Description of Xiphos
Electronic Zoo's Xiphos is relatively unknown first-person sci-fi shooter that recalls Ian Bell's classic Elite in interface and style, although with a much more simplified and narrow scope.
The plot is your typical blast-the-alien type brouhaha that isn't worth repeating here, but the action is quite fun, especially since the game features a lot of nicely-rendered polygonal 3D ships that move quite convincingly in combat. Although the game is quite open-ended in that you can fly just about anywhere you please in space, the difficulty level increases (with more, and smarter, enemies) as you terminate hordes of enemy ships. Asteroid fields complicate the challenge, as well as space mines and other stationary obstacles.
Anyone why just wants to play a quick blast-them-all game without bothering with the plot can play the "Raid" mode-- a nice touch. After a while, though, Xiphos's appeal diminishes--- you only get to pilot one ship (although you can upgrade armor and weapons), and enemy ships begin to look and act the same way after a while.
With no "extra" gameplay options (such as the intricate trading module and diplomacy in Elite) or interesting plot twists (as in Star Crusader), Xiphos in the end is similar to Coke: it sizzles for a while, only to fall flat shortly after. A good attempt, but not good enough for either fans of arcade fun or space simulation.
Review By HOTUD
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Atari ST version
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