Thursday, November 15, 2007

Urban? Yes. Terror? No.

Continuing the theme of Quake 3 mods gone standalone, this week I decided to take a look at Urban Terror.

First things first, Urban Terror is my kind of game, so I'm much more predisposed to liking it than I was with Tremulous. For me, in the shooter world it just doesn't get much better than a good tactical shooter, although the Urban Terror team calls it a "hollywood tactical shooter", and rightfully so.

Installation on Linux may be tricky for some, since there's not really any installation information included in the README (at least that I could find). But, it's easy enough: extract the ioUrbanTerror archive (if playing standalone, like I am), extract Urban Terror itself, then place the q3ut4 folder in the Linux-i386 subdirectory of wherever you extracted ioUrbanTerror.

Even if the gameplay is good, a mod can be ruined for me if the maps aren't up to par. Luckily with Urban Terror, this is not the case. Every map I've played so far has looked great, and was balanced extremely well. Everything looks about as good as a Quake 3 mod possibly can.

Gameplay follows suit, weapons feel well tuned, and you certainly don't get the "cheap deaths" feeling you can get in other, similar mods. One thing I really like is that once hit with a weapon, even if you aren't killed right away, you'll bleed. And yes, eventually, that will take you down.

Urban Terror definitely does not tall into the "play it enough to write about it, then throw it away" category. I get the feeling I'll be playing it on and off for some time.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Boon Spelled Backwards

I finally got around to trying Tremulous, a former Quake 3 mod gone standalone. Wow, I can not understand why this is so popular.

First off, a major strike in my opinion, there is no way to change options from the main menu, as far as I could tell. I had to connect to a game, in 640x480 resolution, to be able to change any options at all. I don't think I've ever encountered such a perplexing setup. I'll admit right off the bat, maybe I missed something, but on the main screen I saw three options: "Play", "Mods" and "Quit." No options to be found.

Secondly, I've got to assume that the people raving about this game are playing clan matches. The foundation for some great gameplay is there: buildable fortifications, widely differing character classes for each side, I could see this being a lot of fun. But on public servers all I encountered was a bunch of people calling each other "noobs".

I understand that in any online game there are going to be stupid people who call each other stupid names, but the volume of name calling was fucking unbearable. I quit the game and promptly uninstalled.

Hey, Tremulous is popular, it doesn't need my help. But that doesn't change the fact that I'm never going near the game again.