The arena shooter has gained a lot of traction since the early days of Quake III and Unreal Tournament. Perhaps its hard to pronounce title beings its main drawback, Nexuiz nonetheless attempts to emulate these classics, offering a solid first-person fragfest with all of the usual arena trimmings. The game has been in development since 2002, and it was finally released on multiple platforms in 2005 as a free download featuring both online and offline (bot) gameplay. It was and still is an open source project.
The gameplay follows the same first-person shooter mindset that powered its predecessors, with a wide array of weapons, ammo and item pickups scattered around various maps. The pacing is similar to that of Quake III Arena, whereas if you stop, you’re pretty much dead. Gameplay modes range from simple deathmatch to capture the flag or domination, with a wide range of optional mutators in between. The user can fight through the single player campaign, going through more than twenty levels, or play online.
The weapons are also refreshingly original. There’s a stock shotgun that reminds one of the first Quake game, but which also retains Shadow Warrior’s tri-shot ability as a secondary firing mode. There are then a multitude of energy and explosive-based weapons, ranging from grenade launchers to sniper rifles and a neat minigun that fires exploding projectiles. Most weapons have an alternative firing mode.
As far as free games go, Nexuiz is most definitely a catch. It’s easy to install, runs like a dream and looks great all throughout. So if you’re looking for a free arena shooter to sink your teeth into, look no further.
System Requirements: Pentium IV 1 GHz, 512 MB RAM, 1 GB HDD, WinXP