Spirits Of Xanadu Review
Spirits Of Xanadu is an intense title, set in an alternate version of the 1980s. As a lone operative you must travel to the abandoned ship of Xanadu and bring it back to earth whilst discovering what happened to the missing crew. What can possibly go wrong?
From the offset, Spirits Of Xanadu creates an excellent atmosphere, instantly building and sustaining a level of tension and suspense that is difficult to accomplish with even the highest of video games budgets. Your goal as you traverse the ship and piece together an interesting story is to not only find out what happened on board, but to safely return the Xanadu back to Earth. As you begin to find snippets of what happened, you really become driven to find out what fate the crew had met!
The enemies on the ship are a combination of different forms of robots that each move, react and attack in different ways, forcing you to carefully consider how you approach each given situation. Although there are several different types of enemies, I unfortunately quickly found them VERY easy to predict, thus significantly reducing the threat they posed. That being said, though, on a few occasions I actually did get caught out by some unexpected enemies which gave me a rather large fright!
You have absolute freedom on the ship from the offset and can complete the puzzles in any order you like whilst exploring. Because the map has an interesting design, with tons of passageways and ventilation shafts, it provides you with alternative routes to use as you traverse the gloomy corridors.
In every area that you reach, there is nearly always a save point on the wall to save your progress, as well as a map so you can gather your bearings and plan your route to where you are heading. If you are a big scaredy cat, there is also a peaceful mode which makes all of the robots on the ship passive, so you can just enjoy your time exploring the Xanadu and solving puzzles as you please. I personally opted not to make use of this feature as I wanted to face the added challenge of the enemies, however I can completely understand how it would appeal to some gamers.
The puzzles were my personal favourite aspect of the game, as they were really well designed and actually a lot of fun to solve. They varied quite a bit in style and method, and on some occasions really did involve thinking outside of the box. One thing I learned quickly is that there are clues everywhere, you just need to know where to look!
Spirits Of Xanadu was honestly a game that I struggled to get into at first, however after a little while playing, I became well and truly immersed in the universe and my quest to discover what had happened to the crew on board. It's not a game that will necessarily appeal to everyone, however it is so well made and had such an interesting story behind it, I really do believe it's worth a shot. Will you meet the same fate as the Xanadu crew or will you survive the horror that awaits? I guess that's something for you to discover for yourselves!
Thanks to the publisher for supplying a code for review.
The Digital Gamer