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Hop, Skip, And Frag: Warsow

On the recommendation of RPS reader MD I’ve spent the morning playing Warsow. And it’s a minor deathmatch riot. The game is a Quake-like FPS deathmatch game, but with amplified movement abilities: the bunny-hop is there, but also weapon-kinetics jumping, wall-jumping, dashing, and even ramp-sliding. All of which makes for an experience not unlike that of being a pinball armed with a railgun. The visuals are fun too: a kind of cartoon Tron with pigmen. Oh, and it’s free.

More thoughts and video below.
Making a transition into this from Quake Live was interesting. It’s the same skill-set, being very fast paced twitch deathmatch, but the movement physics are subtly different, which means you start out trying to strafe jump and soon realise there’s a different mindset to master. It is more complicated, but only just: the movement skills are more diverse, but it’s a similarly minimal weapon set. You can also be stunned by certain weapons, reducing your acrobatics for a short time. It took me the best part of an hour to recalibrate myself to the inertia-led movement, but before long I was bounding down corridors and ricocheting off walls. Right now there seems to be mostly instagib and free-for-all servers up, both of which have their own pitfalls, as well as the challenge of some extremely talented players. That said, my Quake familiarity crossed over easily, and I wasn’t quite at the bottom of the score-table.

The clarity and precision of Warsow speaks directly to the hop/skip/hitscan deathmatcher in me, but I doubt it’ll replace my love of Quake CTF games. I think the main issue for me is probably the lightness of the weapons. Neither the kinetic, sonic, nor visual feedback seems quite enough, and I didn’t feel fully connected to what was happening. The game physics are splendid, though, and I am certain the pacey game type and clean, neon-concrete maps be exactly what certain FPS twitchers are looking for. And, hey, it’s free, so why not take a look?

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Jim Rossignol

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