Sauerbraten – Cube 2Link 1, Link 2 - Free
On to First Person Shooters, and we start off with one hell of a bang. Sauerbraten
is actually built upon the Cube 2 game engine, which will also be featured in an RPG
that is just around the corner. The Cube 2 engine was created by one of the Far Cry developers, and it surely shows. Detail levels are just astonishing, while the OpenGL base makes it forgiving to low spec hardware. Another great thing about the Cube 2 engine is the ease of building maps in it, a feature that has shown its value in a lot of Windows FPS games. But enough talking, let's do some fragging...
Sauerbraten is a no-nonsense, first-person shoot'em up. If it moves, kill it! There are 2 main play modes, single and multiplayer. Single player offers the traditional task of clearing out a map in a minimum of time, or a deathmatch mode where you battle a bunch of AI-controlled bots. These 2 modes are great for training skills, but the real fun lies in the multiplayer modes. There are no less then 12 multiplayer modes available, which can be grouped into headless fragging (straight-up deathmatch), team play, last man standing and capture mode. All of these modes are self-explanatory, except maybe the capture mode. This is a mode similar to domination mode found in Unreal Tournament. The difference in the modes lies in the varying emphases on tactics and efficiency.
Now, after all the eye candy comes the million-dollar question - what do I need to run this game? Well, Saurerbraten
runs on quite modest hardware. Minimum specs are a 1GHz or higher CPU, 256MB RAM and a GeForce 4 MX or equivalent GPU. When I ran it on my laptop, a 1.5GHz Pentium M with 512MB of RAM and a Intel IGP with 32MB shared ram, I could run it at 1024*768 with all settings max, and get a framerate of about 45FPS. Worst, or best, case scenario, all options turned to max, require a modest 2GHz or higher CPU, 512MB RAM and a GeForce 6600 or equivalent shader model 2.0 GPU. Eat that, Windows!
NexuizLink 1, Link 2 - Free
Next in line for the FPS genre is Nexuiz. It's a more 'back to basics' FPS than Sauerbraten, but some of us actually like that. Nexuiz is based upon the Darkplaces engine, a heavily modified Quake 1 engine derivate. Because the engine is 100% OSS (licenced under the GPL licence) and its source code is freely available, add-on maps are easy to find. Also, like Sauerbraten, the engine is OpenGL based, which shows in the recommended spec list.
Like any FPS, Nexuiz
is all about scoring frags. There are 2 modes available, single player or multiplayer deathmatch. You might think the singleplayer mode gets boring quite quickly, but you would be mistaken. There are 17 standard maps available, combined with a great army of enemies, who show a high level of AI. In Nexuiz
, there are no easy kills against brainless bots. You actually have to work in single player mode to get your frags up. I surely got my (unskilled) behind kicked more then I liked. The multiplayer part takes place on the same maps as the single player does.
is a great, fast-action, well balanced FPS, the game doesn't require a fast system. With all the eye candy turned on, everything on max, Nexuiz requires a modest 1.5 GHz Intel Pentium 4 chip or AMD Athlon 1500+, 9600ati or 5700fx and 512 MB of RAM. Even on low spec systems, it holds his ground - a modest 1 GHz Pentium III or AMD Athlon coupled with a Geforce2 video card and 512 MB of RAM will run this game. Now, is it just me, or do the specs for Windows games seem to be in a whole different league?
First-person shooters are a popular genre on Windows, and the Linux community is no different. While not all games work natively under Linux, there are a lot that do, either natively or through publisher ports. Among those are Enemy Territory, Doom3, Quake 1, 2, 3 & 4, Soldier of Fortune, Tribes 2, Unreal Tournament (1999), 2004 & 2004, America's Army
...and the list goes on. And, if your favourite game isn't listed under the section native/ported games, you still have a chance that it would be included on the huge list of games that work through (mis)called emulators, like Wine and Cedega.