PositronX (PC) Review

By Athanasios 02.12.2020

Review for PositronX on PC

In PositronX by indie developer Scorpius Games, you are, basically, a terminator. Not the Terminator, of course. Aside from the fact that the robot you'll be in control of doesn't have an Austrian accent, instead of humans, its task will be to destroy its own kin. Too bad that it is a bit vulnerable, though, which is something that the player will soon find out, as it will be hard to survive for more than 10 minutes. Don't worry, though. True to its "Play. Die. Repeat" tagline, this is a rogue-lite, therefore, and like the T-800, the mechanical protagonist will be back, slightly stronger than before.

PositronX doesn't try to reinvent the rogue-lite wheel, and keeps things fairly simple. From the level structure, to the arsenal, power-ups, and upgrades that can be found, each run is randomly generated, forcing you to deal with whatever Lady Luck throws on your robotic hands. The player avatar, the Positron, can wield weapons that range from shotguns and pistols, to rocket launchers and plasma rifles, acquire abilities that let it slow time, create a duplicate that attracts enemy fire, and more, and finally upgrade both its weapons and its skills by finding the necessary items in-game. The controls and overall gameplay loop is easy to grasp too, so most will get the hang of things in a few minutes.

The real question is whether you'll want to keep on playing after those few minutes. In other words, is the whole experience enjoyable? The answer is: yes… but the fun won't last for long. For starters, PositronX has that problem that few rogue-lites have managed to overcome, which is that, one hour into it, and you will have seen pretty much everything, with each run mixing and matching the same few types of unimaginative, boxy-shaped mini-levels, which are in turn filled with the same types of enemies. In conclusion: repetitions kicks in, and kicks in very fast, which isn't exactly a good omen, as the bread and butter of rogue-lites is their replayability, and this just doesn't cut it.

Screenshot for PositronX on PC

Another problem here is that this leans more towards the realm of rogue-likes rather than rogue-lites, in the sense that, while losing a game theoretically leaves you stronger compared to how you were when you started your latest run, in practice it's far more important to find a decent set of weapons and abilities in your play-through, rather than expect to survive by building a better Positron. Of course, that wouldn't be such a big issue if the developer had tested its product sufficiently, as the end result lacks the necessary balance. Long story short, runs are more dependent on the caprices of luck, rather than the skill of the one controlling the action.

By far the worse aspect, however, is that this simply isn't that fun to shoot at things. Pulling the trigger lacks the necessary "power" that first-person shooters need in order to be enjoyable, as every impact ends up feeling more like a weak slap. The hit detection makes things even worse, with many of your shots simply not finding their target - extra annoying when it comes to splash damage, with the (completely visible) blast radius of a rocket or grenade not even scrapping the tiny metal spiders that come towards you. Don't forget the visual style at hand, which looks neat, but also makes it hard to see incoming damage due to all that flashy neon colours, blurring effects, and so on.

Screenshot for PositronX on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

PositronX feels as if stuck in that awkward game development phase where the title is ready… but also isn't. In other words, it feels as if it wasn't sufficiently tested in order to make sure that, apart from being a working product, it's also a fun product. As a whole, a pretty average rogue-lite FPS.

Developer

Scorpius Games

Publisher

Scorpius Games

Genre

First Person Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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