The story in X-Morph: Defense is about an alien race visiting our planet to harvest our resources for their advanced technology. However, humans aren’t going to sit idly by and let this happen; they will muster an army that will engage the aliens head on and try and save humanity!
X-Morph: Defense is a tower defence/top-down shooter which has elements of strategy, like an RTS. It’s just wonderfully satisfying to play! Here’s why.
DLC! – Let’s Get This Out of the Way First!
There are currently two versions of X-Morph: Defense available on eShop right now. One bundle includes story campaign and a survival mode; and then there’s the bundle version that comes with 3 extra DLC modes which include an extra DLC survival mode, mini-campaign in a European assault, and 5 maps in Last Bastion mode.
Now, some may see this as money grabbing, but I see it differently. I think the full version is worth every penny as it adds an extra challenge, maps and a mini-campaign which fills out the package with even more content to play, and when it’s this much fun… I think it’s well worth the investment.
However, you can still buy the basic package and buy each of the DLCs separately if you want to.
One thing I can never say no to is the chance to be the bad guy in a video game, and it’s one of my favourite things about X-Morph: Defense – to be the alien invader and to have the chance to destroy humanity instead of saving it. It’s quite refreshing!
Story campaign moves through 14 missions with the option to change the difficulty settings.
Each one of the missions takes place across the planet, from places like Great Britain and Germany, all the way to the USA. Each mission has you protecting the core, which is the heart of your operation, from humans.
Instead of placing towers with a standard cursor though, you can cruise around in your very own UFO/drone which has the ability to change into different configurations and use different weapons in midst of battle. Different enemies are weaker to certain attacks, so having the right weapon for the job is the top priority here.
You can place turrets around the map in ghost mode which makes your ship transparent and gives you access to other useful abilities, such as the ability to move across the map quickly. You’re also invincible while ghost mode is active which makes it a great mode to switch into if you’re under heavy fire and want to heal.
Swapping between ghost mode to place turrets and changing to different ship types and weapon load-outs will help you to control the battlefield more easily. Plus, changing your strategy on the fly will help you deal with the constant bombardment from humans!
And believe me, you are in for a hell of a ride! Humans will attack you on land and in the air, and once you’re in control of the map, the humans can call upon one of their huge mech abominations to stop you! These encounters are thrilling and are one of the many highlights!
You can attack like a good old fashion shooter from anywhere on the map with multiple alien weapons, but you’re going to need a lot more support. This is where your turrets come into play.
Once you enter ghost mode, you can place turrets on areas around the map to funnel enemies down certain paths. You can even attach plasma fences if your turrets are close enough to each other which will close off areas and create a wall that certain forces won’t be able to pass through. Using this tactic means that they will have to take the longer route around, giving you the perfect opportunity to blast them either from the sky or let the turrets do the work!
In latter missions, you’ll find some troops are able to scale fences, so creating new strategies is your best bet to keep enemies at bay and keep the core safe.
Not only can you place towers and other weaponry on the map to assist you, you can also use the environment to your advantage. You can destroy the surrounding buildings or structures which will fall on enemy pathways and block their access. This makes them find a longer or shorter route to your core. Sometimes, it is best not to destroy everything straight away, as enemies can form new strategies on the fly, so it’s best to be flexible and to adapt to the environment to keep the humans at a disadvantage during missions.
Turrets ’R’ Us!
With all that fire-power flying about and the threat of instant death from humanity, what else can X-Morph: Defense dream up? Well, we have a decent amount of destructive weaponry at our disposal, thankfully.
After each mission, you are rewarded with upgrades and new technology points. Not only can these be used for your ship, but for your core as well, in the form of passive abilities. Your turrets can be upgraded, and you can add extra types of turrets, like shock waves, lasers, and cannon bombardment.
Each turret has its own pros and cons. If you’re not happy with an upgrade, you can swap the upgrade points around on other available nodes, so you try new weaponry, which I appreciated.
There are 32 different abilities and upgrades to get. On the upgrade screen and mission menu, all the information on weapons and enemies are visible for your viewing pleasure. And it’s all informative, which is great, as it gives you the information you need to select the right weapons for the job.
Also, controls are really easy to get into. Once you’re on the map, it’s easy to place, build, and shoot.
You move your fighter with the left stick and fire/aim with the right stick. You can change the ship’s configuration with the L and R bumpers, and use charger abilities with the ZR trigger.
Ghost mode can be activated with the X button, confirm button is A, which help place towers/turrets. A wheel will appear and you can cycle and pick towers/upgrade towers, change placements, activate electric fences, or sell a tower. It’s really easy to do on the fly. Finally, you can cancel with the B button.
If you do struggle with the controls, then you can customise them in the options and you should check out the how to play in the options menu for further details.
Death from Above!
I’ve actually don’t have anything really bad to say about X-Morph: Defense. I really like it! There’s a lot of content on offer, especially if you buy the extra DLC.
I love how satisfying it is to destroy and mane not only the landscape but also humanity! It’s so refreshing to play as the enemy instead of the hero, and having control over the invading forces has never felt so good!
There’s only one thing that hasn’t made the trip over from other systems, and that’s the multiplayer. There isn’t any and that’s a shame as I would have loved to have seen some sort of online co-op or at least local-play option.
The game can get repetitive after a while, but I’ve been enjoying it so much that it hasn’t affected me at all.
Audio is punchy and epic at times. I love the voice acting from the alien overlord and the human captain. Even cycling through the menu options has an alien-like sound effect which makes me think I am using an advanced alien computer.
The explosions and sound effects are really good. It makes you feel as though you are truly in an epic war of survival.
Visuals & Performance
Another area that impressed me was the visuals of the maps – they are quite detailed. Destroying buildings and structures and watching them crumble and fall quite realistically adds to the overall presentation, making you feel like you are indeed causing mass destruction as an alien race.
The UI is clear and has a glowing blue hue around it.
Everything, including the explosions and shots, fired, all look great on the big screen and crisp when in handheld mode.
The game supports screenshots and video capture.
The Switch’s icon has two heads displayed: one of the alien overlord’s and the other from the captain locked in a dead stare at the core splits the icon in two. Very nice!
The value here is apparent and is worth the price of admission. I’d say go for the bundle to have access to a lot more content. Or, if you’re not 100% sure you’re going to like the game, especially if you’ve never played a tower defense title before, then go for the single purchase. If, after it, you’ve enjoyed the game, then buy the extra DLC separately if you so wish.
Playing as aliens rocks!
Lots of content
No physical edition… yet