Blood Frontier: beta preview

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A free total conversion built on the Sauerbraten engine, Blood Frontier is a multiplayer first person shooter currently in open beta testing. Multiplatform (Windows/Mac/Linux).

Computer gamers have been on the prowl for free fun since the rise of the PC. I suspect this has something to do with a long suppressed scavenger instinct. Fortunately, there is such a thing as a free lunch.

With popular gratis games such as Urban Terror, Quake Live, and Enemy Territory, we’ve had it pretty good. Well, a new free first person shooter is in the works. Thanks to an open beta, we can all take an early build of Blood Frontier for a spin around the block.

Blood Frontier Screenshot1Blood Frontier Screenshot2

Some notes on this one below:

  • Gameplay: for now, it’s best to describe Blood Frontier as a multiplayer first person shooter. There is a third person mode, but it’s more a novelty than game feature. Plans exist to build a single player campaign, but that’s a ways off. As it stands now, this game is largely structured as a conventional multiplayer shooter. Game modes like capture the flag and death match are represented, and special conditions (like one shot kills) can be applied to any match. What makes Blood Frontier stand out is its low gravity, and reinvented double jump. One press of the space bar makes you hop, a second gives your character a jet-pack like boost in whatever direction you’re aiming. It mixes up both movement and combat, and it’s great fun.
  • Graphics: visually, things seem to be coming together. Owned foes go floppy, and bounce off the environment. Grenades are high powered and satisfying. Most importantly, bullets ricochet beautifully, and still do damage afterward. Watching digital shot gun flak bounce around a room is good fun. Blood Frontier’s maps and character models are works in progress, so it’d be unfair to be too critical at this stage of development.
  • Sound: audio effects are still being implemented. Some sounds are missing altogether, and a few just repeat too often. Most of what is in place is well done, and in game music is happily electric guitar heavy.
  • Story: something about space zombies is outlined on the game’s website, but it’s not really relevant to the title as a currently multiplayer experience.

Blood Frontier is not a finished game, but what is done makes for good fun. The online servers are sparsely populated, but empty player slots are filled with decent AI bots. Players interested in checking out a promising title in the works should enjoy Blood Frontier. With fast paced, gory action, it’s worth keeping an eye on.

And I’d recommend readers check the forum or website chat there for any tech support. The game community is very helpful. My mother was only insulted once!

Version Tested: 0.80 (beta 1)

Compatibility: Linux, OS X and Windows (I played on XP). The download link provides binaries for all three. It runs the Sauerbraten engine, so you need a pretty powerful OpenGL capable rig.

Download the game here (approx 255 megs),  or visit the developer’s site  the developer’s site for more info.