When I first started playing X-Morph: Defense I thought I have to protect the earth from an alien invasion and quickly got confused why my units are not accepting my control input. That’s simply because in X-Morph: Defense you are the alien invader who tries to steal resources from planet earth. Mind = blown.
So you are the evil invader who looks a little bit like an AI creation that already devoured its planet of origin and is now on a journey through space to harvest resources on other planets. This time they picked the earth, and they are only a little surprised that there are intelligent life forms with an actual army which tries to stop them from taking the planet. The game is mostly real-time action, but you have as much time as you need in between the attack-waves in order to design your defenses.
Shooter meets tower defense
If I had to put X-Morph: Defense in a genre drawer, I’d say that the title is a spaceship shooter combined with a tower defense game. While there is a solo campaign with an exciting story and a couple of surprises along the way, it’s also worth noting that X-Morph: Defense comes with a couch co-op mode (local multiplayer) which makes use of a split-screen. When doing the co-op campaign, the missions are set up a little differently to give two players a bit more of a challenge.
Of course you can use the towers as the game design and the tutorial suggests to block the attack path of your enemies but personally, I also found it interesting to use the destructive environment to your advantage. Go ahead and blast skyscrapers in a way, so they fall where you want to block the road without spending valuable resources on tower construction. The only problem here is that if you’re not working precisely the buildings could collapse in a way that does not aid your strategy and then you can’t retry. I guess there’s a bit of a thrill to be found here in that function due to the degree of realism that involves the destructive environment on the map.
I think X-Morph: Defense is a cool arcadish title with a lot of visual appeals. The gameplay is vivid and busy, but it’s not like you feel lost in between hundreds of units. I love the destructive environment that allows you to try out different kinds of strategies, even though they might not have wanted you to play it like that. Even though there is a strict narrative through the campaign’s story and missions, these little aspects of freedom make it feel a little bit more like a sandbox.
Couch co-op features are scarce, so I always appreciate it when a developer has thought of a neat way to implement that. And possibly the most creative aspect of X-Morph: Defense is that you finally are allowed to be the evil space invader trying to overpower the earthlings. You can get all that for currently $19.99 on most of the presently popular gaming platforms. If you’re interested in buying you can get the game for PC on Steam, for Xbox One, or PS4 (EU, US, Asia).
YouTube: X-Morph: Defense – Launch Trailer
Photo credit: All images and media used are owned by EXOR Studios.
Editorial notice: We were provided with a press test key for the Xbox One and played about two hours.