Nexagon Deathmatch Review

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Graphics: 6.5
Sound : 7.5
Gameplay : 8.5
Multiplayer : 8.0
Overall : 7.5
Review by Kurt Knudsen

Nexagon Deathmatch could be considered a sports game. I think unique would be a better word to describe this interesting title. It takes place in an arena, where you control several units and compete against another team in order to gain points and finish the match by destroying their Nexus, a floating orb in the center of their base from which enemy units are spawned.

Graphics:

The graphics are somewhat limited, but offer pretty good detail. The arena is made of a square area, with 2 bases on either end. Most of the objects in the game are very block-like. You can add trees and other objects to please the crowd, but for the most part, everything is square. There are various levels to play in, so you get different scenery each time; the game also offers a totally new level design which can become somewhat difficult to navigate effectively. Most of the time each map contains a maze-like design that has ramps and pillars that contain either bonus points, or paths to the enemy base.

The animation of the units is admirable; you can zoom in and around the units and bases to get a complete 360 degree view of the match. You can go from a top-down view to almost a 3rd person view of the unit. The units move very fluidly, and you can zoom in very close to watch all the action.


The maps are pretty small, so the matches depend on your skill to effectively defend your Nexus and attack the opponents' Nexus at the same time. When you tell a unit to move, you can see the path it will take, and you can then decide if this is the way you want that unit to go. The level design and graphics are definitely original, as well as the game itself. While they don’t offer a lot to look at, they give good enough detail to see the game in all its glory.

Sound:

The voices that you hear are mainly from the commentator, which adds to the sporting feel. He can and does get annoying after a while, but he offers good insight on what is going on, and helps you keep tabs on your base when something happens. The commentator voice is very well done, and sounds very enthusiastic.

The music that plays with the game is outstanding, which was a pleasant surprise. It is very techno’ish, and really gets the mood set for what is to come. There are quite a few songs that play, so it is rare that you will hear a song repeat more than a few times in a match, depending on how well you are doing. There is also an option to have your own music added to the game; this is a great idea since everyone has their own taste in music. Simply add your songs as directed and play away.

The sound effects are really good; when the units punch and kick you can hear the whacks and thuds. You can also hear the clang as their footsteps hit the metallic ground. Most of the time these sound effects are muffled by the music or commentator, but they are still there to fill those would-be silent voids.


Gameplay:

Nexagon Deathmatch is an overhead sports game. It is very unique in the way it is played and what you do in the game. You control several units at a time and try to destroy the enemy Nexus. There are a lot of units to choose from, each has its own pros and cons. There is a tutorial at the beginning of the game for you to take so you could understand how to play the game; this is almost a must because if you dive right into the game you might be completely lost as to what to do. The tutorial steps you through the whole game, how to setup a team, how to get bonus points and how to build your sanctum.

You start the game with a set amount of money; you use this money to purchase units and to build your base. During the game you get money for a lot of things, including winning the match, pleasing the crowd, points, and bonus points. Even if you lose the match you can still get some money from other factors. You can design the layout of your base before the match starts. You can place various traps and ramps and also some trees and artifacts to please the crowd. Your base surrounds and protects a Nexus, the object that wins the match. If your Nexus is destroyed the game is over. You can setup special walls and doors around your base to let your units out and also keep the enemies from entering.

The load times for this game are short, except for the main load that loads the menu, which is unusually long. Loading levels is very short and there are tips before each level loads that can become great help in winning a match. During the game there is a timer, when the timer hits zero there is a short intermission, and then the match picks up again. When your units get knocked out they automatically respawn at your Nexus. While they are around it, they heal faster than they do when they are away. Also when something happens, such as your base is being invaded or your unit is knocked out, the game auto-pauses and then notifies you what had happened. This gives you an opportunity to reevaluate your position and see if you need to retreat or go a different path. These auto-pause features can be turned off in the options menu.


You can have your larger units knock out or throw an enemy unit against a wall: if the wall is weak enough it will blow up, which can be either good or bad. If it’s a wall protecting your Nexus, it’s just another way for the enemy to infiltrate your base. All this happens because most if not all of the objects on the arena can be broken, which in its turn makes the combat much more tactical.

Some units fire projectiles and others are mainly hand to hand. When you start off your choice of units is rather limited. As you progress you can obtain new units and build a better team for your next match. There are plenty of bonuses in the game that can give you more money. You can capture a billboard that increases your points a lot over time, or you can pick up little golden orbs that are a set amount of money. As you go through the game these becomes more and more valuable. The game is definitely unique, and some people will love it; it can become rather addictive despite its simplistic design. Some levels are very difficult and you definitely have to have a good team put together to win.

Multiplayer:

There are two multiplayer modes, either LAN or Internet. The game is the same as it is in single player, instead this time you go against someone over the Internet. You can use the team you've built in the campaign mode to play against someone online, although this might be a bad idea because some people could cheat.



Overall:

Despite the quality of the graphics, the gameplay and the music more than make up for it. This game is definitely original and addictive. If you are looking for something totally new this might be up your alley. There are a lot of things to do in the game and it can keep you busy for quite a while. What’s better is the chance to go against people online and see how they stand against your team.