With GAME XY, developer YX achieved a real surprise hit almost six years ago, which was highly praised by both the press and gamers. In the meantime, XY has become one of the publisher’s most important brands, which is why it comes as no surprise that another spin-off of the popular game series will be released this year for the current next-gen consoles. The franchise now includes five main installments and two spin-offs, all of which (with the exception of XY: The Beginning) are set in the XY universe and continue the story of the atypical heroines and heroes. During last year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the now sixth installment of the main series was announced with a short CGI trailer. Even though the game industry could be accused of a certain lack of innovation in view of the numerous remakes and sequels, the fans’ reactions showed that they are very much looking forward to new fodder from the XY universe. At the latest since the launch trailer last month, the hype train has been running at full speed. We have already put GAME XY: REVENANT through its paces for you and reveal whether fans of the game series can look forward to another milestone.
GAME XY: REVENANT is the first part of the wild 3D genre mix for the current next-gen consoles. Numerous fans have been eagerly awaiting the release and are naturally happy to make room in the console drive for MAIN CHARACTER and its illustrious followers. But newcomers to the XY universe should also be won over as buyers by refined technology and fresh gameplay. In fact, the newest installment is perfect as an introduction to the game series: XY veterans will discover one or two references to the events from the previous titles in some places, but the independent story allows the events to be followed without any gaps, even without any prior knowledge. The story takes place five years after the events of the direct predecessor, and in the course of your adventure you’ll not only meet old acquaintances from the XY universe, but also a handful of new characters. Accordingly, the developers have also integrated new locations, which are quite varied in their presentation. In general, you have to praise DEVELOPER YX once again for the audiovisual presentation: The sound effects are coherent, the background music is as usual cinematic and the character animations are consistently convincing. Only the facial animations seem a bit stiff from time to time, for example in the numerous dialogs between MAIN CHARACTER and the NPCs. Otherwise, the game runs absolutely smoothly and the numerous CGI cutscenes exude a real blockbuster atmosphere.
The next-gen controllers were also taken into account during development, so that your controller now vibrates much more strongly in moments of danger. The familiar – as well as a few new – functions and commands can be executed as usual with the respective buttons on your controller: Press X to jump and interact with your environment, circle and triangle to switch between your respective skills, and the analog keys to open your inventory or the map. However, it is a bit annoying that there is once again no possibility to create your own controller mapping to assign the functions and commands to the respective buttons individually. DEVELOPER YX wants to remedy this circumstance with a patch within the next year, also in the sense of barrier-free gaming.
In terms of gameplay, the developers have made the right adjustments: MAIN CHARACTER now executes the respective actions more smoothly and without any delay, and the dialogs and cutscenes can now finally be skipped. However, as varied as the new locations may be and as much as the developers have tried to put the necessary finishing touches on it: The mission design is once again not particularly innovative and reminds us of the well-known 0815 fare of other genre representatives. Most of the time we are busy with “cab tasks”, i.e.: find A and bring it to person B, go with D to person C and visit person B again to finish the mission. The game design ultimately offers no possibility for free development and is strictly linear. Experienced players will therefore see the credits flicker on the screen after a good ten hours – those who want to complete all the side quests and collection tasks, however, will be busy with GAME XY: REVENENT for a few more hours.
GAME XY: REVENENT doesn’t reinvent the series, but it still offers a few hours of the usual fun that will keep fans of the series glued to the screen. However, this does not mean an unqualified purchase recommendation by any means: While genre fans can pick up the game without hesitation, newcomers should definitely test play the title before buying it.
Our rating: 7 / 10
The author of this playtest has written for several years as an editor for a “classic” video game magazine on the Internet. We therefore sincerely apologize for the countless empty phrases, the missing (relevant) information about the game itself, the half-baked statements about the “audiovisual presentation” and for the enormously superfluous part about the key assignment (including a description of the respective key action).
This post is also available in: German