DroneZ XL is a single-player futuristic shooter. The player is guiding a male or female avatar through a virtual reality, representing the future world for humans living in suspended animation vats while their bodies are being cared for by insects and their minds are prevented from leaving the virtual world by its dominant AI.
The task is for the character to jump/travel on discs representing memory bits in an organic computer, while avoiding wall mounted cannons, electrical fields and various aliens trying to stop you from escaping the virtual reality into the real world. The graphics are reminiscent of the movie TRON with a bright, neon style.
You travel from room to room in a somewhat confusing environment, sometimes on a one-way path, sometimes on alternate paths, with some guidance from a character described as a hacker, offering advice on what is up ahead. If you fail to defeat the obstacles in a room, you restart from the beginning of the room, or the one before. At some locations, boss fights occur whith larger enemies, requiring you to hit them in weak spots, or using special power-ups to defeat them.
The game was initially only available as a demo and benchmark for NVIDIA's GeForce 3 graphics card and it was shipped as a shorter OEM version with many GeForce3 cards, using the name DroneZ or DroneZMark. The full length game was released as DroneZ XL in Russia (PC) and Dennou Taisen DroneZ in Japan (Xbox).
The game originally was intended for the Sega Dreamcast, as 'Drones' but was never released for this platform. This was described in an interview with NIGMA Software in the UK Sega Saturn Magazine issue #10 in 1998.