Review – Nexuiz
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Genre: First-Person Shooter
ESRB Rating Descriptors: Crude Humor, Mild Language, Violence
Players: 1 (Offline), 2-8 (Online)
Official Site: http://www.nexuiz.com/
Get It Now: Steam, Xbox Live Marketplace, Playstation Store
The Scoop: Ever play “Unreal”? How about “Quake”? If so, you know exactly what to expect in Nexuiz. It’s a crazy throwback with a highly amped up sense of speed that’s sure to hook any fan of first-person shooters with an oldschool style. Just don’t expect to be hooked for very long.
The Setup: Nexuiz is easily classified as an oldschool first-person shooter with a much faster pace. As such, the controls are just as one would expect. The left mouse button fires any equipped weapon, while the right mouse button activates secondary fire. Otherwise, there’s really not much to it aside from the usual WSAD affair. The player is meant to run around and shoot anything that moves, utilizing any weapon or power-up he or she may find throughout the various maps. Only two match types are available, including Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag.
As for the weapon selection, well, that’s fairly basic as well. The standard arena shooter arsenal is all included, with rocket launchers, grenade launchers, shotguns, sniper rifles and other basic weapons all over the place. While the map, weapon and mode selection may be lacking, there are both buffs and debuffs that are quite varied and give Nexuiz something to call it’s own. More specifically, the debuffs can be quite insane. From a colorblind debuff to summoning enemies to your location, there’s plenty of stuff to keep players on edge. Of course, there are also the typical health, armor and attack buffs, but all of that can be changed with mutators. Nexuiz features what is basically a random mutator system that can completely change the game by throwing a ton of different buffs and debuffs into the map, all of which come from a pool of over 100 different choices. All of this comes together in a neat little $10 package, but is it really worth the investment?
What’s Hot: Nexuiz doesn’t have very many features, but what it does have is speed. I cannot express that enough. This game is FAST. So fast, in fact, that I actually had trouble killing anyone for a good while because everyone is blazing along at the speed of light. I felt like Sonic the Hedgehog or Speedy Gonzales. It’s something that has to be experienced; it cannot be explained.
There’s not much to the visual style, but everything looks fantastic, thanks to the use of Crytek’s CryEngine 3. Even the simplest visuals shine like a car that’s just been waxed. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking at a wall, another player or the random rockets and lasers flying all over the place. Everything looks great.
Item spawns are placed in both obvious and crazy locations, giving players a real sense of immediate accomplishment when they find one of the more uncommon weapons. It’s a tried and tested formula that’s worked for many years in games such as Unreal, Quake and even Halo.
Speaking of weapons, they are all quite powerful, with a level of balance rarely seen in the arena shooter genre. Even the most powerful weapons don’t necessarily dominate the competition. It just depends on the skill of each player.
There’s no denying it, developer Illfonic stuck with the original arena shooter formula here and that’s certainly not an entirely bad thing.
What’s Not: There are definitely a few major shortcomings that set Nexuiz far behind it’s bigger brothers, the first of which is the overly limited gameplay.
Now, I definitely understand the idea of releasing a cheaper game with less features than anything in a much higher price range, but this game is quite bare. Everything comes together nicely, but there’s just not much to it. Uninspired weapons and maps definitely set this game back quite a bit.
Speaking of things that are uninspired, the graphics, as pretty as they can be, are very boring. There’s not much to it beyond a ton of overly shiny surfaces and overly used reds and blues. It’s not ugly and it sure is eye candy at first, but it quickly becomes a very dull mesh of overused colors.
Final Verdict:I really wanted to like Nexuiz. I tried to get into the game and really pushed myself. The concept is somewhat cool and more importantly, there are not many good arena shooters around these days. It’s a shame that this game merely fades into the shadows, when it could have been something special. If you’re a hardcore fan of the genre, I recommend picking it up when it’s on sale. Otherwise, I would say to pass on this one. But hey, here’s to hoping for a much better sequel, if such a thing ever exists!