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First Person Shooters (Games) Entertainment Games

Freeware FPS Alien Arena 2007 Reviewed 158

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the best-of-the-cheap dept.
Alienkillerrace writes "Linux.com has reviewed the brand new release of Alien Arena 2007, giving it a glowing review. 'New Alien Arena 6.10 blows away its FPS competition' claims that Alien Arena is now the very best of the freeware FPS games, surpassing even Tremulous."
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Freeware FPS Alien Arena 2007 Reviewed

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  • hmm (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by nottoogeeky (869124)
    Better than counterstrike?
  • by mikesum (840054) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @06:30AM (#20964819)
    Tremulous is a really good game. If Alien Arena 2007 better than that according to this guy, then it's at least worth checking out. /me is BruceCambellsGhost on Tremulous
    • by BiggyP (466507) <(philh) (at) (theopencd.org)> on Saturday October 13, 2007 @07:43AM (#20965137) Homepage Journal
      There's no way you can compare AA and Tremulous, Alien Arena is a simple and uninspiring FPS deathmatcher and always will be, Tremulous wins hands down for those with the mental capacity to play it.
      • by generic-nickname596 (1035978) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @08:16AM (#20965279) Homepage
        Yes, I would love to hear in what ways Alien Arena surpasses Tremulous. Tremulous is one of the most interesting team action games I have ever played, far surpassing Counter-Strike and its cronies. I have never played AA, and the article is very low on details. Some of the innovations of Tremulous include wall-walking, strategy elements and a balanced two-class system reminescent of Starcraft. The aliens play like nothing you've ever tried before, except maybe that they are somewhat inspired by Alien vs. Predator. These stats are quite an opponent to match, but nothing would be better than the sorry state of Free Software gaming getting better.

        A lot of the more interesting free software games are in fact based on the GPLed Quake 3 engine. There is a pattern here...maybe we could improve things by liberating more commercial gaming software? It's either that, or someone with authority has to take a lot more responsibility in designing tools for creating open-source games. I'm thinking something along the lines of procedural content generation, the major problem is creating all the models we need for a real game. There are many awesome things happening in academia on this subject right now, for example http://www.vision.ee.ethz.ch/~pmueller/wiki/CityEngine/PaperBuildings [ee.ethz.ch] from SIGGRAPH 2006. We all agree that most free software games don't work out, right? For all the interesting aspects in Tux Racer, it isn't nearly up to the standards of commercial software, and masterpieces like Tremulous are the exception in OSS.

        I'm afraid I have to go off topic for a moment. But this is a thing I have been thinking a lot about lately, and I haven't heard it discussed in here before. I promise it is highly relevant to the task at hand.

        The Mozilla Foundation is swimming in money from its Firefox ad programs, and I have seen little information indicating that they are using the money for the good of the entire Free Software movement. In fact, I have heard little information at all indicating what they are doing with all of their millions, except for the obvious team of programmers that are working on Mozilla software. This is one arena where the Mozilla Foundation could be much more active in participating: donating money to ransoming out commercial software. I am certain there is a lot of valuable code out there that could do good things for the open-source gaming environment. Firefox is unique in the free software world in being able to bring in huge amounts of revenue, so in my opinion the Mozilla Foundation has an obligation to help out and be more generous with their cash reserves. Firefox is free software, and its benefits should belong to all of us. We are all on the same team here!

        Any thoughts? I feel that these things aren't talked about nearly as loudly as they should be, these are all important problems to both the Free Software movement and to nerds in general. Are there any big Mozilla players in here who might have some good answers?
        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Nice post.

          The only disagreement I have is with your soup kitchen approach to software development, specifically Mozilla. This isn't the Depression. If this is the Software Renaissance, commercial reward from the hands of another's art should not be what you seek.
        • by brkello (642429)
          What you describe reminds me of a half life mod..natural selection. Has wall walking and two distinct classes. Doesn't really sound all that revolutionary...unless it came out before NS of course.
      • by turing_m (1030530)
        Absolutely. I'm blown away by how good it is. (Nexuiz is pretty damn good too, way better than openarena.) And with ubuntu, it's as simple an install as typing tremulous into synaptic, check, apply.

        There aren't many high quality FOSS games, but they certainly exist. For those people who think FOSS is a noble cause, and don't have ADD (or the urge to pirate) to the point where they must have whatever shiny new game is out there now, Ubuntu certainly checks the boxes.

        Now, you'd best be getting out of the way
      • by fritsd (924429)

        Tremulous wins hands down for those with the mental capacity to play it.
        I used to play Dretches, you insensitive clod!
  • by Stuidge (1104439) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @06:35AM (#20964837)
    This is less a review, and more a HOWTO. There's nothing there that isn't in the readme, and the only opinion is on the last line proclaiming that it is better than Tremulous. And even that has no justification.

    (E-) Must try harder.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    While we already have very good to excellent 3d games as Sauerbraten [sauerbraten.org] and Nexuiz [alientrap.org], we still are behind commercial software companies in the graphical area. Many otherwise excellent games have poorly designed characters, maps, weapons etc. In the last two years the gap shrunk, but IMO more work is needed.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by grumbel (592662)
      ### Many otherwise excellent games have poorly designed characters,

      Could you name them? Most of the free software games I know have poorly designed 'everything', its not a issue of graphics, its an issue that goes from bad code, over to the lack of tools right down to the complete lack of a solid core game design (aka nobody knows what the hell they actually want to accomplish). So fixing the graphics would help little to nothing to create a compelling game.
    • by Ilgaz (86384) * on Sunday October 14, 2007 @03:07AM (#20972003) Homepage

      While we already have very good to excellent 3d games as Sauerbraten [sauerbraten.org] and Nexuiz [alientrap.org], we still are behind commercial software companies in the graphical area. Many otherwise excellent games have poorly designed characters, maps, weapons etc. In the last two years the gap shrunk, but IMO more work is needed.
      PR is a huge problem too. I check Mac news, download sites every day and I had no clue a game like "Sauerbraten" exists and it can even be binary (dmg) downloaded from Sourceforge.

      There is no entry on Apple Downloads or de-facto download standard site, Versiontracker too. If they submitted it to Softpedia, those guys would even review it. Using Apple downloads site for years, I know they would advertise it on front page as it is open source and uses OS X technologies.

      I know it sounds lame but they should use Digg etc. like dynamic sites to advertise their game/work. One iPhone story less, would work for everyone ;)
  • Wait (Score:4, Informative)

    by Kelz (611260) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @06:39AM (#20964849)
    No warning that linux.com and /. are owned by same company?
    • Re:Wait (Score:4, Funny)

      by bl8n8r (649187) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @07:08AM (#20964959)
      If you know, you don't need to be told. If you don't know, you won't notice.
      • by Tim C (15259)
        The point is that you're supposed to disclose that sort of thing, although in this case it doesn't really matter. Now if the people behind the game were also owned/paid by the same company, that would need to be disclosed.
      • After yesterday's CmdrTaco interview, it sounds like he's locked in a constant struggle with the marketing department. Perhaps this was a battle lost? Or maybe their evil mind-control rays are finally starting to work?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by pcgabe (712924)
        If you have it, you don't need it.
        If you need it, you don't have it.
        If you have it, you need more of it.
        If you have more of it, you don't need less of it!

        You need it to get it, and you certainly need it to get more of it, but if you don't already have any of it to begin with, you can't get any of it to get started, which means you really have no idea how to get it in the first place, do you?

        You can share it, sure.
        You can even stockpile it if you'd like.
        But you can't fake it.
        Flaunting it, needing it, wishing
  • I am not much of a gamer, but I *really* suck at FPSs. I'd love to see some variety in games produced for linux.
    Now if only we could reuse Quake III's engine for a football game...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)
      There was a football mod for the original Quake. You had to kick a head (complete with blood trails) to the other goal. As I recall, players were armed with axes, to allow fouls.
      • Quake Pong (Score:4, Informative)

        by DrYak (748999) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @06:39PM (#20969645) Homepage
        There's line of "football" Quake mods called Quake Pong by the way.

        The goal of the game is to push around a huge steel ball into the opponents goal, hitting it with ballistic weapons to give it kinetic energy.

        URLs :
        Original QPong [gamespy.com] mod for Quake II. (Had wquite a few laughs with that one)
        Newer QPong Arena [gamespy.com] mod for Quake 3. (Didn't test it).
    • Association, American, or Canadian?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by xoundmind (932373)
      OK, its not football, but it is the only Quake-based chess game I know of:
      CHESS III ARENA [verizon.net]
    • by imbaczek (690596)
      There are some fine RTSes, a very nice one is Spring [clan-sy.com], which was once a Total Annihilation more-or-less reimplementation in full 3D, but now is much more than that.
      • by nostriluu (138310)
        I was a huge fan of Total Annihilation, and TA:Spring took it in some new directions that even the big money TA successor, Supreme Commander didn't try (like deformable terrain). However, from what I can tell, TA:Spring is dead in the water. While fully playable on Windows, it's a pain to get running on Linux, and not compatible with the Windows versions, and development and forum discussion seems to have dried up.

        Frustrating, but not as frustrating as the propensity for Linux games to be cheap clones of ga
    • by smchris (464899)
      I *really* suck at FPSs

      Ditto. Tremulous is way too frantic for me. Try TORCS road racing or Flightgear. Flightgear has incredible potential as volunteers rebuild their cities virtually into it.
  • what about warsow !? or even wop ? i find them a lot better than Alien Arena.
  • All I found, was a "FPS for dummies" description of what FPS games are.

    How to use the console? How to change key settings? What is "capture the flag"?

    You know it's weekend when TFS aucks horse balls. Time to go out in teh sun, then!
  • Can anyone find details of the license this game is being released under? I can't, even in the SVN repos. I know the Quake II engine is GPL, but what about the rest of it?
    • by hweimer (709734) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @07:34AM (#20965089) Homepage
      docs/license.txt:

      It is only permissible to distrubute the game data(models, maps, textures, sound, etc) as a whole, and with the intention of being used with Alien Arena. It is not permissible to distribute individual portions or items of the game data without express consent from COR Entertainment. [...] Under no circumstances ALIEN ARENA 2007 as a whole be sold or used for profit, without express consent from COR Entertainment.

      If you want a free-as-in-speech shooter that rocks, try Nexuiz [osreviews.net].
    • The original Id GPL notice is in the svn for the game engine, just as it should be.
  • This is not a review, more instructions on how to play the game.

  • Ok... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheNetAvenger (624455) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @07:24AM (#20965035)
    Ok, I don't truly mind that the majority of FOSS software has a geek mindset and the UIs tend to reflect and look like the UIs of the Win9x era.

    However, can we ever get to the point that the 'best' horse that gets trotted out for OSS Gaming looks like the era of games released for Windows95?

    It is just not possible for a high end gaming production to be FOSS?

    One further sad note... I have seen games developed by newbie gaming developers that are picking up XNA and MS Game Studio and producing higher quality games in terms of playability and especially in the area of graphics/audio.

    Can't we do better than your neighbors kids and his/her friends designing an XNA came in C# that runs on their PC and the XBox 360 as well?

    PS. You should really have a 'review' of the game, when you write an article 'reviewing' a game, and not just a quick intro of key commands.
    • Re:Ok... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ardor (673957) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @07:36AM (#20965109)
      This reflects the great deficiency regarding design. XNA/MS Game Studio all have predefined stuff that gets used often. In the OSS world such presets do not exist, however. In addition, anything that does not relate to programming often just does not exist in the OSS realm. I'm talking about 2D/3D graphics artists, game designers (no, most game programmers are NOT prepared for this task), musicians, sound FX guys etc.

      Many artists will make things for money ONLY. The altruistic spirit of OSS does not translate well to game art (with a few exceptions). Usually, the artists doing things for free are usually the bad ones, and the ones demanding lots of cash are the real deal. But without the latter, any game looks and sounds 1995ish, no matter how good the code is.

      So, if you want GOOD game art, start donating.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Ford Prefect (8777)

        Many artists will make things for money ONLY. The altruistic spirit of OSS does not translate well to game art (with a few exceptions). Usually, the artists doing things for free are usually the bad ones, and the ones demanding lots of cash are the real deal. But without the latter, any game looks and sounds 1995ish, no matter how good the code is.

        What about the eleventy billion people working on free modifications for commercial games? Yes, plenty of that is Bad Art, but there are some [mapcore.net] fantastic [nuclear-dawn.net] bits [moddb.com] of [bitproll.de] wo [mapcore.net]

      • Many artists will make things for money ONLY. The altruistic spirit of OSS does not translate well to game art

        BANG! You nailed it, bud. Except I would not have added the qualifier "game" to the word "art."
      • by grumbel (592662)
        ### Many artists will make things for money ONLY.

        Where did you get that from? I mean sure, professional artists might prefer to work for money, but so do most professional programmers. Communities like deviantArt [deviantart.com] on the other side don't seem to have an exactly hard time to find great artists. Which isn't exactly surprising, since there are far more artists around then programmers.

        I have done a lot of work for free software games (Pingus, SuperTux, Lincity-NG, etc.) and while my work isn't exactly up to comm
      • by PromANJ (852419)
        It's not just about money. As a professional you might also want to work with other professionals. A really good character design can still easily be ruined by a bad 3D modeler/texture/animator guy somewhere down the pipline. Cohesion and Art direction are needed for stuff to work as well, and maybe that's harder to achieve when people are giving their free time and may not respond to criticism and refutation well.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by sammyF70 (1154563)

      Check out Scorched3D [scorched3d.co.uk]. *VERY* fun game, and the latest version looks just great.
      Armagetron Advanced [armagetronad.net] is also a great free game, even though the grafics may not be your cup of vodka.

      Additionally, you might find some very fun and good looking games by checking open source game- or 3D- engines. The showcase forum at ogre3D [ogre3d.org] is a good start.

      The point is: there are some great looking, fun Open Source games out there they don't get reviewed or advertised in such a way that you'll hear about them often.

      • by jandrese (485)
        Scorch is fun, but it suffers a bit from the same thing the original Scorch did. The computer seems very adept at killing you with their first or second shot, but then spends the next 50 turns taking pitiful shots at the other opponents while you sit and watch from your smoking crater. Also, like the original Scorch it has a tendency to crash.
    • by WWWWolf (2428)

      However, can we ever get to the point that the 'best' horse that gets trotted out for OSS Gaming looks like the era of games released for Windows95? It is just not possible for a high end gaming production to be FOSS?

      As others pointed out, it's the issue of not having enough 2D/3D artists and music/sound folk. OSS developers certainly have a whole bunch of good coders - and writers, in a pinch.

      For example, take a look at the Irrlicht [sourceforge.net] or OGRE [ogre3d.org] screenie galleries - you see the technology is definitely getting there. You can get ye trimesh to ye rendering device, and by golly does it ever look shiny and, with a bit of work, not that bad. (More bloom! More! More!) But we'd definitely need folks creating those models for

      • by grumbel (592662)
        ### OSS developers certainly have a whole bunch of good coders - and writers, in a pinch.

        Writers, as in story, dialog, etc.? Since if so, I really would like to have a few of them, still strugling to find some of those for Windstille [berlios.de].

        ### But we'd definitely need folks creating those models for the display first! The tech is there, but the art lags a bit.

        Going from a 3d engine that can render a bloomy 3d model to a fully fledged game is still a *long* way. It is a start for sure, but you need a little bit mo
  • TFS says it's freeware, TFA says free software, TFPWS (Project WebSite) says its freeware based on free software. So, which is it?
    I'm guessing, free software with proprietary artwork?
    • I'm guessing, free software with proprietary artwork?

      Browsing thru some of the docs, the answer is Yes. Some of the screenshots show Q1 metallic panels; don't know if those are free. And if they say it's more Q1/Doom speed demon-ish, I'm there. Now to restore my (damaged) 'driva-with-GL *mux setup...
  • Google and all the usual suspects are not turning up any valid torrents of Alien Arena 6.10, just older versions.

    Lets use bittorrent for what it's good for, all the std servers are hammered...

    Thanks in advance!
  • that definintely looks pretty sweet.. one day I was browsing through the games in ubuntu's add/remove programs list and came across OpenArena [openarena.ws] and was thoroughly impressed.. my friends/co-workers who don't use linux or anything opensource for some weird secret reason saw me playing it one day and asked what it was.. when they heard it was free and had deathmatch capabilities, they were soon hooked and we were all doing some serious gibbing religiously once a week after the office closed.. this particular gam
    • Wow... seriously? The levels feel like they were designed by middle school kids that forgot to take their ritalin. OpenArena even pales against the original Q3A, let alone anything released in say, the last decade.
      • by Danzigism (881294)
        i understand why you feel that way, it's just that its free and still equally as exciting when you kill someone..
  • Artists (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Zombie Ryushu (803103) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @08:05AM (#20965221)
    Linux Programmers have shown incredible technical skill. The issue is artists. It is very hard for F/OSS people to get art designers. Art Designers tend not to be F/OSS and not as knowlegeable to the technical side of things to help develop the beauty side of things.
    • by grumbel (592662)
      ### The issue is artists.

      Nope. The issue is for most part game design and after that simply lack of contributors, since programmers are very hard to come by too. But game design is really by far the biggest issue. As long as people just clone an already existing game engine it might work without much coordination, since the goal is clear, but as soon as you try something even just a little bit new it gets insanely hard to find the right people and communicate the ideas across the whole team or even just get
  • Wolf ET!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dersaidin (954402) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @08:21AM (#20965295)
    Wolf:ET is the best freeware FPS released. Quite possibly the best PC game released. Also, half of the articles praise should be directed to the engine, not the game.
    • by nahpets77 (866127)
      I have to agree with you there; I can still play ET on my old P3/866 box. Medal of Honor, while good, was basically a rip-off of ET. BattleField 1942 introduced new gameplay, but it was/is such a resource hog I stopped playing it (buggy too).
    • by 4D6963 (933028)

      Also, half of the articles praise should be directed to the engine, not the game.

      Isn't Wolf:ET's engine the Quake 3 engine?

  • by Aabra (775518)
    Don't get me wrong, personally I love articles like this. They worked hard to create a new versoin and want more people to try out the game. Getting the story posted on Slashdot helps get the word out. Considering the game is free I've got absolutely no problem with it. It's just frustrating for me that when I've submitted stories regarding new versions of Skulltag (another freeware game, which yes - also runs on linux) they've always been rejected. Is a Doom 2 port not considered cool enough these days
  • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @01:50PM (#20967749)
    Controls: 5 pts.
    Graphics: 5 pts.
    Sound: 3 pts.
    Music: 2 pts.
    Story: 5 pts.
    Multiplayer (if applicable): 5 pts.
    Runs on Linux: 50,000 pts.
  • I just downloaded Alien Arena to check it out and it seems to want to install some sort of web browser toolbar and make something called "crawler" my default search provider...

    What kind of BS is this?
    According to their privacy policy they want to assign me a UID and record the date/time/browser/ip/content of all my web searches on their servers in florida.
  • ...but it just makes my screen go crazy when I launch it. Maybe great, definitely buggy.
  • That makes it worth of Slashdot is the Linux tie in. It's an average shooter with a bunch of gameplay mutations. Nothing outstanding or different enough to make it stand above the rest.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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