, it's just that people expect a bit more out of games made in present days. That being said, it's an arcade title and not a full disc release. The environments have some really awesome colour to them, the whole experience is very vibrant. Glowing green plants, vibrant red bulbs, and things like purple walls. It was all very alien, and that really seems to be the point. Once you get past the lower quality graphics the game actually looks pretty cool. The art direction is really going in the right direction.
The bottom line is that the game is amusing. It never wow'ed me at any point, but it's definitely worth playing. It's a good game to pick up if you're looking for a diversion from other games, or if you just want to get on a game for a few minutes at a time. Especially with a price tag of $10, you can't really go wrong. It just didn't feel all that... Xotic to me.