Review: Nuclear Dawn
Nuclear Dawn is a combination of FPS and RTS genres sure to get any of you teamwork orientated people a-tingling.
- Worth The Time?Absolutely.
- Things LovedGood gameplay, nice class system and some very entertaining weapons.
- Things HatedAiming feels a little sluggish, no interactive tutorials, steep learning curve.
- RecommendationIf you liked Natural Selection you will like this. Good gameplay, and a great combination of FPS and RTS.
- Name: Nuclear Dawn
- Genre: RTS / FPS
- Players: 1 - 32
- Multiplayer: Yes
- Platforms: PC
- Developer: InterWave Studios
- Publisher: InterWave Studios
- Price: $24.99 (R204.54) on Steam
- Reviewed On: PC
Nuclear Dawn is a game that came out in September, and can be seen as a “new generation” of the natural selection type of game. Nuclear Dawn started out in 2006 as a mod for Counter Strike: Source, and is now coming to us in a commercial form (available on Steam!)
This game really is a very good blend of the RTS and FPS genres into a fairly good game (It’s had many patches since the beta with bug fixes). To me the aiming system feels a bit sluggish, I can’t put my finger on why, but the side to side movement is quite slow and you end up either having a really high sensitivity or half breaking your mouse from belting it across the mouse pad. Since the beta there are now tutorials on how everything in the game works, but unfortunately it is a single player game only. On a multiplayer level though, it is quite win.
The story of Nuclear Dawn does not go to great lengths to be original. It is basically a post apocalyptic war between two factions, the Consortium and the Empire (basically Russians vs. Americans… familiar?) The Consortium is the blue team and the Empire the red. It is set in the late 21st century, and the world has been nuked in a big way, my guess is by massive nukes (hence the title), with the two factions fighting over certain points. There is only one type of game mode available at the moment, with two teams of sixteen, with the objectives of controlling the resource points and to help the commander get the energy he needs to construct additional buildings (the RTS side of it). You win by taking out the opposing team’s bunker.
I like its layout, the menu is smooth and it’s easy to find a server. Once you’re in game, you can choose from one of 4 classes available to you. Each class has its own weapons and perks, and come with different packs that you can equip. You get your Heavy-Gunning exo; the stealth operatives that can go invisible, Assault with visors that can see the invisible and Support with heal and repair kits. Each class then has certain kits available to choose from, for example the stealth operative can choose to be either a sniper (this is too much fun, invising and only coming out when you pop a guy in the face) or carry a knife, so you can stab some poor unsuspecting soul in the back. Support can choose to be medics, engineers, or even have flamethrowers. Assault can arm himself with a standard SMG, or some noob tubes and shotguns, or even a sniper rifle. Exo’s can pick between a comically large chain gun and some Bad-Ass siege rocket launchers to take down enemy buildings. The longer you play the more chance you have of getting upgrades and additional weapon options as your commander finishes researching upgrades back at base.
Each class has its own ups and downs, and it never feels that one class is overpowered. The Stealth troopers are like the spy in TF2 or anything that can go invis really, they can get very annoying, especially if they knows what they’re doing. There is a very annoying exploit where EMP grenades (used by engineers) could be used to shut down the enemy spawn point for quite long periods of time, and you couldn’t respawn back into the game (very annoying I might add), however this could also be your commander’s fault in the first place for bad base management. However if they do get it right, games go very, very badly.
There are 6 different post apocalyptic locations to choose from, once again not too original with the locations, such as London or New York, or an Asian subway. There is a snow military base (probably my favourite map) and a Middle Eastern ruined city of some kind. There is enough detail to get by; although you can feel that the emphasis is on the game play and not the prettiness of it all. There are definitely choke points where you can defend, and plenty of places to snipe in every map. There is always a central point where most of the fighting tends to happen, as controlling and maintaining this point generally wins you the game.
Once or twice however, I have been fortunate enough to play the commander aspect of Nuclear Dawn, and it is definitely equally as fun overseeing the battle from the safety of a bunker. He can dish out orders as he has an aerial view of the battlefield, and can construct buildings to help his team, like additional spawn points, gun turrets, supply points, armouries for upgrades and all the usual. Once these buildings are up you can research new structures and weapons to help your team.
However, there is a big emphasis on the commander. It’s like any game where you get “that guy”, the noob who doesn’t know WHAT he is doing. If your commander is bad, you generally don’t do very well in the game. If you get a commander that’s on the ball, you get a whole different ballgame, and the difference is very notable.
My only problem is there is quite a learning curve before you actually know what’s going on. Without interactive tutorials, you just kind of jump in and hope for the best, and it took me a while to figure out what the hell was going on. The first time I played a commander it was a total disaster, and there were many people who were not pleased with me in the slightest. However I think this learning curve is why there are so few servers that are populated.
Nuclear Dawn is a very team-work orientated game, and if you get a good team and a good commander it can be a lot of fun, although I don’t feel it is a game that everyone will enjoy. As a genre blending game, you pretty much are not going to get any better out on the gaming market, so if that is your cup of tea, than Nuclear Dawn is for you!