Thursday, September 08, 2005

Axiomatic Review

Axiomatic PC, developed and published by Ten Ninjas.
The Good: Spectacular graphics, realistic physics
The Not So Good: Very few features
What say you? A space shooter with great graphics that needs some additional modes of play: 5/8

In the future, or so I gather from the numerous movies, television shows, and games that have covered the subject, we will live in space-age cities on far away planets and spend our days blowing the crap out of each other. Axiomatic is a spaceship shooter that involves skirmishes between ships of various classes in a grand battle of map domination. Let’s peer inside, shall we?

Easily the best feature of Axiomatic is the graphics. They are top-notch representations of a colorful solar system, complete with beautiful background, detailed ship models, and powerful weapons and explosions. However, there is a lack of environmental objects other than the ships. They are certainly a wonder to see in action, even if numerous ships can slow down your system. The sounds are also well done, with appropriate background spacey music and convincing explosion effects. Axiomatic could be confused with a technology demo for its amazing graphical feats.

Now, what surrounds the astonishing graphics engine? Sadly, not much. Axiomatic seems to be a work in progress; although there is a cost associated with the full version at this point, most small developers have good support and enhancements for their games. In the game, there are three ships to choose from: the fast and small Trifighter with plasma cannons and short range missiles, the long-range biased Thunderbolt, and the Starfire destroyer, with steroid-induced plasma cannons and missiles. You can play the game in either Survival or Skirmish modes. In either, you can choose how many friendly ships you have for your side, and Skirmish mode allows you to customize the enemy’s fleet (Survival mode just pits you against a whole bunch of enemies at once). You can also change the difficulty and the background environment, of which there are five. Once the game starts, you can select which ship to control for the match, and then the battle begins. Axiomatic does feature some appealing Newtonian physics: ships with spin and roll when hit with weapons, which makes recovering from an attack appropriately difficult. And that’s it: three ships and two similar games modes. There is room for the addition of more game types. For example, a “campaign” mode where you fought stronger and stronger enemies could be an easy addition to the game, and a high score list could be kept to add an edge of competition. Although maybe beyond the scope of this particular game, multiplayer could be a strong addendum; imagine six on six battles between ships of different classes dueling for dominance.

As it stands, Axiomatic is a game with fantastic graphics and a partial list of features. Hopefully, the developer will eventually add some more substance to the game. I usually give some leniency to small developers, and Axiomatic surely has potential to be a great game, but not at this time with the basic features the game has. The graphics are impressive, but there could definitely have been more done with them.