Interwave Studios brings us Nuclear Dawn, a post apocalyptic first person shooter mixed with real time strategy. Set in the year 2049 post WW3 the war rages on between the consortium.(blue flag) and the Empire (red flag) each with different base building techniques. Ground forces, or the fps guys, have a choice of 4 classes each one no more overpowered than the other with around 36 weapons to choose from where they participate in 32 player warfare mode across 6 very large maps. As a soldier you will capture enemy bases to earn resource points, defend your own base, drive tanks and personnel carriers, whatever you can do to stave off the enemy. To play the RTS side you must apply to be commander where you manage the resources to build, dispense healing to the ground troops and most importantly deal in death of the enemy forces. Do a good job though because your team has a “mutiny” button if they think your slacking. As “Commander” your job is to find the best routes for your soldiers and direct them to important objectives unharmed. As your soldiers take bases they earn resources that you as commander manage to help fortify your base and unlock heavy arsenal for your Soldiers.
On visiting the games official site I was instantly impressed and interested, mainly for the FPS element which is my favourite genre to play. RTS is not my strong point so I hoped for some play through tutorials to teach me this aspect of the game. What I found were some extremely simplistic videos outlining it but no real instructions or play through tutorials which made me a little apprehensive about testing the RTS side of the game. That having been said I was still pretty pumped for some FPS so I fired up the game and when I went to jump on a server they were all empty in Oceania. I am an Australian gamer and I found 11 dedicated servers to play on, which made me happy, my issue was they were always empty! I was unable to review this game in a low ping environment so I am not able to comment on how smooth this game runs, graphic glitches etc. It ran quite poorly at 300 ping which is to be expected, I did however manage to find a few servers in North America which were occupied, I pranced into the server completely blind with absolutely no idea what I was doing or which load out would suit so I tried them all. The graphics are mediocre and I wasn’t wowed by them I had some problems with the game crashing on loading. This may have been a Steam issue. The controls were simple enough to work out. The grenade which you had to click on and then throw could be improved having it release on command. There are some in game tutorials that pop up to tell you which button to press to go invisible on the stealth class or to drop your assault visor and the game is relatively easy to play once you get the hang of it. The two main classes I tested were the Assault and Stealth, I couldn’t wait to knife some unsuspecting victims in my invisibility cloak, invisibility time is quite short you need to be close when you engage it as it wears off quickly.
Maps are huge, it took me ages to find a fight and on death I kept spawning back at base and wasted too much time in running around The assault guns are either underpowered or finishing people off is meant to take more than a clip to do so, of this I am not certain. Game play is fairly basic, run around, capture a base, earn 10 points for resources and another 15 for holding, kill someone for another 10 and earn 10 points for following Commander’s orders. I would have liked to see more reward for my effort. Ultimately, I think Interwave had a really great idea for a game melding the FPS/RTS genres into one game and I think they have a solid base to begin with; however I am not feeling it the way it is right now. A poorly chosen release date just ahead of 2 major FPS titles Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 is a recipe for failure in my opinion.
Nuclear dawn is available now on Steam for $24.99 USD.