Jumping back into the classic high speed saddle the likes of Unreal Tournament and given the current-gen treatment, shooter fans of the classic high-speed run and gun arena battles are certainly in for a treat with Nexuiz. Breathing life back into this shooting form, developer Illfonic has boldly introduced this new and innovative IP with eye-popping visuals and smart level designs, utilizing the robust CryEngine 3 tech, all for only $10.
Nexuiz doesn’t try to be something it is not. By adopting the core shooter experience of yesteryears coupled with a simple layout of options, maps, weapons, modes and great eye-candy I might add, all of the convoluted guess work is taken out of the equation. With only two modes, Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag, players can tackle the experience online with up to six players as well as offline with bots in order to sharpen up their skills before running into juggernauts like yours truly online. While there are only nine playable maps, each map is uniquely designed both in function and visually making each map quite unique. More important, the function of each map offers a great and enjoyable design assisting with making you a more formidable killer based on how well you know the maps. Like the fun-filled maps, weapons of destruction come in nine distinct forms and are quick to get used to. Because the pacing of the gameplay is heavily steeped in high-speed maneuvering, the game enables you to quickly embrace your weapon of choice for every map encounter.
Weapons come equipped with secondary firing option enabling all the weapons to fully express themselves in varied encounters. From the awesome railgun and explosive rocket-launcher to the stopping power of the pimped out sci-fi shotgun, death comes quick. Due to the intimacy of the map designs and high-powered weaponry the gameplay and excitement never lets up.
Did I mention the pacing was fast? Extremely fast in fact. While it did take some time to acclimate myself to this shooter rollercoaster, once I found my groove, the gameplay took an addictive leap. It is literally impossible to camp in one position hoping to pick your enemies off. My advice, don’t stop moving. Again, the better you know the map layout the better player you will be. In many encounters taking out enemies more efficiently may require that you don’t always chase them but rather counter maneuver them taking advantage of the maps many rooms and levels. While Nexuiz moves swift and gracefully while using a console based controller, one can’t help but wonder how much better this game would feel on PC as it seems to marry the ergonomics of a mouse-and-keyboard.
Throughout the battlegrounds level-up abilities are scattered thoughout and depending on who you’re playing against they can be a must. Level-ups come in many forms, such as the ability to be stronger enabling your melee and firing attacks to inflict more damage. Some are the standard health regeneration boosts or the color-manipulator enabling you to literally take the maps color, making it more difficult to find and kill the enemy. Others enable a faster rate of fire or the ability to leap great heights among other useful and dynamic battleground boost. In additon, maps are also strategically filled with launch platforms giving players quick access to higher level complimenting the games vertical gameplay.
Visually, Nexuiz is truly something to see at the asking price of $10. Gameplay physics and animations are smooth as butter all while marinated in a shiny well-lit Elizabethan-era surrounding. Some level designs offers a cool futuristic Aztec-styled décor, with others resembling a more neo-classical flavor which uniquely seems well placed in Nexuiz.
If there are concerns which need to be addressed with Nexuiz, they are found in the games balancing act. All too often matches are uneven, making for a tough time at the office when your team is out gunned and outmanned. Adding insult to injury, once matches begin that’s it, matches cannot be balanced. If a player leaves a match or is kicked out, players can’t jump in to replace them. A simple fix could be found in adding intelligent bots to replace real players. Even though the price point is so low, this is an areas which needs to given some attention. While I would prefer more weapons, the games secondary firing options adequately satisfies my FPS killing pleasure.
In the end Nexuiz is great fun! Simple in it’s execution yet robust in excitement, developer Illfonic reunites fans and newcomers to the classic arena based shooter with much muscle. Hoping that many players find and enjoy Nexuiz, a well established community with the possibility of some amazing updates could make this a must-have shooter for the ridiculously low price of $10.