Nexus: The Jupiter Incident
Yea Yea, Bash is always “in the mood” for a space game. When Nexus arrived at our notorious Fragland HQ (also known as Speed’s place), I used all my seductive powers to make sure this game would be sent to me. When this seemed not to work I chose another – more simple – solution: before any of the other interested parties noticed I had stolen it from Speed and hid it quite safely. Life is for the fast&furious and now let’s write that review.
After modern top games like Freelancer, X2: The Threat (which I personally found pretty great) and EVE: Online I’ve gotten quite fond of spacesims. Typically for this genre is a beautiful graphical engine, since you have to see loads of lights, planets and movement at the same time. Luckily I had put a brand new nVidia 6600GT in my pc and was now able to open up all graphics options! Paradise, here I come! Yihaa!
People with a less powerful vidcard shouldn’t despair, as from a GeForce2 MX (combined with a 1Ghz cpu and 128MB ram) this game can be played. Of course you won’t see such beautiful explosions as I did *evil grin*. Since it’s a strategy game, you manage your fleet with a couple of mouseclicks. The control of your ships is like in EVE, the action comes from Freelancer and the management we’ve seen before in X2.
Since we’re talking about the engine it’s best to continue the line. As expected, everything looks incredibly fine. Very detailed spaceships, gigantic explosions and loads of lightpoints in the distance! It becomes twice as nice when you’re in a close range battle with a dozen of ships. The laser beams bash on the enemy ships, your flak cannons shoot rockets and enemy fighters out of space and your commando-troops try to infiltrate enemy ships meter by meter.
This previous example is both chaotic and atmospheric since you don’t know easily which ship is hitting who but due to the great explosions it’s a real spectacle. The sound is also perfectly adjusted to the graphics. The different characters all have a seperate voice that’s really well-done, something that only increases the atmosphere. You also hear whether a vessel is shooting a light or heavy laser, something that eases the controls.
Onto the story. The (great) intro explains everything: you’re Captain Cromwell… de famous Captain Cromwell! As son of the big people’s hero and legend you’re always welcomed with open arms. You do some missions and learn some more about the game, until you capture an alien vessel and need to flee into an unknown wormhole. You arrive in a totally new world where you’re impressed with the huge technological advance of the inhabitants. Your team is quickly expanded with an advanced AI and some specialists. Of course the story doesn’t stop there and knows some abrupt plot twists but if you want to know more about that you’ll need to look for a game guide or play it yourself.
The missions vary from “destroy all enemies” or “protect ship X” to “make sure ship Y gets away” and so on. One of your superiors will give you in the new world a bunch of missions as backup for his big battleships and since these always fail due to his huge ego and unerestimation of the enemy, you get to save the day over and over again… not that we mind that of course !
In total there’s 6 races, 50 unique characters, 30 different ships and some 100 possible upgrades. In multiplayer these options are also available and to make the communication a bit easier there’s a built-in voice-link in place. You can fight each other in Deathmatch, Team DM, VIP (protect ship Z) and some other options. The concept is pretty good although I still haven’t quite found how you need to move as my ship seems to have a will of its own.
Unfortunately there’s (at the moment of writing) absolutely no community yet for the game! I haven’t found any dedicated servers and the little amount of servers (going from 1 or 2 at the same time) that are set up by players often have enough lag to make sure your fun in playing disappears quickly. Therefore it’s quite imperative that a more active community starts to form as otherwise an important part of this game will be lost…
The negative points of the game ? As such there aren’t any except for the non-existing multiplayer community. But there are other, smaller things. After completing a dangerous mission you’ll just get a (very cold) briefing of the next missions, no “Thank you” or anything. As I said: nothing big, but it does feel quite unthankful.
The stealth missions are also (imho) too long and boring. After some of these missions I completely didn’t feel to play any further and started doing something else. Also the fighting against ships with big shields is one long cursing party. Just shooting on the ship has no use, you’ll need to take down the shield which is easier said than done as often when you’ve almost destroyed it, something will intervene (blocked sight on the shield generator) and before you know it, the shield has been repaired.
Conclusion: Nexus: The Jupiter Incident is a fun game for those that like strategy games and love space. It offers very beautiful graphics and great sound effects, a rather predictable storyline and lots of action. In singleplayer that is as there’s not much fun going on in multiplay. If you can’t get enough of this game you can also start experimenting with the mod-making tools although the possibilities here can’t be called extraordinary