XBox Live Game Review: Nexuiz

This first-person shooter game, which was originally free, has now been remade for Xbox Live Arcade and eventually through Playstation Network and Steam. This XBLA game was also selected as part of Microsoft’s high profile ‘House Party’ season of Xbox LIVE Arcade titles. Nexuiz uses the CryENGINE® 3 powered Arena FPS from Illfonic and is now available from Microsoft (via Xbox LIVE®) for 800 Microsoft Points.

The Hype

For centuries the Kavussari and the Forsellians have waged war. They have a fragile truce but due to their seething disgust of each other they still pit their warriors against each other in arenas rather than on the fields of war.

Those episodes of lethal combat are now broadcast throughout the galaxy, as entertainment… a spectacle known as… The Nexuiz Competition: An arena based first person shooter where you can alter the rules of the match and laws of physics while you dominate opponents in ever-changing hostile environments bleeding with hatred.

  • Arena FPS is back – inspired by the giants of the Arena FPS genre, Nexuiz reinvents twitch gaming for next generation consoles and PC
  • More than 100 ‘Dynamic Mutators’ serve as game-changing power-ups – Jetpacks, Uber-Nuke, Low Gravity, Big Head Mode and many more…
  • Nine deadly arenas – powered by CryENGINE 3, Nexuiz sets a new graphical benchmark for a digital-only release
  • Designed for competitive play – a superbly balanced weapon set, classic game modes, and extensive stat tracking, Medals and Leaderboard support
  • Play solo or online – hone your skills against bots, then wage war online against the best in 4v4 multiplayer matches
  • Just 800 Microsoft Points – Nexuiz offers hours of gameplay and unprecedented production values for a $10 title

The Reality

Nexuiz is the new Xbox Live Downloadable Game in the old-school style of Unreal Tournament and Team Fortress. Two races pit their best warriors in arena games for the entertainment of the known worlds among realistic violence including yells and fatalities on the sides of humanoid robots and aliens.

Single-player Bot Training allows you to play against up to seven opponent bots. Multiplayer mode via Xbox Live supports up to eight players, but was limited to six players when accessed for this review.

With two play styles, Deathmatch and Capture the Flag, and nine maps to choose from, plus random map mode, this fast-paced game is a lot of fun. Dynamic power-ups lead to quick game play, and no two games will ever be the same.

Game developers inject a lot of humor into a standard shooter format game. Nexuiz uses what it terms as Dynamic Mutators: power ups that randomly change game play for a limited time. These abilities help make the game more interesting and fun because some of the mutators are pretty wacky.

When a Dynamic Mutator is found and goes active, players get the option to use one of three different mutators. Selection of the mutator via the D-pad activates it.

This “Mix Up” mode features weapons in-hand change randomly every few seconds, “Body Swap” where everybody switches places to random points of the map, “Auto-Pogo” in which everybody bounces around in a ball as they travel.

“Color Blind” mode sends the visuals into grayscale, so you can’t tell which players you are shooting at by team color. Other modes will not be discussed here, as to not spoil them, but some of the random effects (e.g. some special sound customization modes) were hilarious. Special ‘Bad A**’ ranks are nice achievements, but the great action is enough.

Multiplayer matches require a full roster before starting, so expect delays there. It would be nice to have more matchup options as well to create even sides, especially when players drop out.

Players can get through three rounds pretty quickly and it was nice to be able to play something where you didn’t have to commit to three hours of game play at a time.

Health and armor power ups are plentiful, the graphics are nice and THQ has put together a fun game for the price. At 800 Microsoft points, the game is well-worth the cost.

Nexuiz will also appear on PlayStation® 3 and PC later this spring. Nexuiz is rated T (Teen) for crude humor, mild language, and violence. My cousin Tim Mackley and I collaborated on this review. Thanks Tim!

Review: Nexuiz

Where to Buy: Xbox Live

Price: 800 MS points

What I Like:  affordable price, shorter gameplay time periods, special modes and customizations (e.g. mutators), game mode variety, comic elements, solid level design, and the sleek, artistic visuals

What Needs Improvement: more initial background into the story elements, a few different FPS modes to increase replay value, and improved multiplayer options for even matches

Source: Copy provided by publisher

Categories: Gaming, Reviews

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