HomeReviewsSlave Zero X Review

Slave Zero X Review

Slave Zero X

Developer: Poppy Works
Publisher: Ziggurat
Platforms: Windows (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X
Release Date: 22 February 2024
Price: $24.99 USD / $36.50 AUD – Available Here


The original Slave Zero is a third-person shooter which was released back in 1999 for the Sega Dreamcast and Windows PCs. Slave Zero X serves as a prequel to the original Slave Zero, but in terms of visuals and gameplay, it’s a completely different beast.


A dictator known as SovKhan rules atop Megacity while the general populace suffers. Underground, a group of rebels plot to overthrow the SovKhan, ending his reign of tyranny. As Shou, players must climb the Megacity with the help of Biomecha X and eliminate the SovKhan and his minions.

The story plays an integral role in Slave Zero X, which is uncommon for such a fast-paced action game. There’s a lot of voiced-over dialogue that plays during intermissions and even during gameplay. Players can choose between English and Japanese VOs. After watching some bits and pieces from the game, I liked what I heard and decided to try the English VO. I was pleasantly surprised because the English actors mostly do a very good job. Their voices fit the characters perfectly. You can feel a lot of emotion and effort went into bringing these characters to life.


Slave Zero X is a side-scroller hack n’ slash focused on ground and aerial-based combos and crowd control. What’s most striking about Slave Zero X’s gameplay is the use of fighting game mechanics such as special moves, EX moves, combo breakers and extenders, and so on. It sounds complicated, but it’s actually quite simple. Special moves are mostly simple inputs, like up plus attack. Their EX versions are activated by pressing an additional button. There are also two unlisted secret special attacks that require a bit more tight execution from players. 

The game is difficult, and there’s no easy mode. Despite that, players can upgrade Shou’s stats and even heal mid-stage by using points accrued each mission. That said, it’s fundamental to know how and when to use certain essential game mechanics, such as burst and fatal sync, in order to stay alive. The game does a good enough job introducing those to players, but it’s up to you to “get good.” 

At some points, the game requires players to make use of Shou’s jumping abilities to climb up walls or traverse gaps. Some set pieces that don’t involve fighting are introduced in some stages, and they make for a nice, if too brief, change of pace.

As a downside, the game keeps throwing the same enemies at you over and over. While new enemy types are introduced further into the game, in general, they lack variance in terms of attacks and patterns. Knowing what Shou and X are capable of is fundamental, not only to overcome the many challenges present in the game but also because your enjoyment of the game is heavily tied to your ability to style on and pulverize your enemies. Unfortunately, the cinematic bits end up spilling into the game too much. That’s mostly aggravating during certain boss fights. Contrasting with the rest of the game, they end up being a bit too easy and unimaginative.


Slave Zero X ditches the Western, fully polygonal look from the original in favor of a 2.5D look, employing 3D backgrounds and sprite-based characters to that end. The art direction now follows a Japanese aesthetic. The game features cool and gory biopunk imagery combined with shoujo manga (manga for girls in Japan) art to portray the main characters, making for an interesting contrast.


The soundtrack comprises techno beats fit for an action game like this. The problem is that it’s hard to pay much attention to it due to how crazy the action gets in the game. To add to that, the characters simply refuse to shut up which is a tad distracting while you’re trying to keep your 30-hit chain going.


Slave Zero X offers a decent action game experience with responsive controls, a unique system and a gripping story. It does get a bit too repetitive for its own good, and the story bits during gameplay should be dialed down a couple notches. The sound design is chaotic, with voices, effects and music competing with the rest of the game at some points which can be distracting. The lack of interesting boss fights is probably its gravest fault, but it’s still a game that should be on the radar of enthusiasts of the genre.

Capsule Computers review guidelines can be found here.


Slave Zero X is a decent fast-paced action game experience with a surprisingly good story. However, its overall repetitiveness and lack of interesting boss fights drags it down quite a bit.
Claudio Meira
Claudio Meirahttps://www.capsulecomputers.com.au/
I have been playing video games for 36 years. I should be put in a museum by now, but here I am, writing about them.
<i>Slave Zero X</i> is a decent fast-paced action game experience with a surprisingly good story. However, its overall repetitiveness and lack of interesting boss fights drags it down quite a bit.Slave Zero X Review