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Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Nexuiz Review

Game: Nexuiz

Developer: Illfonic

Publisher: THQ

Release Date: Feb. 29

Grade: B+

Nexuiz is the newest downloadable first-person shooter on XBL – and soon to be on PSN and PC – and should fill the void for any nostalgic gamers who've lost their copy of Quake or Unreal from the '90s and have spent the last decade crying about it. However, if you didn't spend your childhood subjecting yourself to carpal tunnel and smashing keyboards then Nexuiz will be about as hard to play as it is to pronounce.

For new-age gamers who never took the time to explore their FPS roots, it may seem like someone accidently set Nexuiz to fast forward during development and just decided to publish it that way. But if you're a gamer who can remember a time when a super human sporting billion dollar advanced armor could sprint for more than 15 seconds without getting winded then you'll probably feel right at home in Nexuiz.

The gameplay is your standard fast-paced arena-style affair. It boasts two game types, Capture the Flag and Team Deathmatch, and each is a blast to play on every beautifully rendered map. Although if you've never played a game like this one –e.g. Quake or Unreal – be ready to spend a lot of time waiting to respawn.

Fortunately for the arena-style rookies out there, the game features a bots mode where you can hone your sociopathic killing skills. Granted, none of these AI will measure up to someone well versed in the gameplay, but it's a good place to get your feet wet with blood before you dive head first into the frenetic carnage.

Once you've learned the basic elements of the game, though, prepare to have your slate wiped clean when the Mutators come into effect and all but laugh at you for thinking you had this game figured out. Whether it makes you invisible to help you get the drop on your unsuspecting foes or makes everyone wear a sombrero so that you can Mexican hat dance around their fresh corpse, the dozens of Mutators keep the game feeling fresh and avoid redundancy, extending its shelf life that much longer.

Nexuiz comes with nine gorgeous maps and nine weapons, which for a download costing only 800 arbitrary Microsoft points – or $10 of real people money – isn't bad. Especially considering you're lucky to get about nine quality maps of your run-of-the-mill full-priced FPS purchase anyway, and at least as non-existent as the story is in Nexuiz, it's still more intriguing than the thin-layered and cliché-driven Modern Warfare 3.

The overarching plot to the game is about two alien races competing in an intergalactic gladiator-style tournament that's broadcasted across the universe, but it serves more as a backdrop to the action rather than an in-depth story, and why shouldn't it? Nexuiz is all about competitively blowing players to pulpy bits, not identifying with the alien on screen. If they had taken the time to have writers construct a captivating chronicle of events it would've been a bigger waste of a writer's time than Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Itisn't the most original title, but neither were Quake II,Quake III, or Unreal Tournament. At the very least Nexuiz deserves praise for a solid attempt at revitalizing a decaying style. One match will have any seasoned gamer regressing faster than some Dunkaroos and an Ecto-Cooler juice box.

The only real downside to the game is its fan base. Which, while still growing, has the capacity to make or break an otherwise great game. Sometimes you'll find yourself waiting on a match for 10 minutes or longer, which can get a bit annoying at times. But should this title receive the attention it rightly deserves, there's not much else here to gripe about.

Email: arts@ubspectrum.com


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