Xotic (Xbox Live Arcade)

By Wayne Webb

Xotic is a good name for this game as it’s very strange, unusual and foreign to my experience of first-person shooter games. Built for the download market it’s not a big or long game, but it is a fully-fledged FPS and an odd competitor in the market.

I’ll also go as far as admitting to not getting what it’s about. It is fun to play though not without quirks and issues. You have an organic look and feel and the design matches this in bulbous, organelles and plants that look like they have escaped a cellular biologist’s nightmare. You have a gun that shoots light and electricity and can be powered up many times in many ways, which is a handy thing.

There are some issues in that the bright almost crayon-like design is hard to focus on as the enemies and nodules you have to shoot often look and feel as if they are part of the scenery. Same too with the more obvious enemies – some floor crawling light snakes were hitting me for ages before I realized they were not part of the scenery – same with the volcanoes they came from, too. Some items can be shot to get points, some need to be collected. They all pretty much glow a similar way and it’s only through practice you can tell the difference.

I did find the controls a bit awkward and did seem at odds with most FPS games. The odd design led to confusion, and some visual glitches were mistaken for scenery and enemies. Not a long game, but pretty good for what it is – a halfway decent FPS that is not all about pursuing a political agenda on either side.

Pros: A downloadable FPS, unusual and different design, power ups rewarding
Cons: Stunning graphics cause confusion, controls a bit off, short game time

3.5 Shacks Out Of 5