OTXO is WILD. It’s fast. It’s brutal. It’s violent. Above all, however, it’s a lot of fun to just kick down doors and dodge bullets in slow motion while also serving up some lead yourself. OTXO’s demo is part of the Going Rogue festival and I wanted to share my first impressions today of the demo. Before that, though, I’d recommend checking out the demo yourself, if you’re into roguelike-shooters with a monochrome and gritty art style, an amazing soundtrack, and some interesting roguelike-mechanics. It’s incredibly interesting and frankly… fun. I had a blast with it. Literally.
But first things first, what is OTXO actually about? Frankly, I don’t know. Washed ashore onto some mysterious island, we’re looking for our better half inside some procedurally generated mansion. This mansion is HUGE, featuring eight areas with over 150 hand-crafted rooms that get mixed up and shuffled around to make every run seemingly unique. Obviously, you’ll encounter the same enemies, same weapons, and same issues every time. By “issues” I mean lead in your body, of course. If you get hit too many times, you die, duh. Hence, your “focus” ability allows you to slow down time while your roll allows you to dodge through the stream of bullets coming your way. You’re strong as a character, which is why it doesn’t matter what gun is in your hand. More than anything, you just need to make the right choices.
And those choices seem impactful and fun to play around. Empty your magazine, throw away your gun, take your last victim’s gun and shoot your enemy. As I have no clue about guns, every single weapon looks the same to me. Obviously, I know that certain automatic rifles and SMGs and whatnot look different from shotguns and rocket launchers… but overall, it’s just a black gun for me, so quickly recognizing what the fire rate, range and spread patterns are once you equip a new gun and then improvising quickly to deal with the enemies at hand gives you a lot of chances to display your skill. It’s all about improvising and I love that a whole lot. Just like with Nuclear Throne and Hotline Miami, you obviously need to adapt and position yourself accordingly to make sure you don’t get hit while enemies do get some. It’s a lot about kiting, dodging, and planning ahead your next move… Or you just pull a Leeroy and run through each area, although that may not go too well – at least it didn’t for me.
OTXO is punishing as hell and I really dig that. Before each area, you may go to the bar and exchange coins you earn for a drink. Some of these drinks grant you abilities such as simple stat-ups akin to Risk of Rain’s white items where one drink may grant you more health or increased fire rate. Meanwhile, others grant you powerful abilities like phantom knives that shoot out or bullets hitting you getting returned to the sender, which is interesting. Some of these can be turned into a build if you find other drinks to go with them. Similarly, you may find something unique to specific weapons that could suit your playstyle and as areas progressively increase in their challenges and difficulties, especially with certain modifiers, it frankly seems necessary to find a build that works best for you, adding a bit of a tactical layer to the game.
Frankly, OTXO started off as a “simple” Top-Down Shooter but the layers of Roguelike mechanics, as well as the challenge of it, made it more and more fun as time went on. I can’t wait to play the full version and I’ll certainly play a lot more of the demo for the time being. It’s just more fluid and fast-paced compared to Hotline Miami. It’s more punishing than Enter the Gungeon, in my opinion, and it’s just as much fun as Nuclear Throne, which is a great mix of possible influences. I haven’t even touched too much on the “pulse-pumping soundtrack” either but it’s honestly just so fitting and great that I don’t really know how to describe it. I highly recommend checking out OTXO yourself. You can find the steam page and demo over here. Make sure to wishlist it if you’re interested in a challenging monochrome Top-Down-Shooter with interesting Roguelike mechanics!