Nexuiz is a first person shooter built in the spirit of old multiplayer games, like Quake and Unreal Tournament franchises. It retains the same feeling and great atmosphere that made these type of games really successful about 6 to 10 years ago, and, while Nexuiz may not fare too well these days, it's still great fun.Installation
The game is multiplatform so it runs under Linux, Mac OS and Windows. It can be found in Ubuntu Software Center, but also as a zip package on the official webpage. It works out of the box and anyone can play it immediately, which in itself is a nice feature as most complex games are difficult to configure and run on Linux systems.
Like all older multiplayer games, Nexuiz comes with dedicated servers, but they need some tweaking in order to get them to work properly. On the other hand, starting a dedicated server shouldn't be too difficult, if you know what you're doing.Gameplay
Nexuiz is build on an old multplayer recipe that has been proven and tested in many games, from Quake 3 to Unreal Tournament III. In many respects, Nexuiz is quite similar to Unreal Tournament 2004, with little structural differences, but an entirely different atmosphere and gameplay speed. We can even say that Nexuiz is a lot tougher to beat in single player mode and even harder to master when it comes to raw multiplayer.
If users don't want to jump right in the multiplayer section of the game, they can start with the single player campaign to get a feel for the speed of the gameplay, as Nexuiz will require gamers to be on their toes.
The Single Player mode is a bit of an overstatement. There's just a succession of missions, played against bots controlled by the computer, in more and more complicated environments. The users will end up passing through all the default levels, making them familiar with what's to come in the real challenge.
The multiplayer part of the game is where the strength of Nexuiz lies. Users can opt to just start a quick game, choosing from a very large list of servers. There are always tons of games organized in all parts of the world, so finding a match with a small ping (latency) should be really easy.
On the other hand, gamers can also choose to create a game and there are a lot of modes to choose from. We're going to list them, as they are the biggest feature of this title:
- Deathmatch: This is a classic mode which has a simple logic: everyone for himself. The first one to reach the required number of frags (kills) wins;
- Last Man Standing: Everyone starts with a certain amount of lives and the survivor wins the game;
- Arena: Many one-to-one rounds are played to find the winners;
- Runematch: Users can pick up and hold the runes, which are special items that provide points, a special power, and a disadvantage (curse);
- Race: Gamers have to be faster than other opponents, crossing a series of checkpoints up to a finish line;
- TDM: Acronym for Team Deadmatch. Practically the same as deathmatch, but with teams. There are no other requirements to win the match;
- CTF: Capture de Flag is a well known gameplay mode. Take the enemy flag and bring it to your own, in order to score;
- Domination: Capture and hold control points to win;
- Key Hunt: This is an unique mode. Players have to collect all the keys from the enemies and bring them together to score;
- Assault: Players have to attack the enemy base as fast as they can, then defend the base against the enemy, for the same amount of time, in order to win;
- Onslaught: Players have to take control points towards the enemy generator and then destroy it;
- Nexball: Basketball and Soccer go Nexuiz.
All these modes make sure that Nexuiz will provide everyone with something. It's virtually impossible to ask for more in a multiplayer oriented game. These features, combined with the sleuth of parameters that can be set before starting a new game, make Nexuiz an almost complete game (I say complete as I'm sure someone, somewhere, will want a feature that isn't implemented).Graphics and sound
Graphically speaking, Nexuiz is not all that great looking, if we compare it with modern multiplayer games and even with older ones, like Unreal Tournament 2004. It still has a certain look that makes it stand up from the crowd and the engine is capable of offering some perks like particle effects and bloom.
There is a big upside to the lack of advanced graphics. Nexuiz may look old, but it will run on older machines. This means that rigs assembeld 5-6 years ago will be able to run the game and do it so in an honorable fashion.
Regarding the music and sound effects, Nexuiz only stands out in one single deparment. None of them are worth mentioning. Everything is well balanced and does the job well, but there is nothing notable. The weapons sound like they are supposed to and the music is forgettable immediately once the player pushes the quit button.Conclusion
Nexuiz is a remnant of an era when multiplayers shooters were the pinnacle of evolution in social gaming. After Unreal Tournament III, there was nothing. Producers of Nexuiz pushed on with an old title and now this game is one of the last FREE multiplayer titans. It may not be a pretty game, but it's definitely a lot of fun and, in the end, that's all that matters.