In the grand list of interesting protagonists, Talis is a far shot from ranking up. He lacks much characterization other than just pure rage at the machines and doesn’t particularly show any development across the course of the journey. His party members aren’t much better either. Most characters stick to a stereotype and don’t break away from the norm, either the girly-girl, the boyish man, the tough guy, etc. The most they contribute is a voice to be heard, but in a story with little world development, there is very little for these character foundations to branch off of.
Fans of the JRPG genre may be a little off-put initially, as Metal Max Xeno is actually fairly linear, which isn’t particularly common in this genre. Rather than being one giant map, the world is based on a level system, consisting of going to a level, killing the monsters, then going to the next. There are almost no NPCs in the world, and no side-quests, meaning that the entire dynamic of the game is just killing and looting, with very minimal story development in between.
Combat takes form in two different ways. The first and most prominent one is the Tank gameplay. As you traverse the level, metal creatures will be roaming around that can be viewed on the map, engaging with these creatures begins a turn-based style fight using your tanks. Combat is extremely bare-bones and doesn’t offer much room for strategizing. Four options are presented to you, either Attack, Skill, Items, or Defend. Defending can be used to reduce incoming damage, and items can be used to help restore HP or SP. The two offensive options either use a basic Attack or allow you to choose one of your Skills, using SP to deal a more powerful attack to potentially multiple enemies.