X-Morph: Defense – Review
Follow Genre: Tower Defender, Shooter
Developer: EXOR Studios
Publisher: EXOR Studios
Platform: PS4/Xbox One/PC
Tested on: PC

X-Morph: Defense – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Great graphics
Bad: Slightly boring maps and gameplay
User Score
8.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Ever came home on a Friday night wishing you could just rule the world and destroy every city one by one to shape it in your image? Well, now you can! X-Morph: Defense brings you the possibility to invade Earth and cover it with your own alien metallic surface as you harvest, build and defend towers, and make sure nothing touches your base while shooting at anything that moves with your state-of-the-art alien aircraft.

xmorphdefense

Story

You are an alien race that descends down on Earth to reap, sow and assimilate whatever used to be human property. As soon as you land, the humans respond immediately, at first approaching you with respect and news vans. Big mistake. Quickly after this mistake, the military follows up with various ground and air forces to try and repel the alien invasion. Every level in the campaign is about taking over another major city. Every level you hear the conversations between the human general and his forces, and the instructions and comments your own commander gives to you, the main attack and defense force. This is the way the story progresses till the end.

Xmorph defense 3

Graphics

The Graphics made X-Morph: Defense recognized by the gaming community because of the use of the Schmetterling engine. This engine makes it possible for the complete destruction of buildings, shockwave blasts that bend trees and more. Combined with the special effects it’s a spectacle to watch while you speed your way to all corners of the map to shoot things up. The enemy vehicles are red while your towers and aircraft are blue, which combined with the detailed map give a reminiscent feeling of games such as Red Alert from the command and conquer series. Sometimes there are so many enemy waves coming at you at once that it can be a bit hard to keep focus in between the chaos. Your own bullets are easy to see since they are bright blue and your attack speed is very high. The enemy projectiles, however, seem to sometimes disappear slightly when they blend in with the detailed background and many moving or exploding objects on your screen.

Xmorph defense 1

Sound

During any moment in the game, there is a cinematic soundtrack that covers whatever happens on your screen. These tracks blend in nicely with the swooshing sounds of the rockets and lasers that turn your enemies to dust. Also, a big thumbs up for the voice acting that does not feel forced and is of a nice, clear quality. Your commander sounds like a typical Sci-Fi bad guy, which is good. The enemy general sounds like he’s old, slightly arrogant, a true cliche of a human general in movies. In this game, those cliches work in the game’s favor because they underline the war zone atmosphere. Overall, a great quality sound.

Gameplay

First of all, the game is a hybrid of a tower defense with a shooter. The tower defending is the objective since every game there are waves of enemies that try to reach your alien core to blow it up. If you succeed in defending against all waves, you take over the continent and go on to the next. This is also the biggest issue of the game. As repetitive as it sounds, it might also be. Finishing campaign levels give you upgrade and technology points (skill points) that you use to access new weapons, towers and upgrades for either one or your ships. Using these weapons and new towers don’t make the game much more interesting. The further you get, the better the game gets, but it also feels like you keep playing more of the same. Where in arcade spacecraft shooters you normally can get many random upgrades that define the battle, and in tower defense games there are clear pathways that you build a tower next to, X-Morph has a slightly different take.

Xmorph defense 4

In X-Morph, basically you have a build/edit mode and a fight mode, both of which are always available but obviously while defending you don’t always have time to make building adaptations. When in build mode you can place new towers, link them with a laser fence to block pathways, sell or move them around, or morph them into something else like strong air-defense instead of the original basic tower. In fight mode, you can switch between different fight ‘’stances’’ which also have advantages versus different types of enemies. Bombs versus ground enemies, missiles versus air. When you want to spend upgrade points basically you always choose between something that helps more to either one of those enemy types. It does not matter that much if you spend it on towers or ship upgrades but morphing a basic tower into something different will cost you more resources than just leaving it basic. On the other hand, spreading multiple towers ensures there are some defenses even if you can’t be at those parts of the map yourself. Eventually, for every fight stance, you have a primary and secondary button. You will mostly use the secondary button cause it’s the strongest, but it always has to charge itself. So you will defend yourself versus waves by making paths as long as possible, charging attacks and shooting enemies. At the end of the wave, you have to either build new towers or reconfigure the mapping of your existing ones. This loop repeats itself during the campaign and it could get a bit boring. There should be some arcade parts to make it even more chaotic fun, or a bit less chaos to make some more order. Just that bit extra.

Xmorph defense 2

Conclusion

X-Morph is full of action and is a beautiful game with some nostalgic feeling to the map and models, but the gameplay itself just feels like it’s lacking something. Now it mostly feels like a hectic shootout that’s not that rewarding after a few hours, but still is very cool to watch. Overall it feels like the developers spent too much time on polishing the graphics and, however it’s a working system, too little on the gameplay and its long-term aspects. New enemies and upgrades just don’t really feel that new. Taking every aspect and viewing it together though, it’s a good looking welcome adaptation to the tower defense genre.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
X-Morph: Defense - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Pim Hoogeveen
Pim Hoogeveen


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