XS: The game that stalks back. A sci-fi arena-combat first person shooter for the PC.


XS is a first-person shooter released for the PC by GT Interactive software in 1997.  It can be run on DOS, Windows 3.1, or Windows 95.  XS features gameplay similar to that of the more well known Unreal Tournament, though it was released two years earlier.  XS has no story to speak of, and the single player campaign, called "Competition Mode", consists of a ladder of 20 arenas that are functionally the same as the multiplayer game.  XS boasts that the AI for each computer controlled combatant is unique, challenging the player to learn the tendencies of each and find the most effective ways to best them.  Players have the opportunity to face off against each individual AI combatant in a one-on-one Grudge Match once they have beaten the enemy in Competition Mode.  XS also features IPX network play for matches with up to 8 participants.  

Game Modes

Competition Mode 
The main single-player portion of XS.  Players must battle their way through 20 arenas with 3 opponents per arena.  Shield and Medical damage is repaired after each arena, and ammunition is partially restocked.  Special weapons and objects retained from one arena are carried over to the next.  Points are awarded both for killing and for damage.  All shield fighters have a ranking, and you get more points for eliminating those with a higher rank.  Additionally, points are awarded for destroying gun turrets, drones, etc.
Grudge Mode 
An extension of the single player game.  Grudge Mode allows players to pit their wits against specific opponents in one arena.  Only previously defeated opponents can be selected and only previous arenas can be used.  Grudge Mode is unlocked only after beating at least one opponent in Competition Mode. 
Network Game 
The multiplayer component of XS allows up to 8 players to compete across an IPX network.  However, only 4 of these players may be human; any additional players must be controlled by the computer.  In any one of the 20 arenas, players can choose who they want to be from a range of shield fighters.  When killed during combat, players are quickly reincarnated and returned to a random position within the arena. 

Weapons and Ordinance

  • Heavy Hand Blaster - effectively infinite ammunition, standard issue to all shield fighters
  • Compact Machine Gun - lightweight, medium penetration weapon with a rapid rate of fire
  • Riot Gun - heavy duty shotgun derivative, with double-barreled action and standard damage spread.
  • Grenade Launcher - firing individual, bouncing grenades with limited delay-to-proximity detonation control
  • Assault Rifle - accurate, high  penetration, single shot weapon with extremely long range
  • Omni Assault Cannon - ultra heavy duty, multi-barreled machine gun with massive penetration
  • Fragmentation Grenade Launcher - ammunition upgrade from standard launcher, firing clustered multi-grenades
  • Cross Bow - medium weight, fires titanium tipped, armor-piercing arrows

Combat Equipment

  • Drop-Cams - hovering cameras that can be placed anywhere and then viewed, rotated and detonated remotely
  • Hand-Grenades - working on a time-delay fuse, Hand-Grenades contain a high-yield explosive charge
  • Flares - similar in size and weight to hand-grenades, flares can be thrown into dark corners to reveal lurking enemies
  • Mines - anti-personnel proximity mines have a couple of seconds delay for the user to escape before they go active
  • Radiation Bombs - small, unstable devices that discharge a localized field of extremely harmful radiation
  • Acid Bombs - a virtually indestructible device that emits a cloud of deadly acid vapor

System Requirements

Absolute Minimum: 
  • IBM or 100% compatible Pentium
  • 8mb of RAM
  • SVGA graphics card
  • 21mb free hard drive space
  • 4x CD-ROM
  • Sound card
  • Mouse

Highly Recommended: 
  • Pentium 133
  • 16mb of RAM 
  • SVGA local bus video
  • 100mb free hard drive space
  • 4x CD-ROM
  • Sound card
  • Mouse
  • High quality speakers with "a sub-bass unit set at maximum"