Have you ever wanted to ride a dragon – as Hiccup does with Toothless? Or maybe one of the heroes from the Panzer Dragon Saga? And what if a tell you that in XenoRaptor, the new game from Peter Cleary / Stage Clear Studios and published by Digerati you are not going to ride a dragon but to pilot it instead. Here you will be in control of a cyber dragon armed to its teeth with a single mission: to exterminate waves of enemies across the galaxy!
XenoRaptor is a twin-stick shooter that will have you and a friend battling an endless fleet of chainsaw spaceships ready to mow you down. Use your weapons and dexterity as a pilot to avoid the hazardous space and your enemies’ lasers and chainsaws and survive against the incoming onslaught!
What do you do? In XenoRaptor, you will fight seeming endless waves of enemies in a twin-stick shooter with the vision from above. Eliminate all enemy spaceships while avoiding asteroids and other obstacles.
What we liked!
- Game modes: Besides the campaign, which can be played in single or co-op, you also have at your disposal an endless mode. In all game modes, the objective is the same: survive and score as many points as you can.
- Visuals: Your dragon and your enemies’ ships will look tiny on your screen, making it difficult for you to see their good level of detail. This is due to the fact that the game focus on showing the hugeness of space, composed of beautiful backgrounds illustrated by stars and planets and some impressive illumination effects upon them. Your guns blazing (and your enemies’ too) will color the black sky with fine-looking light and explosion effects too.
- Sound: The sci-fi themed songs are usually a matter of ‘love them or hate them’. But the music in XenoRaptor is so good that I doubt you are not going to enjoy it! I doubt you aren’t going to enjoy only the music because I’m sure you will enjoy its sound effects. The sound of your shots, explosions and the enemies’ chainsaws will please the ears of every player!
- Gameplay: In XenoRaptor you will fight waves of enemies in open arenas full of obstacles. Besides the enemies, the asteroids are going to be one of your greatest issues: avoid colliding with them at all costs! When enjoying the adventure in co-op, the friendly fire is something you are always subject to – and your enemies too. You can attract fire from one enemy aiming to destroy another one or maybe make them collide with asteroids or other ships to help you clean each stage. Your main guns have unlimited ammo, but you must pay attention not to overheat them. Your special gun, on the other hand, has limited ammo – but you can always pick more from enemy drops. Destroyed enemies leave power-ups to replenish your health, ammo or thrusts. Fly smart and avoid picking them without need: they will be available to pick at any moment during a level. Keep it in mind you and try to attract your enemies and engage in combat with them only when close to these power-ups in case of emergency.
- Customize your arsenal: The level of customization you can do with your arsenal is remarkable! You can take to the battlefield two main weapons plus a special one. You can equip your weapons in the hangar, where you can choose between machine guns, laser beams, flack cannons, flame throwers and a lot more. After selecting your favorite weapons, you can select its barrel, type of bullet, warhead and accelerator, which gives you hundreds of possible combinations. The same level of customization applies to your special weapons too. And at a small level to your ship, that can have its hull, sensors and engine changed. Every time you defeat a boss, you unlock new pieces of equipment for your arsenal, so finding the perfect combination for your play style may take you some time. But I’m not lying to you: this is where I had the most fun with the game!
- Sniper camera: One feature I found pretty useless is the Sniper Camera: an option you can activate during the game that moves the camera from centered in your ship to one a little more focused in your line of sight. I used it only a few times because it wasn’t useful.
What we disliked
- No story: What’s wrong with so many studios releasing games with no story or reason to be in these last few months? XenoRaptor, unfortunately, is one of these. You’re piloting a cyber dragon fighting against a space skeleton armada (that’s all the info we can get from the game page at the Xbox store). But why? Why not to develop these concepts a little more?
- Capped game: XenoRaptor was released at the same time for consoles and PC’s (Steam). Comparing these different versions, I discovered the PC version can be played with eight players in online co-op. With that in mind, it’s hard to understand why the console version has been reduced only to two players in local co-op. Why such a downgrade in the console version of the game – both in the online play and in the number of simultaneous players?
- Bugs: During my time reviewing XenoRaptor, I faced a few bugs that compromised my gameplay (yes, they were game braking). First, after defeating all enemies on a level (number indicated under your radar, on the left corner of the screen), nothing happened. There was no message of ‘level complete’ nor anything that indicated the level was finished – and it happened a few times, forcing me to restart the level. The other is more a nuisance than a bug: when there are only a few enemies left on the stage, they insist in running away from you, making you engage in senseless pursuits – yes, pursuits, because if they are smaller than you, they will run away from you! – what could have been avoided by making them go after you instead of running away and make you lose time.
XenoRaptor is an interesting and challenging twin-stick shooter for fans of space shooters. With a great level of customization, it offers you hundreds of possibilities to exterminate your foes. If you have a friend to play with you on the same couch, it’s even better! But only on local multiplayer since the online multiplayer didn’t make this version. After some time, it can become repetitive, that’s true. But the nature of aiming for the higher score will keep you coming back for more!
With a history of gaming that goes from his old man’s Atari 2600 to his Xbox One, Rafael or RAF687, our Brazilian editor, has a love for games as old as he can remember. He has already spent countless hours in many consoles (Mega Drive/Genesis, Sega Saturn, PS1, PS2 and Xbox 360) and is always ready for more (as long as his wife is asleep). Raf has been writing for LifeisXbox since 2017, with a passion for games of almost all genres – though we know he has a special place in his heart for RPGs, racing games and anything that includes pixel art. Writing about games has always been a childhood dream to Raf, dream that he has fulfilled reviewing games for you here. You can drop him a message at Twitter, Facebook or Xbox Live at any time.