X-Morph: Defense - European Assault - PS4 Review

X-morph is a really interesting blend of top down shooter and tower defense, which are two styles I never imagined coming together, but I'm rather glad they did. While each component that makes the larger game is pretty standard on its own, it all comes together to make a rather unique experience, with a great couch co-op mode.

X-morph is, ultimately, exactly what you'd expect from both a tower defense game, and a top-down shooter. As a part of an alien entourage intent on harvesting the Earth's resources, you must protect your core from those annoying humans trying to drive you off. This is done in waves that are quite blatantly separated, which you can begin at any time you wish, because apparently that's how the military does things now.

For the most part, before starting a wave you can set up turrets and road blocks, to force the enemy convoys to take the longest paths to your core, thereby allowing you to blast them for longer before they start attacking. Once a wave starts, you'll probably be spending most of the time in fighter mode, which is where the top-down shooter aspect comes in. You must defend both yourself and your core from the humans before the core is destroyed. Luckily, your personal death means very little, except a bit of time loss as your ship is reconstructed, as long as the core isn't broken, you can keep going.

Upon completing stages, you will earn upgrade points, which can be used to enhance or create turrets, upgrade ship functions, or upgrade core functions. One really nice addition is the ability to retract upgrades you've spent, meaning you can test a build, decide you don't like it, and respend points with no real demerit, other than maybe forgetting what you've bought.

Probably the best part of X-morph has to be the co-op functionality. Both yourself and your partner actively participate in combat/building at the same time, and the only changes to the campaign are enemy health/number, as far as I can tell. You do split resources, which you earn from destroying enemies, and which are used to construct turrets, but ideally you can work together to create the impasses needed to train enemies through the most ideal paths for you to pick them off in. Interestingly enough, you can deconstruct turrets to regain your resources (or get the resources back if the turrets are destroyed), so your partner can actually demolish your structures to steal your resource points, hopefully putting up a turret elsewhere with an electric fence to deter those pesky humans.

While X-Morph is quite entertaining, especially when played with a partner, there are a couple of drawbacks. X-Morph is rather "short", particularly if you're good at either style of gameplay, and as the missions aren't all that numerous, you could complete the game fairly fast. The load times also flip flop between really long at acceptably long. While there are a bunch of difficulties available, without knowing how the waves will play out, it becomes rather hard to determine a good difficulty to set if you're more on the "not quite good at these things" side to maintain a challenge while not making it too easy. On the plus side, if you fail a mission you're allowed to change the difficulty before retrying.

Overall though, X-Morph has a decided charm to it, and while the main alien computer things voice bothered me, the amount of enjoyment I got out of shooting up tanks and convoys with my friend in the co-op mode well more than made up for that. There was screaming and yelling, vying for turret space, and lots of cheering when we finally won.

Game Information

Sony PlayStation 4
EXOR Studios
EXOR Studios
Tower Defense
Shoot 'Em Up
Single Player
Other Platform(s):

Provided by Publisher

Article by Richard


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