Published on February 27th, 2012 | by Ben Gray


Review: Nexuiz

Review: Nexuiz Ben Gray

Summary: Ben shoots whales and pogo jumps as he attempts to convey his thoughts on the third House Party title, Nexuiz.


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There I was, jumping at ridiculous heights across the map, scoring head shot after head shot with the Nex, when the gravity drops, and I’m sent plummeting down, the fall damage killing me off. Maybe I lied about my seemingly great skill in that statement, but the rest of it was perfectly true, and could only apply to a select few games, one of which is Nexuiz, a fast-paced shooter only a stone’s throw away from games like Quake, but with an added twist that sets the game in a league of its own. The changes in question are Mutators, dynamic rule-changers that completely throw matches on their head, leading to unique encounters and wild shenanigans ranging from whales to wipe outs. Without these and the fantastic art style Nexuiz sports, it would just be another shooter. Luckily, there are very few fast-paced shooters on consoles, so there’s not a problem to be had – except for the reason why there aren’t many fast-paced shooters on consoles. Admittedly, a mouse and keyboard is favorable over a controller, in situations where pinpoint accuracy and lightning-fast reflexes are the key to success. It’s not a massive issue when everyone will be using one or the other, but it’s probably going to involve a lot of inaccuracy on the controller side, especially the velocity players can build when pogo-jumping around the map. Nexuiz does offer aim-assist and adjustments to sensitivity, but most of your kills are going to be down to luck.  It’s very bearable, but not as bearable as a select few may like; gamers who have become accustomed to the average paces of Call of Duty and Battlefield may be in for a hard time – Nexuiz is going to hit them hard and they will either love it or stay as far away from it as humanly possible. However, the competitive edge of games like these should probably lean them towards the former.


 Nine weapons, nine maps and over a hundred mutators; from those statistics alone, Nexuiz is bound to keep intrigued players gripped for a least a week or two (which is more than most multiplayer-only downloadable shooters, mind). Each weapon handles and feels great when fired; across the nine weapons there’s a gun for every situation, and you’ll soon come to make your favorites and dart across the map to acquire them as fast as you can. Despite the two game types available, CTF and TDM, and tied to particular maps, each match I played both online and offline felt as fresh and captivating as the last. The maps are perfectly sized to keep the 4v4 games exciting from start to finish; you never have to look far to find your nearest foe. They’re as vertical as they are horizontal, set up for some spectacular kill opportunities, and whilst sometimes blurred and rough at the edges from a distance, CryENGINE 3 holds us spectacularly during frantic fire fights and compliments the futuristic feel. But the most thrilling feature of Nexuiz are the constantly changing mutators that can seriously screw things up; turning the tide of the match or just adding to the craze and speed of the shooter. Mutators are what make Nexuiz a worthwhile investment, if even just the trial to see what the fuss is about, and makes the game stand out from the crowd. Believe it or not, Nexuiz does have a story, but it acts as nothing more than a backdrop to the action, and doesn’t bear any massive significance other than who fights who. It’s something that doesn’t change the game for better or worse, but is simply there to add substance to the world. In terms of how the game feels to control, it feels as fluid and as responsive as the game itself – and something that will please many gamers (especially myself), you can map the controls to buttons of your choice, which is a welcome addition to any game, as you are not forced to be tied to a specific layout. For those that don’t wish to play online, bot matches are available (something lacking from a lot of multiplayer shooters) and the bots themselves provide a reasonable challenge, but are only really worth playing against on their hardest difficulty setting. Pre-game lobbies can be set up to matchmake with your friends, and stats and leaderboards are there to stay competitive. NexuizI wasn’t a big fan of the game’s progression system. These systems, of course, are designed to reward the player and make them strive on and stay with your game. Through points earned in ranked matches, pips are spent on mutators of your choice across different tiers, to increase their frequency in ranked matches. Whilst it is a method of getting your favorites to appear in matchmaking, it takes away the spontaneous nature of mutators and we’ll likely see the same batch recurring over and over in the first few weeks of release as players establish common favorites. It also wasn’t keeping me compelled to play the game. Luckily, what did keep me compelled was the fast paced and frantic action Nexuiz has to offer, despite its flaws and through its art style, pace and mutators will be a downloadable shooter here to stay.

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