I've been hearing a lot about Nexuiz lately, so I decided to download it last week (still trying to get rid of the weird feeling that accompanied last week's post), and gave it a try. I'm all for the idea of a GPL first person shooter (you may be thinking Cube, but that's under the zlib license as far as I know) but, having played this game, I can't really understand why everyone is so excited about it.
The title of this post says it all, when it comes to Nexuiz. Sure, it's got realtime lights and way too much bloom, but the gameplay is nothing more than the standard deathmatch we've all been playing for years. Additionally, the graphics aren't even that good. Normally, screenshots pale in comparison to the actual game in action - here it's a case of the exact opposite. The screenshots look nice, but the first thing you notice running the game is the janky animation of the character models.
For it's engine, Nexuiz uses a customized version of the Darkplaces engine (edit: it was pointed out to me in the comments that it's actually just the stock Darkplaces engine). Hey, for something based on the Quake (not Quake II) engine, it looks pretty good. That being said, there isn't much that can be done to improve the actual level geometry so, even with new particle effects and textures, it's just not as impressive as it wants to be. The Nexuiz web site makes a big deal how some of the features can only be used by fairly recently released high end computer hardware, but who the fuck cares when games with lesser system requirements end up looking and running better?
I haven't even gotten to the sounds yet - they're not good. At least on my system (on which every game sounds fine) firing a weapon sounded suspiciously like throwing pebbles at a tin roof. Weapon models and tracer effects are unimpressive, some character models (animation aside) are just plain ugly. You want my opinion? Go play Cube. Don't care about open source? Go play Enemy Territory. Don't even care if it's free? Go play any game in the Unreal Tournament series. Any of the aforementioned games are infinitely more enjoyable than Nexuiz. How the fuck are you supposed to pronounce that name anyway? To me it seems like it would be "Neez-weez"...