Nuclear Dawn
Developer: Interwave Studios
Publisher: Merge Games
Release Date: Out Now
Players/Online features: 2-32
Words By:

(review is based on the BETA version of the game.)

Nuclear Dawn is an online only 32-player first person shooter (or FPS).The game is set in various cities after worldwide nuclear fallout. There are two teams; the Consortium and the Empire which are stuck in an endless war with each other in a relentless struggle to control the nuclear wasteland.

Like most FPS games, Nuclear Dawn uses a class system: Assault, Support, EXO and Stealth. Each class comes with a variety of different guns and additions that they can pick and choose to create a more custom class. The Assault is the generic all round class which mainly consists of assault rifles and grenade launchers. The Support class is split into two sub-classes of Medic and Engineer, the Engineers build and maintain things such as; turrets, supply stations and bases. This enables the Engineer to essentially turn the game into a defensive game by building towers around the critical locations and turning them into kill zones for the enemy forces. EXO is the heavy class; you move slowly, have lots of health and boast the biggest guns that make the most noise. Finally there is the Stealth class, which gives the user the ability to go invisible and wreak havoc amongst the enemy with submachine guns, sniper rifles and knives.

The game does not play as you would initially expect a fast-paced FPS to, you have your foot soldier roles as normal but with the choice to opt in as the Commander, the game becomes a mix between an FPS and an RTS (Real Time Strategy) game. This Commander Mode allows you to see pretty much everything going on in the battle, and the Commander may issue commands to the entire team and essentially instructing them throughout the battle. The role of the Commander injects an additional strategic depth to the game, which can allow a average skilled team with a quick thinking Commander to win games that they couldn’t otherwise have done. The role of the Commander brings a fresh adaptation to the generic team-based shooter through more strategic possibilities and I wouldn’t be surprised if other developers borrowed the idea it in future Multiplayer FPS's to come.

The game runs on the Source Engine, this means that the game’s graphics look dated and also means it plays pretty much exactly like the games in the Half-life series, which is not necessarily a bad thing but it is rather outdated now. Also the fact that the setting is a nuclear/war torn city and the city looks untouched, as in all of the buildings have glass in the windows, all of the electricity is on and pretty much all of the buildings are intact, this really takes away from the atmosphere of a desolate post nuclear world.

The only game mode available in the BETA version tasked the teams to destroy each other’s starting base. Each game lasts two rounds, this doesn’t really change any roles but it just lets you start on the other side of the map. This game mode is fun but after a while it just turns into your usual online affair of people running off on their own trying to take on the entire opposing team and when the enemy team advances and starts destroying your base you pretty much just get spawn killed all the time.

Like pretty much every game of this genre you gain Experience Points (XP) by completing certain tasks, this score allows you to progress through your levels and ultimately unlock more gun and armaments. You can gain XP by killing opponents or capturing resources but by far the easiest way of gaining XP is being a medic, this is due to the fact that your medic kit, if placed in a group of people, can give you an XP score greater than killing the entire enemy team.

In a saturated market for the FPS genre, Nuclear Dawn brings in some good ideas but aside from the additional strategic gameplay, unless you are either an Engineer or the Commander the game plays out pretty much the same as any other FPS out on the market.

As a final not there's a special "Plutonium Edition" available for pre-order from all the best retailers that will include: the Soundtrack, a Concept art booklet, Story board, an Exclusive poster, Signed developer pictures, a Postcard and exclusive desktop Wallpaper. It certainly seems like decent value at SRP £24.95.

Best Bits

- The Commander's tactical elements.
- Rewards for working as a squad.
- 16-a-side matches.
Worst Bits

- The scenery doesn’t really look like a nuclear holocaust has just occured.
- Overpowered Turrets.
- Unbalanced Classes.

by: Banjokazoozie

Copyright © Gamecell 2011