Eisenhorn: XENOS review
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Eisenhorn: XENOS review

Our Review by Campbell Bird on August 17th, 2016
Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: 40,000 ISSUES
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Ambitious titles are great because they test the boundaries, but when they try to do too much, things fall apart and make them much harder to appreciate.

Developer: Pixel Hero Games

Price: $9.99
Version: 1.2
App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2

Graphics/Sound Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starhalfstarblankstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar

There have been a lot of Warhammer 40,000games coming out recently, but it's hard to imagine one as peculiar or ambitious as Eisenhorn: XENOS. On its face, this game looks like a fairly standard third-person action game that got shoehorned from the PC onto mobile, but that just goes to show how misleading screenshots can be. Eisenhorn: XENOSis actually one of the most interesting 40kgames I've played, but it's easily the most flawed one too.

Orks? Space marines? Who needs 'em!

If you're coming to XENOSto don some power armor and blast some green skins, you've come to the wrong place. Unlike most Warhammer 40,000games, XENOStakes the spotlight off of hulking space marines and places it squarely on Eisenhorn, a member of the Imperium's secret police force known as the Inquisition.

In this role, you'll primarily be investigating the movements of some not-so-savory members of the Imperium, in a story that manages to stay pretty interesting despite some wooden voice acting and strange pacing.

Psychic detective

So while there aren't any Orks and only a handful of Space Marines throughout XENOS, you -- as Eisenhorn -- get to dispense justice with your psychic abilities. You'll also have to occasionally break out your sword and gun to show folks you really mean business, but only really if you reach a climactic part of the story or fail to use stealth effectively.

Despite looking kind of like a Gears of Wargame, XENOSreally focuses on story, to the point that large sections of gameplay consist of little beyond moving from one point to another to trigger dialogue and cutscenes. Regardless of what you might think of this, it's probably a good thing that the lean of this game is on story since the game combat is pretty crude and buggy, while the game story has the benefit of being based on a book.

The empire is burning

If you are excited to hear that XENOSleans on a narrative based on existing fiction, let me stop you before you get too excited. As nice as this game may look in stills, almost every aspect of it is poorly designed, problematic, broken, or buggy in some way.

Levels have huge layouts that provide little or no direction, characters animate and act poorly, audio bugs cut out entire sections of dialogue, combat sequences can fail to trigger properly, enemy AI sometimes get stuck in the environment -- this list could go on and on.

Despite these problems, XENOS is still a fully-fledged third-person story-driven game. It goes a lot of places and tries tons of things that mobile titles generally don't or can't. The only problem is that in doing so,XENOSis a bit of a mess.

The bottom line

I'm kind of glad I played through XENOS, but I would find it hard to recommend someone check it out unless they were some kind of mega 40kfan. This whole thing is kind of strange because XENOSactually has some good ideas, competent controls, and a solid story. It just falls apart pretty dramatically everywhere else.

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