Today, I would like to go off the beaten path a little and share a little-known first person shooter with you that I have been enjoying for years. Sauerbraten is an arena-based first-person-shooter with many aspects that resemble the all-time classic Quake 3.
Being highly addictive and always impressive to play, Sauerbaten is an ideal combination of fun weapons and fast gameplay. Read on for my full review.
You may well be wondering why I have put multiplayer as the first item in this review, and the answer is because Sauerbraten is nearly solely intended to be enjoyed as a multiplayer game. Though it does have some very beta single-player aspects you can choose to play, the number one item on the game’s menu is multiplayer, and it is also the primary focus.
The servers you can join support up to 64 players at one time, and can rotate dozens of different maps between game modes like Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Free for All, and my personal favourite: Capture The Flag. The most popular servers also have Instant Kill rifle games, and often combine these with Capture the Flag or Deathmatch to give you a fast-paced gaming experience which I have yet to find a rival to.
The maps on these servers are regularly rotated roughly every ten minutes, so you won’t easily tire of playing one map, or become bored in general.
All of the maps are built out of varying sizes and permutations of cuboids, sometimes with a few map-models like trees or benches thrown in as accompaniment. If you play the game and look around, you won’t see a truely rounded edge anywhere in the landscape. Anything that looks round is just the result of careful flattening and corner-stretching of cubes. This is the reason for Sauerbraten’s formal name: Cube2: Sauerbraten. Those who played the first Cube game may find it interesting to know that this game is the successor.
The cuboid design may appear graphically outdated to some people, but just go with it. The game itself is near-enough brand new with the last big release in the summer of 2010, and there are many more updates to come. If you turn on flares, particle effects, and advanced shaders then some aspects of the game can be quite intensive and require a powerful modern computer. However with all the special effects turned off and just the basic gameplay, this can run on most machines with ease.
If you ever run a server or find an empty online one, you can switch into edit mode and start building your own map with as many friends as you like. Or build it yourself offline and then share it with other Sauerbraten players. The level editor is live in-game. Any change you make is instantly reflected on the other player’s computer, which is a fantastic feature.
Unfortunately, the map editor can be fiddly to use at times despite it’s creative power, and takes some getting used to. Once you get the hang of it, I promise it’s plenty of fun. Fancy creating a map out of a car park or a mall? Or any place you can imagine? Go for it!
Well you have all the classics: machine gun, rocket launcher, rifle, grenade launcher, shotgun, chainsaw. The best part is that the weapons aren’t just intended to deliver varying degrees of damage, but also suit different situations better than others. Rockets take time to reach their target, and the pistol has a limited range. Some maps are small and based upon houses, so using a rifle out of a top floor window onto the players below gives you a tactical advantage. On larger and more open maps, having a rifle or rocket launcher is probably better than a pistol.
There are a number of interactive objects and power-ups which are available throughout most maps. These are normally your classic jump and launchpads, along with ammunition and armour plating. You can see some armour at the very top of the previous screenshot, and some machine gun ammo on the lower bridge. There is also some shotgun ammo hidden away to the left.
The game also implements ragdoll physics to give a realistic (and often comedic) ending to another player. You get to enjoy the satisfactory sight of blasting another player over some railings into the void, especially if they have thwarted your gameplay up until that moment.
If you are a fan of fast-paced first person shooters, then you have to try Sauerbaten.
For an Appstorm rating, I think Sauerbraten deserves 10/10. Why? Because I can’t think of anything that could be done better. I suppose one of the only things that let it down is the lack of a singleplayer mode, but Sauerbraten was never designed to be a singleplayer game, so why should it be considered a problem? The developers are going to make the game even better with the next release too, and I read that singleplayer has received a lot of attention.
Sauerbraten is totally free to obtain, and play online. It’s also cross platform and can be enjoyed on any operating system, so if your friends don’t have Windows they can still join you for a game. Grab it from here and enjoy!
If you still aren’t sure or need some convincing, check out this amazing video which details both gameplay, and the in-game editor. Some of the maps towards the end are in the upcoming release, and something to look forward to in the next month or so!