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Hypnospace Outlaw's throwback shooter spin-off comes out next month on Game Pass

And Zane_Rocks_36 hacked Phil Spencer to make it happen

First-person view of an enemy robot and small bundles of caca in a screenshot from Slayers X
Image credit: No More Robots

Take a deep breath! Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath: Vengance Of The Slayer is releasing on June 1st with a simultaneous Game Pass drop. It’s an old-school shooter set in the same retro-futuristic universe as Hypnospace Outlaw, but this time the focus is on fan-favourite character Zane Lofton, who actually “made” Slayers X in the fiction of the game.

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Rude dude Zane “Zane_Rocks_14” Lofton started making the shooter back in 1999 when he was probably in love with Doom and other boomin’ shooters from the era. Two decades later, Zane “Zane_Rocks_36” Lofton found his lost CD-ROM and finished his childhood project, aka Slayers X.

That’s how the story goes in-game. In reality, developers Tendershoot are returning to their nineties-noughties-inspired world, this time with fast-paced shooting rather than the alternate reality websurfing of Hypnospace. You’ll be making enemies explode, finding secret paths, and doing other totally rad things that appeal to a mountain dew-drinking teen. Come on, man.

“Slayers X is a frighteningly accurate portrayal of what a teen in the mid-2000s thought was cool,” said Liam in his Slayers X preview. “There are poo jokes. Excessive gore. A butt-rock soundtrack. Hidden within Zane’s closet is an elevator that descends into his secret base. Your shields are called Hack Blood.” The game’s pure commitment to the bit makes it endearing, sort of, when it could so easily come off as annoying. Maybe some subtext could help with that.

“It’s definitely an excuse to make a puerile shooter,” series creator Jay Tholen wrote, “but it’s also about class and what maps made by a poor kid with a not-so-easy life might look like.” Essentially, ordinary places might transform into something entirely alien in Zane’s imagination. It’s a neat framing device that could give us some insight into the character’s slightly sad upbringing, as well as an excuse to throw batshit levels our way.

Fictional Zane also relentlessly tweets about the game he didn't really make. In one memepost, he tells Xbox boss Phil Spencer that he’s been hacked, which is how Slayers X is coming to Game Pass. “Your welcome,” is remarkably on-brand for the character, even if the grammar makes my skin crawl.

Anyway, Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath: Vengance Of The Slayer is coming to Steam and Game Pass next month, June 1st. Hypnospace Outlaw is also getting a more direct follow-up in the form of Dreamsettler.

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