From GNU/Linux to Warhammer & back again!
I think the first FPS I played online was Medal of Honor on the PC many years ago. Whilst my taste in gaming is restricted to mainly RPG’s (when I get time at all), I do like a little bit of mindless fun. Thats not to say Urban Terror is mindless, its just I never usually live long enough to formulate any kind of strategy…
When talking about gaming, it will never cease to amaze me the range of titles Linux has to offer and whilst gaming shifts ever closer to a total console solution, there is always a market for the desktop, even better if it doesn’t require an investment of £100′s every 6 month’s just to keep your hardware up to date with it.
As we see Linux get further penetration on the desktop, we see more Wine compliance, more native titles and traditional Windows packages having a Linux version too (I only need cite Utorrent producing a Linux version of their Windows software due to popular demand)
The official page for Urban Terror is rather professional looking and there’s nothing to suggest that this is a free title as opposed to one for sale on your console.
Lets start by looking at the Urban Terror press release:
Urban Terror™ is a free multiplayer first person shooter developed by FrozenSand, that (thanks to the ioquake3-code) does not require Quake III Arena anymore. It is available for Windows, Linux and Macintosh. The current version is 4.1.
Urban Terror can be described as a Hollywood tactical shooter; somewhat realism based, but the motto is “fun over realism”. This results in a very unique, enjoyable and addictive game.
No registration required: Download, install, play!
Will the title live up to the bold claims? Let not forget we live in a world of gaming like Halo, GTA, COD…will Urban Strike appeal to a more demanding market?
For this review, Im running the 64bit version of Urban Terror with Sabayon 5.3 on a AMD Athlon II Quad Core , 3gb of DDR3 and an Nvidia 9200 integrated gfx card.
Urban Terror comes in at a 720mb download, containing both the 32/64 versions. Installation was merely unpacking the .zip and then making the relevant binary executable.
The first thing that strikes you when you run Urban Terror is the effort made to polish the title and within seconds you are ready to get into the action with a large list of servers.
After choosing your server and connecting, you are presented with your payload screen, here you can choose your weapons for your battle and you have quite a choice from assault to sniper rifle’s, secondary weapons are on offer too…. once selected you’re off and ready to go!
The game is offered as online only, so there are no solo campaigns here. Graphically, whilst it’s no Halo Reach, when you are in the middle of frantic action, you really haven’t the time to admire textures as there is always someone camping with a sniper rifle ready to take your head off…and take my head of they did. I’ve spent more time waiting to re-spawn than I have running around shooting…. I jest, it’s not that bad, but the skill level of other players means either they are well-practiced or I’m totally hopeless.
There are numerous maps to enjoy that come as standard with the package and offer outside, inside, claustrophobic and open environments.
There are also plenty of servers available for players, it goes without saying that one of the most important features of a game like this is having enough players to keep the maps busy and not like a ghost town. From a look at the server list, there are many with 20+ players so you will always find yourself a decent game.
I am thoroughly enjoying Urban Terror.
If I was to level a criticism?!? at the title, it would be more towards the players online rather than the package itself, they are just too damn good! It’s not often I play games let alone a frantic FPS so my life expectancy is measured in seconds rather than minutes.
The bonus of the functional but pleasant visuals is that you don’t need a very powerful machine to be getting a 60+fps frame rate at full gfx settings, although I did find myself throttling the frame rate as I had other tasks going on in the background.
Can I use “pleasant visuals”? I need to mention that there’s blood aplenty when a player happens to get in front of a bullet in a rush!
It is reported that there are currently some issues with the 64bit Linux and these are being addressed, however with the test machine and distro here I had no problems, Sabayon 5.3 offered the latest version from within its repro’s. I did notice one small bug though, that being the screenshot save feature (F11) didn’t work. It was not a problem for this review though – the default Gnome screen-grabber worked nicely.
Difficulty issues aside, it’s a game that I will definitely be keeping for a while. It certainly proves you don’t have to shell out £40 on a console game (complete with additional online subscription) and there’s enough variety in the maps to keep you interested for some time. Maybe solo missions would add further to this game, however as an online FPS, I don’t think you can go wrong.
Urban Terror homepage: http://www.urbanterror.info
Goblin – firstname.lastname@example.org
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