We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. See more here.

Free strategy shooter game Unvanquished v0.54 is out now

By - | Views: 20,828

Free, open source and full of bugs (the squishable kind) — Unvanquished is a mixture of strategy and an FPS with a new release v0.54 out now. Unvanquished is a fork of Tremulous, for those don't know it's similar in style to Natural Selection with aliens versus humans fighting it out with each having a little base to build.

This release brings with it official ARM support for Linux, so you can now play Unvanquished on your Raspberry Pi and many other ARM systems. Some of course might be too slow but it also means you can now run a server for it on ARM too.

Unvanquished v0.54 screenshot.

More polishing work went into the UI this time around too with the map load screen now showing the map name and author name and map authors can be a little creative with the level shots now too. On top of the modded servers can also be a little more creative, as they can have their own welcome screen.

Welcome screen example shot.

Speaking of online play, the developers improved colour code support for things like usernames, so it doesn't count towards the character count limit.

Other improvements include an update to the lucifer cannon model, there's no negative momentum anymore impacting players as the game goes on, rockets no longer follow dead players and a bug affecting Marauder zap chains is fixed. There's also a bunch of new icons , spectator mode fixes and numerous fixes to bots to improve how they play so they should actually be a bit more menacing and fun to play against. Bot navigation got the biggest upgrade, with their navigation mesh (what they use to pathfind) now being generated in-game solving many problems.

Plenty of changes to the graphics rendering was added like the ability to disable light styles, files for optional features when disabled are no longer loaded, serious issues with dynamic lights were solved along with many crash bugs being fixed.

Seems like 2023 is going to be a good year for Unvanquished.

See more on the official site.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
12 Likes
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
See more from me
The comments on this article are closed.
9 comments

starfarer Jan 31, 2023
Is there anyone playing this? I will have to check it out.

I played a lot of Natural Selection back in the day. The first one, the Half Life mod. Many, many thousands of hours. There was also Tremulous, which was, as I understand, sort of the predecessor to Unvanquished. Unfortunately it was nota s polished as Natural Selection and did not have the same playerbase, by far, even though it was built on a superior engine (the old Half Life engine really struggled with the pace of Natural Selection).

Let's see whether there's anyone around to play this with. :>
PinballWizard Jan 31, 2023
  • Supporter Plus
Its roots trace back to a fantastic Quake 2 mod called Gloom that I used to adore playing. I look forward to trying this.


Last edited by PinballWizard on 31 January 2023 at 4:39 pm UTC
bioshock Jan 31, 2023
I've tried this game. Its nothing like Gloom or Tremulous. Gameplay is ridiculous bad compared to the other two mentioned. Thumbs down for me.
illwieckz Feb 1, 2023
Quoting: bioshockI've tried this game. Its nothing like Gloom or Tremulous. Gameplay is ridiculous bad compared to the other two mentioned. Thumbs down for me.

Are you the one spamming the unvanquished website with hate using different VPN end point for every message and even sometime impersonating developers? You surprisingly just created your account and posted here after nine messages with repetitive hate were posted then moderated, and more surprisingly, you posted there right after I actually pasted the link to this article in the thread where such spammer was acting?


Last edited by illwieckz on 1 February 2023 at 4:31 am UTC
Para-Gliding Feb 1, 2023
Quoting: illwieckz
Quoting: bioshockI've tried this game. Its nothing like Gloom or Tremulous. Gameplay is ridiculous bad compared to the other two mentioned. Thumbs down for me.

Are you the one spamming the unvanquished website with hate [...]?
:D interpersonal relationship to deal with or a hateful competitor?
illwieckz Feb 1, 2023
Quoting: Para-Gliding
Quoting: illwieckzAre you the one spamming the unvanquished website with hate [...]?
:D interpersonal relationship to deal with or a hateful competitor?

The dude is known to spill hate on forums, blog post comments, in game too: he joins servers and fill the in-game chat with endless complains and criticism to discourage newcomers to play the game, even using in-game names with sentences trashing the game, recently he even started to team kill, destroying bases… etc. to make the game unplayable for peoples. He got banned on the popular game servers and now look for new places where he can spread his hate, reach people, and avoid moderation.

Example of spam: https://dl.illwieckz.net/b/unvanquished/spam/20230201-192134-001.unvanquished-spam.png
He even fakes discussions: https://dl.illwieckz.net/b/unvanquished/spam/20230131-234109-001.unvanquished-spam.png


Last edited by illwieckz on 1 February 2023 at 6:52 pm UTC
vox Feb 2, 2023
I was very active in the Natural Selection 2 online play for some years until one particular server that I frequented devolved into turbo-mode toxicity from a group of oldtimers that should've been banned years ago. The gameplay being very sensitive to ping, I had no options after that and I burnt out, somewhat. I knew about other games in this space (FPS-Strategy subgenre) and even tried some of them, but they never clicked for me. Nevertheless, I was interested in this remake after reading about it previously on this very site and tried it. It has interesting game design nuggets and I enjoyed some features, but alas the core features like gunplay was meh at best. Human soldiers have a pea-shooter basically for a pistol, bullets are very slow to move (while aliens are very fast) and it hits like nothing happened, also the shooting speed is very slow. Sound design doesn't help, because it does this pew-pew sound, and it makes shooting a very comical experience. Very comical, but sad - you're a white clown in this - not the red-and-funny-one, but a sad-and-failing-one - you have a pea shooter for a pistol in an Alien setting and you fall constantly.

From the alien side you have a constant screen reorientation (like in Aliens vs Predator game of old) when you change the surface. Basically, if you start crawling on the ceiling after the jump, the screen rotates 180 degrees and you see it as if you're walking on the ceiling with your head being lower than your legs. That design is traditional somewhat, but if you're not accustomed to it (and most of the people aren't) it quickly becomes just barf-city with constant disorientation and a very steep learning curve I suspect. NS2 threw this out the window from the start - you always see the scene as if you're standing on the ground, even if you're crawling on the ceiling or a wall and it plays much-much better in the end, although with very fast aliens it can get very disorienting very fast anyway.

I am very happy that both projects have some afterlife support - NS2 is being very slowly patched by the community but it's not open source which is very sad and they've dropped the linux support some years ago. Sad emojis here. Unvanquished being open source and a remake of Tremulous is in a great state and very playable (I played with bots because there was no one playing it), but I'm afraid that the core design and gameplay is old and needs to change, really. Tremulous lost to the Natural Selection in the end, and the sequel (NS2) is not really that popular (but it has somewhat cult following and a steady online presence), so I hope that there will be some re-imaging and borrowing from other more successful projects in the subgenre so it would survive and prosper. The guys from Unknown Worlds (better known for Subnautica) made very drastic design changes to the gameplay in NS2, left many oldtimers unhappy. The original Natural Selection was much closer to Tremulous. But in the end the sequel survived so many years and is still being played. That's no small thing and many lessons could be learned from their successes and failures.

Also, I encourage anyone to share some other examples of fps-strategy team games with asymmetrical gameplay. That's a very rare cocktail that I love to drink and explore and I'm sure many people may be interested in knowing that such thing exist :)


Last edited by vox on 2 February 2023 at 9:48 am UTC
starfarer Feb 2, 2023
Quoting: voxI was very active in the Natural Selection 2 online play for some years until one particular server that I frequented devolved into turbo-mode toxicity from a group of oldtimers that should've been banned years ago. The gameplay being very sensitive to ping, I had no options after that and I burnt out, somewhat. I knew about other games in this space (FPS-Strategy subgenre) and even tried some of them, but they never clicked for me. Nevertheless, I was interested in this remake after reading about it previously on this very site and tried it. It has interesting game design nuggets and I enjoyed some features, but alas the core features like gunplay was meh at best. Human soldiers have a pea-shooter basically for a pistol, bullets are very slow to move (while aliens are very fast) and it hits like nothing happened, also the shooting speed is very slow. Sound design doesn't help, because it does this pew-pew sound, and it makes shooting a very comical experience. Very comical, but sad - you're a white clown in this - not the red-and-funny-one, but a sad-and-failing-one - you have a pea shooter for a pistol in an Alien setting and you fall constantly.

From the alien side you have a constant screen reorientation (like in Aliens vs Predator game of old) when you change the surface. Basically, if you start crawling on the ceiling after the jump, the screen rotates 180 degrees and you see it as if you're walking on the ceiling with your head being lower than your legs. That design is traditional somewhat, but if you're not accustomed to it (and most of the people aren't) it quickly becomes just barf-city with constant disorientation and a very steep learning curve I suspect. NS2 threw this out the window from the start - you always see the scene as if you're standing on the ground, even if you're crawling on the ceiling or a wall and it plays much-much better in the end, although with very fast aliens it can get very disorienting very fast anyway.

I am very happy that both projects have some afterlife support - NS2 is being very slowly patched by the community but it's not open source which is very sad and they've dropped the linux support some years ago. Sad emojis here. Unvanquished being open source and a remake of Tremulous is in a great state and very playable (I played with bots because there was no one playing it), but I'm afraid that the core design and gameplay is old and needs to change, really. Tremulous lost to the Natural Selection in the end, and the sequel (NS2) is not really that popular (but it has somewhat cult following and a steady online presence), so I hope that there will be some re-imaging and borrowing from other more successful projects in the subgenre so it would survive and prosper. The guys from Unknown Worlds (better known for Subnautica) made very drastic design changes to the gameplay in NS2, left many oldtimers unhappy. The original Natural Selection was much closer to Tremulous. But in the end the sequel survived so many years and is still being played. That's no small thing and many lessons could be learned from their successes and failures.

Also, I encourage anyone to share some other examples of fps-strategy team games with asymmetrical gameplay. That's a very rare cocktail that I love to drink and explore and I'm sure many people may be interested in knowing that such thing exist :)

While I never quite got into Natural Selection 2 the way I got into Natural Selection I think that Natural Selection 2 is the game Flayra and Unknown Worlds always wanted Natural Selection 1 to be. I think they wanted a very spooky, asymmetric aliens vs humans shooter but Natural Selection 1 got very streamlined and there were a lot of professional players. Being swallowed by an Onos wasn't really terrifying, it was more of a nuisance.
Now take Natural Selection 2 where the light can go out and dynamic infestation covers the level it was a completely different experience.

For some ungodly reason they decided to implement quite a bit of the game in Lua. I imagine this might be one of the reasons why the performance was terrible in the beginning. Well, maybe I am mistaken.

I really miss the Natural Selection of old, though.
vox Feb 2, 2023
Quoting: starfarerWhile I never quite got into Natural Selection 2 the way I got into Natural Selection I think that Natural Selection 2 is the game Flayra and Unknown Worlds always wanted Natural Selection 1 to be. I think they wanted a very spooky, asymmetric aliens vs humans shooter but Natural Selection 1 got very streamlined and there were a lot of professional players. Being swallowed by an Onos wasn't really terrifying, it was more of a nuisance.
Now take Natural Selection 2 where the light can go out and dynamic infestation covers the level it was a completely different experience.

For some ungodly reason they decided to implement quite a bit of the game in Lua. I imagine this might be one of the reasons why the performance was terrible in the beginning. Well, maybe I am mistaken.

I really miss the Natural Selection of old, though.

Well, the spooky lighting and stuff was a great idea and I'm sure attracted a lot of players at first, but because the game is highly competitive, it really doesn't matter what lighting is there. Most of the players in the end will tweak their drivers and monitor settings to kill all of that. Quake 3 is a great example - the difference between the "best graphics" option with gritty textures and moody lighting (by 1999 standards) is sooooooo far from the "competitive" option that was made mostly through series and series of console commands, that its unbelievable.

Haven't played the first game, but saw some matches and heard a lot of stories. I love more pronounced commander roles in the second - it really separates the game from the competition in this regard and lets the strategy part shine I believe. But it makes the entry potentially messy - without good commander a new player can't learn the flow of the game and the commander role is mostly a mystery to everyone.

The main problem was that they decided to write their own ENGINE for the game, forget about Lua :) Lua was an okay call, I think. The misallocation of resources on the engine was bad. They've said that there were no engines at that time that could do dynamic lighting and some other things they wanted. So, in a funny way, this exact artistic thing about lighting that we remember, that's arguably not really important in a competitive setting, is the thing that made them spend some millions on a development of an engine. And because they spent more time on the engine development (instead of writing on Unreal or whatever), the game lacked all sorts of optimizations. They are a great studio, but I feel that they becoming even more focused on the artistic stuff and Subnautica is a good example - it's great visually and from a story perspective, but the mechanics are undercooked and/or just annoying without heavy modding.

They have plans to re-release NS2 somewhat after they will deal with the automatic matchmaking (it is already complete, I believe). It may spark some interest in the subgenre, so Unvanquished and others may benefit from it all.
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Reward Tiers: Patreon. Plain Donations: PayPal.

This ensures all of our main content remains totally free for everyone! Patreon supporters can also remove all adverts and sponsors! Supporting us helps bring good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
The comments on this article are closed.