Game Reviews

Xenowerk - There's a lot to like here

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| Xenowerk
Xenowerk - There's a lot to like here
| Xenowerk

There's something to Xenowerk. With its rattling geiger counter, claustrophobic environments, and bite-sized action set pieces.

It's not perfect, and some of the sheen of the earlier levels starts to fade the deeper you get into its battered corridors.

But this is a solid twin-stick shooter that, while it doesn't really have any new ideas, delivers enough jittery action to make it well worth a look.

A new breed

Fans of the Alien Breed franchise are going to be instantly at home here. You're controlling the heroine with twin virtual sticks, stumbling through a ruined research base with one and firing with the other.

You're constantly beset by mutated horrors, which range from scuttling headcrab-sized critters to enormous brutes with fists like sledgehammers.

You earn credits as you play, and spend these on more powerful weapons and better armour. Your weapons upgrade gradually as you pick up blue orbs that defeated monsters drop.

Rather than reloading, your weapons can overheat. If they do they jam, and you need to wait a few seconds before you can fire again. Tapping a button in the bottom left switches to your sidearm, which can be just as powerful as your main weapon if you play smart.

Different armours offer different buffs and boosts. These unlock as you kill things. The basic one lets you heal yourself, while others keep your guns cool for their duration, or speed up your movement.

Shoot and move

There's a lot to like in Xenowerk. It's rhythm of violence is just the right side of frantic. Running in all guns blazing will almost certainly get you killed, so keeping the fearsome creatures at bay is the order of the day.

Things do get a little repetitive, and while you progress through different weapons and armour, the game itself doesn't move too far from the original complete-the-objective, get-to-the-elevator beat of the earliest levels.

Still, there's a compulsive crack to the short levels that means you'll push on just to see what the next gun does, and while the action isn't always spot-on, it can be an awful lot of fun.

Xenowerk - There's a lot to like here

A run and gun twin-stick shooter with a little more to it than most. Xenowerk has its problems, but it's worth a look all the same