Yes, the “best” first person shooters will probably be available on only those platforms (with exceptions, mainly through tricks and hacks), but today I’m featuring a first person shooter that breaks away from that stereotype.
About the Game
Urban Terror is self-described as a Hollywood tactical shooter, and values a fun experience over realism (although its realism is quite alright with default settings). Playing Urban Terror over other games such as Call of Duty has a couple of advantages. The game engine (though not the game data built around the engine) is open source. Urban Terror is natively available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The game maintains very high frame rates while offering great graphics, though some maps are better than others. It also offers other features that you expect, such as multiplayer (which is the game’s speciality, as there is no single player mode), and a decent array of weapons to choose from.
Installation should go as normal. Linux users may have to add additional repositories to get a package for their respective distributions, otherwise you can download the game from the game’s website and run the executable. Windows Vista and Windows 7 users may need to change a few things by right-clicking on the new shortcut, and choosing options like “disable desktop compositing” and “run as administrator” for the game to work.
When you launch the game for the first time, you’ll be prompted to enter in a name, which will identify you in all games you take part in. In case you’re new to first person shooters, it’s recommended to use usernames, not actual names. You can also take part in a tutorial to learn the basics of the game.
Before you jump onto a server and play a round, you should probably look through the settings to make sure that you have everything set as you want it. This especially holds true for the graphics settings, where you may still want to lower the settings if you’re not running on good hardware. When everything’s set, you can click on “Play Online” to choose a server (whether over the Internet or via LAN, where you can start a LAN server by choosing “Start Server” instead) and start play.
Note that there are different types of gameplay. They are Free For All, Team Deathmatch, Team Survivor, Follow The Leader, Capture And Hold, Capture The Flag, and Bomb Mode. These different styles of gameplay do make a difference in how you should proceed in the game as they each have different goals for winning, so please be aware of this.
If you or a friend ever run a custom, dedicated server (separate from the basic server you can start with the client game), you can tweak almost all aspects of the way the game can be played. Private servers often play around with gravity values, allowing you to jump over great distances. There are also public “Zombie” servers, where it is customized so that one team has no weapons except the mandatory knives, while the other team is well-prepared by default with heavy artillery. On those servers, normal bullets induce very little damage on a “Zombie”, while snipers do slightly more. Provided you have the accuracy, grenades and knives usually do the most damage (their values are unchanged).
Looking Towards the Future
Urban Terror’s future looks fairly bright. Although new development still seems slow, developers are working on a new version that will bring a load of new features. This new version is currently available as an alpha for Windows only.
Urban Terror is a great, fun game that virtually anyone can enjoy. Many people will find joy in the fact that the game values fun over accurate realism for this kind of game. I’ve been playing it for many months by now, and I still look forward to playing it when I have some free time. Any questions will most likely be answered in the documentation. If you have some free space on your hard drive, why not install it? It’ll be there when you have the urge to try it.