XEL Reviews

XEL is ranked in the 3rd percentile of games scored on OpenCritic.
4.9 / 10.0
Jul 29, 2022

XEL looks great on the surface, but unfortunately it has too many bugs and technical issues to warrant recommending it to anyone. The framerate drops and slow-loading zone transitions alone can cause some frustrations, but add in an uncontrollable camera that is overly distant from the action, difficult to detect enemies, and terrain that is easy to get stuck to - forcing you to reload from your last save point, and you have a game that is near unplayable in its current state. Patches may resolve these issues, but as of right now XEL is too frustrating to fully enjoy.

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Unscored
Jul 17, 2022
XEL | Review in 3 Minutes video thumbnail
5 / 10
Jul 14, 2022

XEL takes many of its cues from the Zelda franchise, with combat and puzzles that keep things interesting throughout as well as a charming, fun cast of characters. However, technical glitches in the Switch version make it difficult to enjoy at launch. There is the potential for a great game in here, possibly after a hefty patch to fix some of the bugs, but despite its obvious promise it fails to live up to its potential in its current state.

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4 / 10.0
Jul 25, 2022

XEL has the potential to be a great game, but too many elements are left unpolished. Hopefully, a patch will be able to fix these issues, and then it may be a solid adventure game.

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6.5 / 10.0
Sep 1, 2022

XEL is a game that understands its genre, but the development team fails to see that solid innovation is required to compete, given how crowded it is. The basic exploration and combat work well and the time stuff is an interesting addition. But much more is needed to get players interested and to keep them playing.

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3 / 10.0
Jul 19, 2022

XEL has little character to enjoy, there's no story to keep you fully engaged, and gameplay feels contrived and repetitive. And that's before we get to the frankly abysmal state that this game was released in. I was holding off this review to see if the game would be updated before its release, but quite frankly it seems that updating and fine tuning XEL will be an effort that I personally don't think is worth it.

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3 / 10.0
Aug 7, 2022

XEL paints a beautiful picture but fails to produce anything notable beyond this. Between one-dimensional characters, uninspired combat, and rampant progression barriers, I found very few things to enjoy here. If you are a starved Zelda fan looking for a sci-fi twist or care little about a story this may be worth your time.

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4.5 / 10.0
Aug 4, 2022

Ultimately, XEL currently has way too many issues for me to seriously consider suggesting it, which is a shame considering the promise it shows. While updates are being made, at the moment it can be an absolute struggle to get through, and even when it isn’t, the little things start wearing on you pretty fast. I highly suggest to wait at least a month for some fixes to the issues before you consider picking up XEL. I really hope the issues get resolved and the developers continue making games, because I’d really like to see more refined titles from them.

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Disliked
Aug 2, 2022

Xel hasn’t had the best launch on Nintendo Switch. The idea of a new contender to the Zelda like genre with a more futuristic feeling is something I have wanted to see for quite some time. But Xel isn’t quite up to the task, yet. The framework is here for a fun-filled adventure with a unique environment to explore but the bugs, glitches and poor performance are just too loud not to notice. There is hope though. We have seen other examples of games released in a bad state and the developers rolled their sleeves up and fixed them later. Hopefully, Xel will be one of those redemption stories. But it is not this day. I’ll keep an eye on this game for future updates. One day I hope this thumb can be turned the other way around.

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5.5 / 10.0
Aug 2, 2022

At the end of the day, XEL is a game that is competent, has some good ideas, and enough gameplay elements to keep you playing. The sound design is well done and I do enjoy the simplistic art direction and its bright, popping color pallet. Unfortunately, it’s a game that just needed more time in the oven to hammer out the bugs and glitches that really hold this back. There are some good ideas here, but the annoyances almost outweighed what it does do well.

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50 / 100
Jul 29, 2022

XEL will keep you entertained for a while, but it’s also a little too clumsy at present. It's an underwhelming adventure game that probably needed more time in development.

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1.5 / 5.0
Jul 22, 2022

I think there’s a solid game here under all the technical issues, but it’s hard to say. XEL’s combat and time-based puzzles are satisfying, the setting and narrative are engaging, and its aesthetically charming. But until those issues are addressed, XEL is largely unplayable. I’ve spent way more time dealing with those issues than I have playing the game. I’d like to revisit it in the future, assuming it gets fixed.

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5.5 / 10.0
Jul 19, 2022

At many times, XEL doesn't seem like a title that is really ready, showing flaws that could have been avoided with more careful and optimized development for Switch. That so, I carry the hope that the game will receive updates to improve its performance, as it is a game that definitely deserves a second chance, both for its beautiful presentation and for the attractive gameplay proposals.

Review in Portuguese | Read full review

40 / 100
Jul 19, 2022

Tiny Roar was too ambitious while making XEL. The scale of the game should have been smaller so that the team could make a more polished product. Instead, they’re in over their heads. Maybe with time and further updates or patches, it’ll be closer in terms of quality to the game franchise it aspires to be but right now it doesn’t hold a candle to The Legend Of Zelda or even to other recent Zelda-like games like Death’s Door or Hob.

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INVEN
Top Critic
3.5 / 10.0
Jul 16, 2022

A new game that combines classic Zelda-like gameplay design and sci-fi story. While the adventure part is enough to enjoy, the lack of convenience feature makes it hard to believe that the game is released in 2022. Also, the bugs are scattered all over the place to the point where it is almost difficult to proceed the game. It needs to be improved quickly.

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6 / 10.0
Jul 17, 2022

A game with a lot of potential bogged down by a plethora of bugs and atrocious dialogue & voice acting. Playable but far from enjoyable.

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