Introducing Scrolling Shoot ‘Em Up Xenoraid on PS4, PS Vita

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Introducing Scrolling Shoot ‘Em Up Xenoraid on PS4, PS Vita

Hello everyone! I’m excited to be back on PlayStation.Blog to announce Xenoraid, a vertically scrolling shoot’em up with a unique feel driven by a great combination of features.

I’m personally in the driver’s seat of Xenoraid, and the whole concept of the game stems from the fact that I personally enjoy shmups. Or at least the shmups that preceded the bullet hell movement. To me, bullet hell games feel too much about memorization, dodging, and extreme precision. I prefer my shoot ’em ups to be about good old-fashioned blasting enemies to bits!

Xenoraid on PS4, PS Vita

Xenoraid has minimal bullet hell traits. We set out to innovate on how we’d get the focus on the act of shooting, and make the game about destroying enemies in a deliberate and effective way. The first thing we did in the original prototype was make the starfighters turn lightly when moving left and right. In other words, the fighters don’t always point towards the top of the screen, which in turn grants the player the ability to fire in angles. It felt immediately great, and brought aiming into the mix of game mechanics in an awesome way.

When we had the aiming mechanics down, we took a hard look at shooting. It dawned on us pretty quickly that in order to make shooting matter, squeezing the trigger had to be a conscious decision. This, almost by itself, gives a cease fire a role to play as well.

After trying a couple of things around these ideas, a weapon overheat system was born. This means that in Xenoraid you can spray and pray, but you won’t be able to do that for very long. Constantly blasting will overheat your guns, and they’ll lock down for several seconds to cool down. This instills a sense of pressure on the player to actually aim a bit, to hit and destroy the intended targets instead of keeping the trigger down and counting on hitting something eventually.

Xenoraid on PS4, PS VitaXenoraid on PS4, PS Vita

The weapon overheat mechanic also works beautifully with the third major idea we wanted to incorporate. In Xenoraid the player goes on missions with four starfighters, and gets to switch between them at will. Having guns locked due to overheat is a great reason to switch in a fresh fighter. Other valid reasons include being on the verge of being destroyed due to taking too much punishment, or needing to bring in the big guns of another fighter to take down an enemy miniboss.

I, and everyone at 10tons, would love to hear your thoughts on this! Xenoraid will be released this year.

Comments are closed.


3 Author Replies

  • Sounds fun and different. Definitely looking forward to some gameplay videos.

  • I already like this game and see potential on it.I love shoot ’em ups since ever and plus I’m a fan of the work of you guys at 10tons.I’m definitely looking forward to Xenoraid…next time would be nice to see a gameplay video.

  • I love games like this! I’ll be DL’ing this on drop day!

  • So, with the overheat mechanics, is there a way to clear stages without firing a single shot, ala Ikaruga? Just curious.

    • No, you definitely need to kill each and every enemy in Xenoraid. That’s very much the point of Xenoraid, we focus as much on shooting, hitting and destroying as we can.

      In fact, the procedural mission driving works so that when new enemies are spawned, the fly around the screen a while, and if you don’t destroy them, they go away. Only to come back after some seconds, and spawning of new enemies doesn’t stop in the meanwhile. So if you don’t destroy enemies at a rapid enough pace, they’ll crop up.

  • As an 80s kid, this looks great. Thanks for bringing it to Vita!

  • I too like shmups, but feel the bullet hell craze has ruined them, so I’m looking forward to this – especially since I’m lacking a good shmup for my Vita!

    One thing you didn’t mention was ship/weapon upgrades. Will there be any? If so, how does it work? Or how does progression in the game work in general?


    Looking good so far!

    • Good questions!

      I hope the means of progression are, we keep what we’ve leveled. This naturally feels like the pilot is moving from mission to mission while buffing up the stats. Anyways, that’s my preference.

      Further, the Enemy Count on the Alpha screen is temporary there for developers? That’s a waste of UI space imo!

      “Xenoraid has minimal bullet hell traits.”

      Good! I’m terrible @ Bullet Hell games- I’ll like a modern, casual experience!

    • Thanks!

      There are ship and weapon upgrades. They’re not a super central feature, but you do get to choose which fighters and which weapons to upgrade, and if to invest in tech research to enable more exotic mechanics to take you through the battle. Currently the game progresses so that there are five battles (or chapters), each consisting of about ten missions. With each battle, one or two new fighters are unlocked, and each fighter comes with new weapons.

  • Nice to see more Shmups come to Vita…Day one Buy and Thanks for supporting VITA !!

  • Sweet. I love shmups (especially on Vita) and I’m interested in the play mechanics you described. Looking cool, so consider me down for this.

  • Thanks for giving some love to the PS Vita.

  • Sounds awesome! :)

  • Game sounds really good. I like the different mechanics you are putting into the game. I love shmups (even bullet hell) and will definitely be supporting this game on launch. Are there going to be upgrades to your ships as you progress through the levels or will it be similar to games that have upgraded drop from enemies?

    • New fighters with new weapons are unlocked as you progress in the campaign. Currently there are no traditional powerup pickups in the game, just credit pickups you spend in the metagame to upgrade ships, weapons, or tech. Or indeed repair or replace fighters if you’ve taken a beating.

  • Don’t get me wrong, I like the Playstation Indie, but does anyone remember the Playstation Vita? The portable console that had AAA games like Uncharted Golden Abyss, Little Big Planet Vita, ModNation Racers Road Trip and Resistance Burning Skies? What happened to that system. I’m quite sure I owned one but at some point I lost it and it was replaced with a less powerful console called the Playstation Indie. It still says Vita at the bottom of the screen, but it is clearly a Playstation Indie. What happened here?

    • Are you one of those naive people that thinks indie = bad?

      Sure, Golden Abyss was great, but I put maybe 20 hrs into it, compared to probably 100 hrs apiece into BoI and Rogue Legacy, just to name two. Indies fit the vita well (and particularly platformers) because people want bitesize experiences. I want 30-60min game sessions; I’m not going to sit down with my Vita and play four hours straight.

    • “What happened?” Gamers didn’t buy enough Vitas- so, a Platform without a thriving userbase WILL stem AAA software development. This is reactionary; buy more hardware & the software will follow.

      I have zero regrets purchasing a launch Vita + 32GB & I’m grateful for Cross-buy titles & software development from EU & ASIA teams. I use my Vita everyday.

      Was the last AAA retail title Tearaway? How long will your nostalgia last?

      Maybe someone modded your Vita; try scratching off the “Playstation Indie” label.

  • “take my money now”

  • The world needs more traditional shmups!

  • Just what I love! Looking forward to this on my Vita!

  • I have one question maybe two. Is it free to people who don’t have a plus account?

  • Thanks for supporting the Vita. I love 10tons. Can’t wait for the next Sparkle game

  • I’ve been looking for a Raiden-esque shooter for a while now. Loved Velocity, but it didn’t scratch that itch. This looks like a perfect fit for the Vita.

  • Game looks great for my Vita! Will the Vita version be compatible the PSTV?

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