Nuclear Dawn Free Trial Approaches

Base-build or man-shoot...a quandary

Update: Boo. The trial has been delayed. Now the 15th to 19th of December.

Nuclear Dawn’s multiplayer combination of strategy and FPS harks back to Savage and Natural Selection, with one player on each team taking the role of a base-building commander while the rest run around collecting resources and shooting one another. As might be expected, it’s the sort of game that needs plenty of players willing to form functional teams. Perhaps to that end, a free trial, accessible through Steam, begins December 15th and runs through ’til the 19th. In the hope that people might stick around, Interwave are also dropping the price of the game to $20. Do we have a Nuclear Dawn community here? I’m tempted to jump into the trial and see how the radioactive twilight suits my complexion.


  1. Rico021 says:

    Yeah Ill give it a try, it looks kind of cool.

  2. Dakia says:

    I’ve actually been keeping an eye on this game and really like what I have seen. I’ll be picking it up.

  3. iARDAs says:

    Free Trials are a brilliant way to get in a game. Much better than the concept of a demo if you ask me.

  4. Dana says:

    More like free weekend then trial.

  5. Wofiel says:

    I’ve heard good things. Here’s hoping there’s at least one Australian server up.

  6. Craig Stern says:

    These are the guys that ran this banner ad on RPS a couple of months ago, right? I took a screenshot out of sheer bemusement:

    link to

  7. skyturnedred says:

    Cool, seems like an interesting game so will definately give this one a try.

  8. shaydeeadi says:

    It’s a fun game, the game balance leaves a lot to be desired (team red has MUCH better endgame) and a dumb commander can ruin the match no matter how hard the team tries.

    But the map design is tight and varied with plenty of routes and verticality, battles for prime points can be brutal and hard fought. The community is pretty small, hopefully lots of people get into it with this promo.

  9. Danny says:

    Nuclear Dawn is decent enough, but how enjoyable it is depends on two things: whether your team is actually working together and whether the commander actually knows what they’re doing. You could have a team of the best players ever, but if the commander is a complete newcomer to the game then you’re going to lose quite quickly. Hopefully the community has developed since the first few weeks and there’ll be plenty of help for newcomers during the trial.

    • mod the world says:

      So it has exactly the same problem as all other FPS/RTS (Empires, Natural Selection, etc). Didn’t the Interwave guys announce before release that they would focus on exactly that problem?

    • Danny says:

      In my eyes, the problem is that while the FPS gameplay is easy enough to get into, the RTS based role of The Commander doesn’t get a proper form of introduction aside from a couple of short video tutorials. So if someone hasn’t played an RTS before, they’re going to disadvantage their team from the start. It could do with an offline playable tutorial for this section of the game.

      That’s not to say any newcomer will be bad at the RTS elements, but having previous experience of the genre helps a lot.

  10. jonfitt says:

    These minor multiplayer games NEED to go down the F2P route. I bought several of them last year (Shattered Horizon, Lead and Gold, Dog Fighter, Plain Sight) and they all died a painful death before their time.
    Server population is everything on a mainly multiplayer game, and a $20 purchase price is going to ensure that it never gets off the ground.

    I’m avoiding Payday for this reason too.

    • shaydeeadi says:

      Hopefully the 40% discount will get a few to pony up during the weekend then.

    • Krauss says:

      Payday is still alive and well though.

    • kwyjibo says:

      Payday has a bit if a shot because it’s got Sony’s publishing might behind it and also has significantly more mass market appeal.

    • _PixelNinja says:

      I somewhat agree. I bought Monday Night Combat which I love, but to see the game die because no one is playing anymore saddens me. Since, I have decided to only play F2P when it comes to multi-player games — I do not want to pay for a game that will be dead a couple of months down the line.

      Regarding Payday, I wish for those who play it that the game enjoys a long life, but considering the novelty of the game I think it’s too soon to use it as an example here.

  11. KikYu0 says:

    nice game..

  12. HardcoreGamer12 says:

    I’m gonna check that game out might be good the idea that its based upon is really good and no one as far as i know tried to do it before.

  13. kwyjibo says:

    Do developers really expect people to pay for a multiplayer only shooter which will inevitably be empty within a week?

    Fail. You know those business douchebag VCs that keep on pushing for microtransaction hell? Well, it’s better than this.

    • shdw says:

      you sir are an idiot. this is one of the freshest games i’ve seen in years because they were willing to take creative risks. resulting gameplay is perfect mix of fps and rts where both sides are equally fun and neither of them seems imbalanced. the price is decent and developers are giving this game a lot of love. yes the community is relatively small but you can usually play any time you want. 90 % of singleplayer fps are very mediocre and multiplayer shooter gives you great value for money.

    • kwyjibo says:

      So was The Ship, Shattered Horizon, Monday Night Combat…

  14. kwyjibo says:


  15. kurtensen says:

    The free trial actually starts the 15th:
    link to

  16. Kaira- says:

    Sounds a lot like Savage 2, which I did enjoy back then when I still played (2-3 years ago, I guess). Anyone could tell me how Nuclear Dawn compares to it?

  17. Professor Paul1290 says:

    Consistent server population is only really important for those who want to simply start up the game and join a random server, which I suppose would be the majority.
    Personally, I stopped doing that on a regular basis over a year ago and I don’t plan on going back to using that method as my first choice to find a multi-player game. I just find you get a really awful multi-player experience that way. These days I almost always try to join a group or get one together and leave random games as a very last resort.

    I find it interesting that we’ve reached the point where we consider a game a failure if we can’t simply start it up and jump into any random game without any sort of communication or social interaction beforehand.
    I mean, you can’t start a game of cards, a board game, or a role-playing game in real life without at least saying “hi”. You can’t start a forum or chat game online without at least acknowledging the other players or agreeing to play beforehand.
    In an online game, we expect to walk up the the game table and put a piece on the board, pick up some cards, or whatever we want to do without having to say a thing or come to some kind of agreement beforehand.

    What makes it look even worse is that we put up with problems of griefing and lack of teamwork and accept them as “normal” just so that we can have this convenience. We just complain about it and then come to the conclusion that it’s an inevitable part of online play.

    Of course it’s still better than nothing and yes, I know that not everyone can get together a group to play a game.

    Still, I can’t help but feel somewhat sad about how that is how most will experience multi-player.

    • Bungle says:

      It’s depressing when a multiplayer game of mine has a low player population. Makes me feel like a loser. I am a loser, but I don’t like feeling like one.

    • Professor Paul1290 says:

      I have very different, if rather selfish, perspective on this.

      As long as you have the means to get together enough people to play a multi-player game then I really don’t care much about the overall server population.

      Again, consistent server population is only important for those wanting to jump in and play, and to me that gets you the worst multi-player experience anyway unless the general player quality happens to be really good (which is very rare).

  18. Dom_01 says:

    On the screenshot, it looks like the player to the left is doing an interpretative dance. Probably about the woes of living in a nuclear age.

  19. Bungle says:

    All indie multiplayer and most AAA multiplayer games die too fast now. They need to be free to play. I stopped buying them when I realized I was paying hundreds of dollars a year to play games that only lasted a few months each.

    This game will launch to depressingly low player numbers. They’ll eventually have a sale, but they won’t be able to do it too fast to avoid upsetting the few suckers that actually paid for it. There is no reason to buy it.