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Forgettable shooting action
This fairly early example of the FPS largely eschews the story-driven campaigns of most such games and instead concentrates on providing the kind of deathmatch-style experience most commonly found in multi-player games like Call of Duty or Quake, only in single-player mode. Unfortunately, it does so in a pretty standard way and lacks any particularly interesting features or visuals to make it really stand out and provides only average shooting action. The basic premise to the game is that in the far future, underground gladiatorial blood sports have become immensely popular and have been revived in hi-tech fashion. The player character learns of this through an old friend thought to be dead and decides to enter a competition in order to solve the mystery of this sudden reappearance. While the background fluff is appreciated, it is largely superfluous and the game simply revolves around uber-violence, with the player taking part in round after round of combat against a number of opponents, with the victor proceeding onwards to ever greater challenges. A neat enough twist is that the player can only choose two weapons per round, which adds in some slight tactical consideration to what is otherwise a pretty standard shooter, with the usual strafing and occasional mild platforming antics to be enjoyed. In every way, XS is nothing more than an ordinary FPS, but as it offers only single-player deathmatch, its appeal is fairly limited. The visuals are typical 1990s-style efforts, similar to Doom or Unreal but without the charm or flair of these and other such games. However, as the focus is the shooting, this could be forgiven if the action was up to par, but sadly it is nothing more than middle-of-the-road, enjoyable enough for a quick blast, but entirely forgettable.