Nuclear Dawn Review

Nuclear Dawn is free to play on Steam this weekend, 40% off and has just received a massive update.
What better time to review this gritty, post-apocalyptic hybrid? None.

Released by Interwave in September this year, Nuclear Dawn has been stealthily gathering momentum, retaining it’s playerbase and steadily increasing it. It’s a Source engine based Multiplayer game that combines tense First Person Shooter action with deep Real Time Strategy. Not only that, it does it well. Bloody well.

Set in a war-torn, post-apocalyptic nightmare of crumbling cities, survivors have formed two factions; The Empire and The Consortium, who fight a bitter war for dominance of the remaining civilisation. Ooh, there’s nothing worse than a bitter war is there.

Factions have up to 32 squad based players, each with four classes of combatant and numerous load outs to help create the ultimate urban army. Grrrrrrrr.

The available classes are exactly what any seasoned classed based FPS fan would expect – heavy, assault, stealth and support, though these are highly adaptable with the many weapons and tools available for each. The goal will be familiar to FPS fans too: control point assault and defend. The big difference with Nuclear Dawn though is the commander position. This is where the game switches from FPS to RTS in the blink of a radiation diseased eye. As commander the player controls the big picture with a top-down view of the action; building structures, providing power, choosing upgrades and commanding troops to ultimate glory! Glory I tell thee! Commanders can be chosen, or megalomaniacal players can decide to initiate a mutiny and seize command themselves.
Be warned though, failing commanders can be voted out by a surprise show of democracy amongst the troops.
Yey for democracy.

If all this choice seems a little daunting, fear not, as there’s an in-depth tutorial included that clearly explains it all.

Currently there are six official large and varied maps available, and the imminent release of the SDK will provide inspired fans the ability to create their own grim cities.

Nuclear Dawn is a complex game and I found it best to begin playing a support role whilst becoming accustomed to the gameplay. More experienced players I’ve communicated with have been friendly, helpful and always happy to provide advice when needed.

Much as comparisons can be misleading, if pushed, I’d offer that Nuclear Dawn is a sort of bastard child of Battlefield, Team Fortress 2 and Command and Conquer. If pushed.

Interwave have utilised Valve’s Left 4 Dead 2 engine to create Nuclear Dawn, and thus, the graphics are clear, fluid and pixel perfect. The sound design is atmospheric, gritty and well, post-apocalyptic.

Glory seeking or players suffering OCD can track their progress using the career stats page, which monitors unlocks, achievements and other extras.

Nuclear Dawn is an ambitious, original, polished and visceral game that has the potential to keep players engaged for quite some time.

(And I didn’t even make a bad joke about Nuclear Dawn, the girl named Dawn with a terrible body odour problem. D’oh!)

Score: 8.5/10

Official Website

Nuclear Dawn on Steam

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PC Used:

AMD 4200+ X2 2233 MHz CPU

ATI HD4670 512mb GPU

Windows XP SP3

This entry was posted by Ian Brown.

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