Reviewed by Kathryn Harrison
X-Morph Defence is played from the perspective of the bad guys. The Alien bad guys, from the brief introduction, appear to be in a spacecraft that looks like a massive asteroid (it is actually a massive mothership, but it is frozen due to drifting through the universe) trying to find a suitable mineral source, so they can mine for it, survive and then probably move on.
It starts where the mothership drops a silo on earth and obviously the military and news anchors come to see and control the threat. You may notice that earths General of the army is voiced by no other that the guy from Crackdown, Michael McConnohie, who does all the voiceovers like “Good work Agent” etc. The aliens that you play as sound like a cross between Optimus Prime from Transformers and the Nanotech Suit from Crysis.
Straight away you are tasked with defending the silo from earth’s forces. This is when you are instantly shown the familiar Tower Defence mechanics and then you realise that the little ship which is on the screen is actually controllable by you. I think that this is dubbed the X-Morph and where the title come from. This mixes things up as you feel you are not taking a back seat like you do in other Tower Defence games. You are more in control and the turrets you place in the map are more of a supporting role rather than you being solely reliable on them like other Tower Defence games. When you build turrets, you go into ghost mode but one advantage of using this mode in the middle of a gun fight is that it makes you immune to damage and you are able to pass through some objects. It can also give you a tactical advantage to manoeuvre i.e. ghost in then out.
As the game progresses it’s gets more challenging and you are able to upgrade what your turrets can do i.e. shoot fire instead of plasma etc and you can upgrade the little ship that you control as well with rockets and such like which specialise in air to air targets or air to ground targets. The maps start to become more challenging as the main emphasis is to make your enemy’s route through the map to your silo as far as possible. You do this by lining turrets together to make a barrier which diverts the enemy’s path. You also can level a skyscraper and make it collapse in order to block the path to your silo, which gives you more time to wipe out the enemy from their points on ingress into the map. It does give you time to plan out your next moves or placement of turrets, as a level is divided in waves. When a wave is completed the next wave will only start when you’re ready.
The game starts to introduce massive enemies to destroy and you have to find their weak spots. There was one which I shot up to pieces and finished it off unexpectedly by dropping a massive skyscraper on it. This amused me no end and was oddly satisfying.
To sum up the game it has nice graphics which hold up really well when there are about hundred different things being blown up on screen at once. It has local 2 player split screen, which is a laugh believe me. Why more games do not have this anymore is beyond me. The campaign is not very long, but you know what, it does not need to be. Why have a game with hundreds of levels for them to be similar and boring. This game is a little refreshing. I can guarantee when you get fed up with your other games you will always fall back on this. It’s definitely one of those games you would keep on your hard drive and not delete. It’s also addictive as well. You will find that one out like I did. I suspect that in time there will be DLC. Bring it on I say.
For more information or to buy visit www.xmorphdefense.com.