Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Nexuiz Review

If there was ever a worse time to release a sub-par FPS, it is now. Any game released these days is going to be compared to the giant names floating out of Electronic Arts and Activision every year, making it even harder for small XBLA titles to have a good grasp on the available market. When Nexuiz released and I launched it for the first time I was interested to see what I would receive. A XBLA title needs something different to make it stand out and there was a large chance it being 'just another FPS' that would see action for a week and fall into the depths of the charts. Thankfully I feel like Nexuiz has done enough to make itself be heard by being a multiplayer game for all those people who don't like todays version of a FPS. Are you a master of aiming down your sight and getting that precision snipe off? Well you are in for a shock my friend.


One thing that is a huge positive for Nexuiz is that they have been able to utilise the powerful Cry Engine 3 to create the game. This is the only downloadable title thus far that does this and does so to great effect. The maps are simply beautiful and a lot of detail is crammed into every nook and cranny of the various locations. All the guns have their own original flare and look stunning when fired off. Explosions from more powerful weapons such as the rockets react accordingly to the environment and provide the big boom that you would expect with such fire power. You won't see Nexuiz winning any awards come the end of the year, but it just does everything right and makes a brilliant looking game that does what it set out to achieve perfectly. Being such a fast paced game you wouldn't expect some kind of slow down but Nexuiz continues to run at a smooth rate which is really impressive. Such a shame that a stunning XBLA title like itself won't receive any credit for it's graphics, but they are worth mentioning.

The musical score that accompanies Nexuiz contributes to the futuristic design of the game with electro beats that match the games intensity. The music isn't anything to write home about and I doubt that you will remember the score after exiting the game but while playing it does contribute to the overall atmosphere. The sound effects for guns and enemies are what you would expect from a quality FPS. Guns are loud and each have an original sound that differentiates them. Bullets pounding into enemies or whizzing off into the environment sound great and explosions feel loud and fierce. As with the graphics, they seem to go unnoticed as just another good feature and won't get any recognition because they are what is expected in this day and age. If they were talked about it would be because they are horrible, so no mention means a success for the developers.


Nexuiz is primarily an online shooter that strips down all the unnecessary perks and load outs from other titles and gets straight to the action. Simplicity is the key here. Matches are between two teams of four players and there are two game modes on nine different maps with nine different types of weapons. Action is fast paced and relies on the simple premise of if you see it, shoot it. Gone are the strategy of constant reloading, looking down sights and cheap grenades for easy kills. This is a barebones experience that relies on you constantly being on the move if you want to survive. Gameplay is fast and brutal, weapons show their brute force when being used and you just feel powerful when playing this game. The great thing is that every player starts with the same gun and only gets more during the course of a match if they pick them up off the ground.

There are two game modes, capture the flag and team death match. Both try to streamline the game and force both teams to meet as much as possible and maximise combat. Lack of modes isn't a problem since they are fun and trying to force other game types onto the level layouts may not deliver the same exciting results. This is a game that is entirely reliant on an online community to keep it ticking along. Matches online won't start until you have 6 players and if someone drops out then one team has a big advantage over the other. You can play offline against bots but this isn't as fun as versing a real person. This is a game that is a lot of fun to play, but whether the majority of people will be willing to give it a go based on the amount of content available shall determine the life of this title.


Nexuiz is a brilliant title that takes what was good from FPS' of old and brings it into the modern era with brilliant graphics and seamless multiplayer. Being a multiplayer only experience means that it needs a strong following to stay successful and this is yet to be seen. I fear that it may become an irrelevant title to pick up in a few weeks if it doesn't chart well as there is no point buying a game that requires people to constantly play against. What the developers have done in creating this is excellent, I love the fast paced, even nature of this title that isn't seen in many games these days. By keeping Nexuiz to the core action and not worrying about customisation we have a game that truly tests the players on their skill and not just how well they can manage menus. This is a title that definitely deserves more recognition than it currently receives.

Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 7/10
Gameplay - 8/10
Overall - 8/10