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Nexuiz preview - a competitive arena-FPS for the modern era

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No, we don’t know how to say the name of the game either. The story we heard from the developer Illfonic is that the creators of the original PC version wrote down a bunch of different names and chose Nexuiz specifically because they didn’t know how to pronounce it. The general consensus seems to be “Nex-us,” but that doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that Nexuiz looks like an absolute blast... as long as you’re willing to forget the past five years of FPS gaming.

Though Nexuiz looks like a modern game, it plays a lot like older arena-based first-person shooters, with mutators, rocket jumping, and other classic mechanics taking center stage over cover and iron-sights. Nexuiz is a throw-back to the old days, with two teams of four battling in six team deathmatch maps and three capture the flag maps, all the while picking up interesting weapons to blow up their enemies with. If that doesn’t sound all that unique, that’s because it isn’t – where Nexuiz shines is in its mutators, which completely change the game.

And we’re not throwing around “change the game” as a hyperbole, that’s actually exactly what mutators do. There are over 100 in Nexuiz, split up into three categories: personal, team, and global. Each changes the rules a bit, slowing down time, making it so headshots are instant kills, switching everyone into third-person mode, unlocking incredibly powerful abilities, or doing one of 96 other things. In other FPS, these mutators would be assigned before the game begins, but in Nexuiz they are picked up in the levels and activated on the fly, shifting the flow of the combat every few seconds.

On one occasion we picked up a mutator that warped the entire enemy team to our location, so we jumped off the edge of the map and turned it on, chalking up a few more kills for our team. Another time we unlocked one that turned our normal laser gun into a super weapon that shot a consistent beam of enemy-killing light. And then our allies turned activated one that desaturated the colors, making it harder to discern enemies from allies. And then someone turned on low gravity. Things get intense fast once the mutators start piling up, and the developers told us that we hadn’t even seen the zanier ones.

We were told that outside of the game, points accumulated for successful play can be spent to customize mutator loadouts, letting players tweak their chances towards getting better (or different) mutators on pickup. While you won’t be able to influence it that much, you might be able to put enough points into the Invulnerability mutator so that you’ll see it once a game, instead of once every few games. For competitive teams, it means a player could specialize in one type of mutators, increasing the chances that he would, for instance, get as many support mutators as possible, instead of finding random super weapons and enemy debuffs.

Nexuiz most certainly isn’t going to be for everyone, but for competitive FPS players looking for old-school flavor, it’s right on target. The price sounds appealing, too – the developers are shooting for $10 and an early 2012 release date for the game on PC, Xbox Live, and the PlayStation Network, giving hardcore FPS fans something to look forward to during Q1.

Topics

FPS Nexuiz

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11 comments

  • celticwhisper - December 15, 2011 11:44 a.m.

    JMAN1156 - Yes. There was a split in the dev team, the half that became Illfonic kept certain rights (including the name) and the Nexuiz that we knew is now being rebranded "Xonotic." It hurts me to see the name "Nexuiz" associated with a for-pay product when it used to be free via "sudo apt-get install nexuiz". Oh, well, them's the breaks I guess.
  • rainy-la - December 14, 2011 6:38 p.m.

    woo,if you interested, i'd like to recommend you an exciting place for more -casualchats.c o m. It's so cool!
  • pin316 - December 13, 2011 10:05 p.m.

    hoping this fulflls it's promise (unlike that Cartoon Network Smash Bros clone, which had an awesome preview article and then got reviewed as a 5!) With Halo Reach multiplayer turning into a complete mess since CEA came out, Halo 4 is no longer an automatic purchase for me. However, i muchly prefer arena-style shooters for multiplayer and so the potential for a viable option to that of Halo 4 makes me happy indeed!
  • gazzc - December 13, 2011 11:37 a.m.

    Sounds fun, I really miss having a decent arena type shooter to play on.
  • n00b - December 12, 2011 4:59 p.m.

    so... it sounds like mario kart in an fps
  • FoxdenRacing - December 12, 2011 12:35 p.m.

    If this thing has 100% manual aiming and a 'vs bots' mode [for if/when I can't find anyone else to play with], I have but one thing to say to the developers: "Shut up and take my money!" Mr. Cooper, for finding this and bringing it to my attention, you are my hero of the day.
  • FoxdenRacing - December 12, 2011 2:14 p.m.

    Later realization: Doubly so if it includes local multiplayer!
  • slickmcwilly - December 12, 2011 11:53 a.m.

    i played the original a lot, hopefully this is just as good
  • MuckPuppy - December 12, 2011 11:17 a.m.

    This sounds like it might actually be good! I feel dropping $10 on this would be a good investment, as long as the player-base decides it's worth keeping. Nothing worse than trying to play an online game with nobody online.
  • JMAN1156 - December 12, 2011 11:12 a.m.

    This related to the game Nexuiz by Alien Trap?
  • Mamudo - December 12, 2011 11:11 a.m.

    Looks like fun, I'll try it out when it's released.

Showing 1-11 of 11 comments

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