Co-op is neatly laced into Xenoraid's modes, both survival and the regular campaign. Up to four people can join in local matches at once, each controlling one of the four ships in your squadron. The only catch is that each player doesn't have their own fleet of unseen ships. Four heroes total is all we've got. So, for example, if you and one friend are playing and they destroy their ship, they'll immediately take control of another, leaving the both of you with just one backup to share. That makes co-op a little more skill based than fun based, so choose your shooting partners carefully.
The co-op experience is notably different than the solo one, but not because the game makes any obvious structural changes. The simple addition of new players means strategies will shift, and in a game that's all about strategies, that's a big deal. Four player co-op is especially unique, as it almost starts to feel like a wild party game instead of good old Xenoraid.
One of Xenoraid's biggest strengths is that it lassos all of these seemingly complex features into a simple, experimental based set-up. It may sound overwhelming to think about armor upgrades, nuclear warheads and chainguns on your squadron builds, but the reality is you're better off trying things out that look cool, then adjusting as you go along. Xenoraid isn't about overwhelming you with stuff to shoot or bullets to dodge. It's about calculated moves carried out in a glorious old school arcade style way. Once you drop the "PRESS SHOOT TO WIN" mentality, the game really kicks off.
Variety is built into the core of Xenoraid. You've only got the two modes to experience, campaign and survival, but they supply a decent amount of content. Playing with ship builds and upgrades means higher replayability, but the procedural levels pulls that down a bit with some needless repetition. You won't find too many gimmicks or distraction elements like mini-games or crazy capture the flag modes or whatever. Xenoraid is all about the core experience, and it provides a solid and unique one from beginning to end, especially if you're looking for something with a little shooting action that isn't just about dodging a parade of bullets.
The Co-Op Experience: Up to four local players grab a ship and start shooting.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.