No logo. People who play video games on their computer or gaming console cannot choose if they want to see the distributor’s or the developing studios’ logos when the game starts up. It is just there and it bothers me. When one plays commercial games it might feel just like another advert that one this time actually paid money for, but that is not questioned very often today. The first thing one can react on when starting up the game Xonotic is that there are not any of these bothering features which can make one relax a lot since gaming is a very time-limited ingredient in my everyday life. The game gets rid of that unnecessary feature and  The game does not need any sort of installation either which is a huge freedom to anyone who knows what a painstaking process that can because of the huge sizes and security controls. It also means that one can bring it with on a USB. This also means that there is not any sort of registration nor extra software that you have to install to play the game. The latter commonly known as ‘bloatware‘ which does not serve any important function for the core software to work. This is something that is fairly uncommon today as one often has to register for numerous sites.

The game is a clone of the classic multiplayer game ‘Quake‘, published by id Software in 1996 which has made many important progresses in the art of game developing. More importantly is that they made the game’s foundations (read: DarkPlaces game engine) available as open source on GitHub.  GitHub is a platform where people can collaborate and build on their own software projects. Without that move by id Software, Xonotic would not exist and see what results it has accomplished with a growing community of players and developers who want to reinvent their own version of the classic game!

It feels nostalgic in a sense, the way that the game works in terms of gameplay and feel. The menus of the game feels very simple with three options to choose from – Singleplayer, Multiplayer and Settings. Singleplayer includes several scenarios and gameplay variations. It is worth playing through although I did notice a flaw in a map far into the campaign. Starting out with the singleplayer mode is a great way to get to know the game and reduces the learning curve a lot.

Once one is in the game one can notice how similar the game is to Quake as it was developed open source, modified and it has some noticable similarities. I never played Quake myself but I have seen various clips and it really feels great. The campaign does not have a storyline and instead it is entirely level based and the game provides simple instructions throughout all the different game modes on how to play it, e.g. Capture The Flag, SpeedRun, Free For All and some more! However there are some things that could be explained better such as when the player gets to use the ‘grapple hook’ which can be of great use in order to win the game.

The AI (Artificial Intelligence) could really be improved. After playing a map for a while, discerning the difficulty, the bots (computer controlled players) end up running the same paths or standing still at the same places, not doing much resistance. That gets boring after a while because when there is no challenge, one does not have a lot of will left to go through with the level.

The audio and sound design is done properly with a lot of different sound effects that instantly reminds me of classical works which I have seen on YouTube. With the music it creates a great atmosphere and it fulfills the idea of a classic game but set with more modern graphics. And the visual effects and graphics have been developed very well with a lot of interesting details but one could ask for more advanced animations for the effects such as when a character dies and turns into thin air. The overall game design feels consistent and well thought out. This is probably because of inspiration deriving from Quake and Unreal Tournament and due to its intention; provide a free clone of people who do not want to spend money for old games without living communities

The community instantly feels small which can be seen as both good and but more importantly its very inviting and one can easily get into contact with developers and other players on helpful with forums and by that, mainly the official one hosted by the community. Many are also available in through the chat service IRC.This game is really stripped of unneccessary functions and that is very positive. It has a lot of working features already and it at the moment one can only look forward to minor changes which would make the game adapt more to the system its run on. It is a very stable game, this review was written based on experiencence from a system running Windows 7 x64 release where it ran flawlessly. The game was also tested on a Mac running OS X 10.7 after the original post was published. After heavy graphic glitches the problem was solved by changing some settings in the firewall and after that, the game could run smoothly.

One should not feel like they have missed anything if one has not played the original game. This game makes up for it and the growing community with recurring Nations’ Cups are perfect examples of what makes this game a good choice for the casual gamer looking for entertainment as well as the professional one who is looking for competitions and many challenges in terms of gameplay. One can only imagine how fun this will be to share and experience with friends.

Checkmate, Xonotic.

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