Warsow is a first person arena shooter that is based on Quake II, but is heavily modified and evolved. The development of the project started in the summer of 2005, and a few days ago the game reached version 1.0!
So, is this game another addition to the first person shooters family available on Linux, or something unique that offers a different kind of enjoyment for the player?
Before giving Warsow a try, I considered Xonotic to be the best FPS that can be played under Linux so from the moment that I launched Warsow I had the intention to compare everything to Xonotic. This didn’t last long though as Warsow really does give you the feeling of a finished project unlike Xonotic that lacks the details and the polishing that would provide such first impression.
So, straight from the beginning I had to treat Warsow as a fully featured game, comparing it with nothing else other than what I thought it should be, and what I thought it should be like was a combination of “pioneer” FPS elements and CoreBreach style and atmosphere.
Warsow really delivers this combination having very nice cartoonish graphics and very intense gameplay with fast movement elements that often defy logic or physics to offer an enjoyable gameplay experience. To be more precise, the “special” movement deal includes double jumping, wall bouncing, bunny hoping, strafe jumping, circle jumping and rocket jumping of course!
The graphics of Warsow are so nice that sometimes I found it confusing. Some things seem to be more cartoonish than others, or some map elements are not unrealistic enough to fit well with the rest. I am not sure if the designers wanted to balance the optical result between a cartoon and a real world, or if the result was something that just happened but I would prefer it more real, or more cartoonish. Thankfully, all the weapons and optical effects remain very simple, thus offering a clear visual for competitive games.
The effects that you will find on Warsow are not very advanced, but the result is nice and you will be able to run this game on lower end machines like old laptops etc. I read some complains about stability when changing the “Video” settings, but I can’t confirm anything like that. In general the game didn’t crash even once during my testing period.
So, Warsow looks different in comparison with other FPS games, and it does go a step further when it comes to the way the player moves inside the maps, but what I found really different was the way weapons work. When I begun testing I kept clicking the right mouse button to get the “alternative” fire option, but nothing happened so I got confused naturally. My confusion cleared up when I found out that there are different kinds of ammunition that offer different power on your weapon. This is very nice really!
In Warsow, you will find many classic game modes to play like “deathmatch” and “capture the flag”, while also some less popular game modes like “race”! There are not many people on the multiplayer lobbies unfortunately, but the situation is much better than in Xonotic so don’t hesitate to go for it!
Is Warsow 1.0 the best FPS for Linux currently? I am not sure, but I can promise you that it is the most complete, polished and “professional” open source FPS game. It really deserves your attention and your weekend free time. Have fun fragging others!