Game Review: Nexuiz

For: Xbox 360 (via Xbox Live Arcade)

From: Illfonic/THQ

ESRB Rating: Teen (Crude Humor, Mild Language, Violence)

Price: $10


"Nexuiz" may proudly proclaim it's one of the first downloadable games available that's powered by the CryENGINE 3 engine, but anyone with a discerning eye for shooters knows that the presence of "Quake III Arena's" heart and soul is the real story here.

Originally conceived years ago as a "Quake" mod, "Nexuiz" comes into its own by taking that series' core principles - blindingly fast first-person shooter combat, small but intricate maps laden with weapons and game-changing power-ups - and giving them a polished, modern sheen (thanks, largely, to CryENGINE 3's impressive visual capabilities).

Those in search of storytelling and along time need not apply: "Nexuiz" offers a practice mode with A.I. bots, but you must play against others (eight players, online only) to pad your statistics and get those achievements. But much like "Q3A" was so pure in its freneticism that anyone could play it, so is "Nexuiz," which plays spotlessly online and offers a lot to like - nine maps, nine dual-fire weapons, a ton of mutators that can temporarily enhance your skills or sabotage your enemies' abilities - for its $10 price tag.

The emphasis on team play - team deathmatch and capture the flag are its sole match types - also means you're never fighting alone.

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