Developer: Alien Trap
Publisher: Alien Trap
Release: 2005 (v1 – v1.5), 2006 (v2 – v2.1), 2008 (v2.4), 2009 (v2.5)
Platform: Windows / MAC OS / Linux
OFLC Rating: N/A
For those of you familiar with the fast-paced competitive first-person shooters, the most notable of this category are Quake III Gold and the Unreal Tournament series. Nexuiz is one of the few great games you can download for free. This game takes the grittiness of Quake and the sleek polished looks of Unreal, in fact Nexuiz v2.5 takes on the combined features of both arena series.
Nexuiz uses the Dark Places engine which was originally a Quake source port that enhanced the engine visually. The engine itself uses the Quake source code, it is quite flexible with regard to performance and modern PC requirements. On a dual core AMD Athlon 64 system (with mid to high end RAM and GPU specs) Nexuiz runs between 50 and 100 frames per second (on average) on the “Low” effects setting, it looks a lot like Quake II (with a few visual enhancements). With all detail settings turned up full it is almost comparable to the ID4 engine (eg: Doom 3 and Quake 4), running between 10 and 30 frames per second (on average). Nexuiz offers five detail settings… Low, Medium, Normal, High and Ultra. Now I’ve seen one reviewer raising the demanding requirements in order to keep up with detail set to maximum as a negative, however I would have to disagree as the game looks stunning set on Low. According to Wikipedia the requirements state that you need a PC with a 1 GHz Pentium III / Athlon, 512 MB RAM, GeForce 2 or equivalent and 1.1 GB of disk space. Note you would need to set everything to the basic level. Nexuiz’s full capabilities make this a game that caters to wide range of PC specifications. Visually Nexuiz is quite a stunning game coming from the open source community offering real-time lighting, real-time shadows, HDR and reflections. Audibly Nexuiz offers sound effects that give the weapons a nice punch to them. The character model selection is quite limited, yet it makes up for it with a wide assortment of weapons, game modes and mutators.
The weapons include…
The Laser – This is weapon that fires a single laser blast that packs a surprisingly decent punch and recharges after a second, it’s secondary fire switches to most powerful weapon available in your arsenal. The laser can be used as “Pogo Stick” when fired at your feet (very much like Rocket Jumping, only safer).
The Shotgun – This a triple barrelled shotgun can fire a single at two shots a second. However the alternate fire discharges a three shot burst.
The Machine Gun – This is a typical SMG that can fire either fast or slow.
The Rifle – This carbine can fire five shots before reloading, in singles or empties what’s in the clip as with burst fire.
The Mortar – This is practically a grenade launcher that can either fire a shot that detonates on impact or bounces a time detonated shot if it does not hit a target (opponent).
The Electro – This an energy based weapon that fires bolt of electricity or fires electricity orbs. These orbs will detonate after such time or when shot, this makes a devastatingly nasty weapon when you combine both firing modes.
The Crylink – This an energy weapon that fires three bolts that can bounce off walls or fires five bolts that do not bounce.
The Nex – This is an energy sniper rifle that fires a powerful bolt with the alternate fire controlling the rifle’s zoom function.
The Hagar – This a rapid-fire rocket launcher with firing modes similar to the Mortar.
The Rocket Launcher – This rocket launcher can fire rocket normally or when the primary fire is held you can guide rockets once fired. The alternate fire detonates the rocket in mid air, making it easier to take out opponents by means of a “Fly-By” detonation. Although you can perform rocket jumps with is weapon, it is safer to rely on the Laser for a pogo weapon as this will do a lot more damage.
The HLAC (Heavy Laser Assault Cannon) – The HLAC is a high powered laser weapon that fires like a machine gun, but the alternate fires a shotgun-like blast.
The Fireball – This weapon fires a bouncy flame drop shot, with the alternate fire unleashing a supercharged flame shot.
As for the game modes these include Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Last Man Standing, Capture The Flag, Arena (1vs1), Domination, Runematch, Key Hunt, Race, Race CTF, Assault, Onslaught and Nexball.
With the fast-paced action and wide range of game modes, Nexuiz makes a great game if you’re looking for something that combines the experiences of both Quake III Arena and the Unreal Tournament series. With the Non-GPL console versions in development by Illfonic Games and the surrounding legal situation, Nexuiz GPL version has forked off into the Xonotic (Stay tuned for that review when a stable version is released).
In the meantime here’s the website for Nexuiz (Open Source version).