Linux Got Game: War§ow 0.42

Posted by jun auza On 5/06/2008
Another tip from Free and Open Source gamer extraordinaire SlippJigg encouraged me to try out another action-packed First-person shooter (FPS) game called Warsow last weekend. So what exactly is this game and what makes it interesting?

Some Facts:
War§ow (Warsow) is an online multiplayer FPS game actively developed by a crew of freelance software developers and artists. War§ow prides itself on high-quality content standards with thorough testing by selected members of the community. War§ow's codebase is open source software, distributed under the terms of the GPL; it is built upon Qfusion, an advanced modification of the Quake II engine.

War§ow is loosely based on the E-novel written by Fabrice Demurger entitled Chasseur de bots. The novel is the basis of the game's cyberpunk visual style, which is achieved by combining cel-shaded cartoon-like graphics with dark, flashy and dirty textures. Since visual clarity is important in maintaining competitive gameplay, War§ow tries to keep effects minimalistic, clear and visible.

According to Warsow Wiki, Warsow's recursive acronym is "Warsow is Art of Respect and Sportmanship Over the Web"

Sounds and Graphics:
When I played Warsow for the first time, I thought the graphics was less impressive compared to those of Alien Arena and Nexuiz. But then I found out that I was playing with my screen resolution set to 800x600. After I have corrected the display and tweaked some of the effects options, I was awed at how graphically pleasing this game really is. Though the game environment is cartoonish, for me it is still looking pretty solid and polished, and the visual effects are very appealing.

I'm not really that picky when it comes to a game's audio, but my common sense knows how to judge if the sound is good enough or not :-) I think Warsow had some neat sound effects and music that really added flavor to the game, and I would say it sounded good.


Gameplay
:
The very competitive gameplay of War§ow focuses heavily on movement and trickjumping. Many of the tricks in War§ow, which originate from the Quake series, include circle-jumping, bunny hopping, strafe-jumping, double jumping, ramp-sliding, and rocket jumping. War§ow also gives players the ability to dash, dodge or wall jump, tricks that were originally possible in the Unreal series. The various movement tricks combine to add an extra dimension to the gameplay; as the player's proficiency at moving increases, they are able to collect health, armour and weapons more quickly, more effectively overpower enemies with their speed. The variety and flexibility of the physics has spawned an entire community dedicated to competing on the various Race maps that the game offers.


War§ow also has a unique power-up system for weapons. In addition to regular ammunition, ammo boxes found on the map contain strong ammunition. Strong ammo either increases a weapon's power or modifies its behaviour to make it more effective. Weapons are restricted to using strong ammunition until depleted, at which point it would switch back to using regular ammunition.


How/Where to get War§ow?
Warsow 0.42 (the latest version) is available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. The download page can be found HERE . Ubuntu users can easily get and install Warsow via Synaptic Package Manager because it is available from the Ubuntu repo.


Conclusion:
War§ow, though still considered as a beta software is really well-crafted that I would highly recommend it to every FPS game fanatic or just about any gamer out there who wants to try something new. My only complain about Warsow is the lack of game server hosts, and based on my experience, it is sometimes difficult to connect to a particular server. I hope more people will be hosting Warsow because it really is a great FPS game. It is like a gem that I'm glad I've found. Also, I hope that a single player (offline) option will be available soon just in case my internet connection gets disconnected, or when I want to improve my skills by shooting against bots in easy mode (hehe).

Here's my quick rating for War§ow 0.42:

Sounds and Graphics: 8/10
Gameplay: 7/10
Total: 7.5/10

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