Soldner-X: Himmelssturmer Review

Soldner-X is a great looking side-scrolling shooter that, because of its steep level of difficulty, is really made more for the die-hard fans of the genre than the casual gamer. It might take the average player 10-15 tries to learn the patterns and chaining system, but that’s what the developers intended, and if that’s what you’re looking for you will not be disappointed. If one were to navigate the official Soldner-X forums they would find posts requesting various things including how to access the save game system to avoid restarting the game each time you lose (it doesn’t exist), better weapon balancing (intended feature to make people learn the chaining system) and customizable controls for both the keyboard and joypad (coming in a yet-to-be-released patch).

Upon first starting the game you’re treated with a brief but fairly well executed explanation of why there is one ship fighting a seemingly endless amount of enemies. Apparently this all started on a planet called Conceyta where an evil entity forms, absorbs loads of technology and destroys earth’s fleet. Now it’s up to the last pilot, a bounty hunter (thankfully originality’s not lost on them), to fly the new prototype ship Soldner-X and “stop the deadly infection and destroy the core of evil.” The plot really doesn’t matter but it’s nice to have something there. If you’re one of the few that are playing it solely for the story, you’ll be happy to know that you are treated to more slideshows with voiceovers at the end of each mission segment.

The most unique and unexpected part of the game is the chaining system where you kill a certain number of enemies with whatever weapon you want and switch to another weapon at the appropriate time (don’t worry, the game prompts you) and repeat the process. Do this enough times and you get a power-up, points, or extra health. Kill too many during the chain and you lose a chain level. It’s definitely one of those things that is easy to learn but tough to master

The game can be played using a keyboard or a controller, but the developers themselves recommend playing the game using a controller as there is a greater degree of sensitivity present with the analog sticks. I used my keyboard and even though I primarily game on a console, I didn’t feel like my experience was significantly worse because of it. Although, not having the option to customize my controls to better fit the way that I like to play seemed like a careless mistake on their part. Like many gamers, I’ve grown accustomed to using the WASD keys to move my character and having to instead use my other hand to operate the arrow keys was a learning experience in itself.

Not only that, but in order to properly utilize the chaining system you have to frequently be switching between different weapon types in the middle of a chaotic battle by pressing the 1-5 number keys on the left side of the keyboard. There were a few times where I found myself switching to the wrong weapon and although it kept my chain, it wasn’t the weapon I needed for the situation. It may have been user error on my part, but had the game shipped with customizable controls, then I probably wouldn’t have messed up. Probably.

I’ll be honest, I don’t really play side-scrolling shoot-em ups like this. I’ve never been a fan of repeatedly playing levels to learn patterns and timings, it’s just not my thing, but I found Soldner-X to be highly entertaining because of the fact that this is a hardcore game for fans of the genre. Increased accessibility to increase sales seems to be the mantra of most developers and publishers in the industry and its nice to play a finely-tuned game that is developed with a core audience in mind.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Kyle Stallock View all posts by

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.