The Anacrusis is a four-player, cooperative first-person shooter set aboard a massive starship stranded at the edge of explored space. Team up with your friends in an infinitely-replayable fight against alien hordes to unlock perks, weapons, and new ways to play that you can share with your team. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn any of that through playing the game. I had to learn all of that via the Xbox.com website. In fact, you actually get told very little about what is going on aboard The Anacrusis and why you are in this current predicament.
At the time of doing this review, there are 3 levels that you can choose from and Stray Bombay are going to be adding more soon in future updates. Although I can’t say when this is going to happen.
If you’re an achievement hunter and you’re looking to play this game for some achievements I’m afraid you are going to have to wait, because, at the moment, achievements are not supported.
So. let me start off with one of the positive things that I did like about this game and that’s its overall concept. I was drawn to its 1970s Sci-Fi art style and theme and that’s what led me to download The Anacrusis, to begin with. I didn’t know anything about this game prior to seeing it on Xbox Game Pass. However, I found that this art style just doesn’t hold up well in-game and unfortunately, it captures one of the worst aspects about the 70s and that’s the colour beige.
Now what I mean by that is when you think of the colour beige you think of something being boring and bland and unfortunately, I think that is a suitable way of summing up everything about The Anacrusis. Everything feels very boring and bland and this is a real shame because this is meant to be a Sci-Fi game set in the 70s and there is so much potential to create an awesome and fun experience however, I think the execution is very, very poor.
From the very start of my playthrough, I found myself fighting with its control system. The analogue controls on the Xbox are in a bit of a bizarre state. They feel very slow and sluggish to respond and leave you feeling like you’re fighting the controller and even after playing my sensitivity settings, this still wasn’t enough to stop the inconsistency with where I was looking and aiming. The combat feels like something you would’ve expected from a game 15-20 years ago.
The Anacrusis is also suffering from obvious performance issues on the Xbox Series X with the frame rate being all over the place and this can lead to a really jarring experience. Hopefully, this issue will be addressed in a later update. It’s strange because graphically this game is nothing special. In fact, I would even go as far to say that there were games on the Xbox 360, that not only looked better but performed better too.
There are 4 characters in the game. However, I didn’t learn anything about them other than their names and what they looked like. They have no backstory and the dialogue between them is borderline non-existent bar a few repetitive one-liners and the odd sentence regarding what your current objective is. In fact, I don’t even remember being able to choose which character I wanted to play which was really disappointing. It would’ve been nice to have the characters fleshed out a bit more. I find it hard to root for a hero you know nothing about.
Much like the playable characters in The Anacrusis, the enemies are also incredibly bland and generic. They have no real backstory, you don’t know why they’re attacking you or why you’re in this current situation to begin with.
There are standard enemies and then there are more elite enemies. Enemies such as the “Brute”. The Brute deals more damage and takes significantly more damage to kill. There is an enemy called a “Gooper”, yes you read that correctly. The Gooper covers you in goo that prevents you from moving until a team shoots you free. Hearing your teammates shout “I’ve been gooped!” over and over is far more annoying than dealing with the enemy itself. The “Grabber” does exactly that. It will grab you until you die unless a teammate intervenes and then you have an enemy called a “Spawner” and I’ll leave that up to your imagination to work out what that enemy does.
In fact, the only enemy that really stood out for me and did anything of any significance was something called a “Flasher” which illuminates the area that you’re in which in turn makes it increasingly difficult to see the other enemies coming after you.
It’s the same situation with the weapons in this game. They are very bland and boring, with your standard SMG, Assault Rifle and Shotgun with a few others scattered around the maps. With a Sci-Fi game, there is so much potential to have really unique and creative weapons, however, the weapons in The Anacrusis reassemble Nerf gun ripoffs that you would buy of Wish and I would’ve liked to have seen more significance to whichever weapon you were using and how it affected your overall team setup.
All-in-all, my time playing The Anacrusis was a really disappointing experience. However, don’t let this review dictate whether or not you play the game because after all this review is based on my own opinion and The Anacrusis is in Xbox Game Pass, so it’s worth having a go for yourself. But for me, my favourite part of The Anacrusis was turning the game off.
Review By ReddersTV - Check his video review out below!