I logged onto Steam after work Friday to see that this weekend was Free Rage Weekend and the game was 75% off. So, naturally I had to try it out.
First I tried my 32-bit wine environment but after the massive 21 GB download received the dreaded "Failed to Create XAudio2 Engine error" even though I had installed xact_june2010 through winetricks. Next I tried my 64-bit wine install. One 21 GB download later and we were off.
After tweaking the settings and restarting the game I started to play. I was immediately struck by how well synced the facial animations were to the voice-acting. The framerate was solid and extremely playable. The controls were tight and the mouse sensitivity felt perfect.
Unfortunately, mouse sensitivity dropped dramatically whenever navigating a menu item with the mouse. All menu items experienced this including inventory and mission dialogues. While I found it annoying it did not prevent me from making the selections I needed.
I found the game quite enjoyable. The Mutant Bash TV arenas felt just like the classic Smash TV transformed into a modern fps. The story did not have the punch of some of the earlier ID entries like Quake 2 or Doom 3. But it was pretty and the vehicle combat and races gave it some variety. The aesthetic, setting, and vehicles reminded me quite a bit of Borderlands without that series' RPG elements and humour.
Overall, I found it a pretty frag-fest but light on deeper substance. But a fun romp doesn't necessarily need a great story and at $5 you couldn't go wrong. So, I bought it and the DLC too. Now, if you'll excuse me I have some mindless fragging to do.
Added note by editor: It's sad that we will never see a native port of this game thanks to John Carmack formerly of id Software pretty much giving up hope of Linux games selling and instead telling people that improving Wine is a better idea.
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