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The thing is, there are really only so many first person shooter games out there, and once you beat one it can get pretty old to play the same levels over and over. Wouldn’t it be cool to redesign levels, or create your own maps from scratch? Even better, wouldn’t it be cool if you could create the first person shooter map while you’re in the middle of playing it?
Here at MUO it’s pretty obvious that we love FPS games. You’ve got the five free first person shooters that Simon covered, and five cross platform FPS games Ross covered. It’s also fitting that I recently covered a Cube engine driven game called AssultCube, because the FPS I’m going to cover today is also based on the Cube engine, but it’s far more advanced. Best of all, it actually lets you modify the map while you’re in the middle of playing it!
Introducing Cube 2
Cube 2 is actually entitled Sauerbraten, and it’s described by the creators as a “major redesign” of the original Cube first person shooter. After playing AssaultCube, it’s pretty apparent that Sauerbraten really is one of the more advanced FPS shooters based on the Cube engine. Quite simply it loads faster and the graphics moves smoother (without skipping) than just about any other FPS I’ve played.
When you first launch Cube 2 you’ll see the main options available. There are a lot of different ways to play this game. Bot match is a quick game with goals like “capture the base” (like capture the flag), or you can launch a campaign which includes a series of sub-missions in order to accomplish an overall goal.
There are several campaigns that come preloaded with Cube 2, each with its own story line and unique graphics. These are pretty involved and detailed campaigns. It’s almost like having multiple FPS games in one package.
Once I launched one of them and started playing, I was surprised at the attention to detail. I wouldn’t say that the graphics are superior to all other FPS games, but what surprised me was some of the realism thrown in. For example, you can see below where the programmers included a flaring effect from the overhead lighting – sort of what would happen when you shine your camera toward a bright light. This sort of attention to detail deserves a mention and a thumbs up.
The default controls in Cube 2 are identical to most other FPS games out there, so the learning curve is pretty much non-existent if you’ve played these games before. I was rusty from not playing in a while – I managed to take out the beast lying in a pool of blood off to the right, but that one charging toward me took me out pretty fast.
Bot matches are pretty fun, but make sure you practice a bit first because you have to be pretty good to compete with these guys. Some of these levels are truly impressive, like the one below where you essentially fight from astroid to astroid in order to take over the enemy base.
There is also a pretty heavy user base with Cube2, so when you go into multiplayer mode you’re bound to find an active game server with lots of players ready to take you on and take you out. As you can see below, there’s no shortage of action.
As a first person shooter, it’s a good game. However, in my opinion this one probably wouldn’t have stood out so much if it wasn’t for the awesome in-game map editing system that’s built right in. When you click on the “editing” option from the main menu. you’ll see all of the in-game editing controls available. Holding down “E” during game play will get you into edit mode (Cntrl-E during solo play).
In game editing takes a little while to get used to. It’s fairly intuitive, but it’s a good idea to read through the controls in the Editing menu in order to really do a good job altering the levels to your liking. You can modify the game however you like, making it as intricate or as wacky as you like.
In editing mode, you can just grab objects and move them to new locations or delete them. Here I’m moving some armor from the stand it was originally on to just in front of a large open doorway.
It’s really fun to create your own levels – almost an entirely different hobby in and of itself. But if you don’t really have time for that and want to just play around within maps that other people have created, then select “Load Map” from the main menu and pick one of the many premade maps that come loaded with the game. You can also alter any of these to your liking as well.
As a first person shooter, I think Cube 2 is an excellent choice. It’s better than most and not quite as good as a few, but where it takes the cake is in the in-game editing feature, without a doubt.
Give Cube 2 a try and test your skill at creating a new map of your own while you’re inside the first person shooter map itself. Did you find that it was easy or hard? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.