AX:EL – Air XenoDawn – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Indie, Simulation
Developer: Axe Eel Games
Publisher: KISS ltd
Platforms: PC
Tested on: PC

AX:EL – Air XenoDawn – Review

Site Score
4.0
Good: water/air feature is cool, customization
Bad: crashes, unskippable dialog, frustrating missions
User Score
8.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

AX:EL – Air XenoDawn is the latest game by Axe Eel Games. It started out as “MorphShift Wars” but is now being presented in a new jacket.¬†AX:EL – Air XenoDawn combines “the very best of sci-fi and aerial dogfighting gameplay” in order to make what it is today. Build your own aircraft from hull to wings and countermeasures and dominate the skies or waters!

axel

Story

AX:EL takes place in the year 2047. In the future, a new kind of material is discovered that possesses some strange features… MsM, the name of this new material, is a metal which can adapt to the environment, which was especially useful in creating new energy sources. Like all new technology, people tried to weaponize it and sadly they succeeded. It brought the next world war, one that used shape-shifting weapons never seen before. After the war, the world is now in crisis where this new material is the only thing of value. Families, mercenaries and warlords from around the solar system are now coming face to face so they can collect as much MsM as possible.

The story in AX:EL isn’t anything we haven’t seen before. A war occurs and now people fight each other like no other. It provides some sort of setting for the game, but further than that it doesn’t really hold much value as this isn’t a story driven game or a game where story is important for that matter.

Graphics

Graphics wise, AX:EL isn’t the best game out there, but it certainly has its charm here and there. The ships you can fly/dive with look very cool and are detailed fairly well. Air and water also look pretty nice, but the rest of the environment looks kind of dull and it’s much less detailed than your ship. Of course this isn’t the end of the world, but spreading the attention to the environment as well wouldn’t have been a bad idea.

Performance wise, AX:EL may not look demanding at all, but for some reason the minimum requirements list a fairly good processor and mediocre requirements for the rest which is kind of strange… The game also crashes quite often, but this is probably due to bugs in the game itself.

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Sound

When it comes to sound, this game really isn’t that special. A lot of the sound effects sound very dull and are repeated quite often. They’re also pretty low quality so it’s kind of disturbing at times. Luckily, you can turn them down whenever you like. The music isn’t good either, AX:EL has a very limited amount of music that is looped over and over in every mission, which doesn’t really give much diversity and makes you go crazy after playing for a long period of time.

Gameplay

AX:EL is a game that combines sci-fi and aerial dogfighting into one. Most of the game is dogfighting so you’ll have to learn how to maneuver your ship in order to avoid being hit or hitting a building. The controls are pretty basic, for people familiar with flying games: you can speed up, slow down and then you have the typical pitch, yaw and roll. You can also use your mouse to do most of the things, which makes it easier to aim and shoot your weapons. Another interesting feature is that your ship can go under water, delivering some very interesting combat and stealth scenarios.

The game features two game modes: arena and mercenary missions. Arena is the online aspect of the game where you can dogfight against other players or make a team (if you ever find other people online…). The mercenary missions are basically the single player aspect of the game. Of course, you need a ship before you can fight! This is where you’ll use the Hub, a garage of some sorts where you can buy ships and customize them.

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In the hub, you can have a look at all of the available hulls and customize them however you like, if you have the money for it of course. There are a total of 13 hulls which you can buy and customize. Customization includes changing your wings, tail, weapons and countermeasures. This means you can replace your normal machine gun with a plasma shotgun if you’d like. You can also fine tune your wings and tail in order to give it the control you want. If you want to switch quickly, you can save some presets for your ship so you can easily swap when needed.

Mercenary missions are pretty straightforward, you receive a mission briefing with some details of what you’re about to do, as well as your objectives, the enemies and allies you’ll face and the conditions. The missions themselves are pretty easy when starting out, but get very hard and frustrating down the road. There are a lot of invisible walls in the game which result in you crashing. You also can’t skip the starting dialog, which makes it very annoying if you die a lot, resulting in hearing the same dialog over and over.

The game also seems to crash quite often. Sometimes at the end of a mission it’ll just stop working, which results in having to do the mission over because your progress wasn’t saved. Sometimes it also crashes randomly when pressing a keybind like opening the mini map, which is very frustrating.

Conclusion

When reading the game description, AX:EL sounds like a very promising game: “AX:EL delivers a totally new gaming experience”. Which is true in some cases, as your ship can both fly and go under water. Most of the time though, you’ll have to deal with unskippable dialog, random crashes and very frustrating missions.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
AX:EL - Air XenoDawn - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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