Tremulous Review

Tremulous is another open source FPS Game.  It is a really interesting game mechanic, but most people will have a hard time enjoying it.  It's definitely a niche game.


Installing Tremulous was very fast and easy. There were very little instructions, but those that were involved were very clear. Upon the initial start up of Tremulous, I wasn’t sure what to do first. I wasn’t presented with the normal navigation menu that I usually find in an FPS game. There were only a few options. So, it was easy to get started after the initial phase of actually reading stuff. At start up the resolution was low and the screen looks super dark. Which isn’t that big of a deal, except changing resolution requires you to restart the game.

Game Play

In short the game is humans verse aliens. The humans play normally they get guns and shoot stuff. Humans also have an engineering unit that creates turrets, upgrade centers, and more. The humans mostly just kill aliens and don’t have to strategize that much. The one exception is humans must buy upgrades. If you consider budgeting a strategy, I guess you can strategize that way. I never did figure out how you accumulate money, although I think it might have been by killing aliens. On the alien side you can start out as a melee alien that resembles a head crab or you can start off as the engineering equivalent of the aliens. The engineer on the alien side is more interesting, but also has more limitations. The alien side also has the ability to climb on walls. The aliens instead of buying upgrades evolve over time and allow the user to select which upgrade they want to become.


In theory this model sounds pretty fun, but the game turned out to be a chore. I started on the human side and had no idea initially that upgrades even existed. I got fragged over and over until I started exploring the machines hanging around the spawn areas. After figuring that out, I was slightly more successful. The level I was in was quite large and I had a hard time finding opponents. After a while I switched to a more populated map. On a side note, this game is all multi-player but the servers are pretty empty which is bad. On the more populated map I played as the alien race, which pretty much looks like the aliens from Starcraft. My tactics and goals were much clearer from the alien side and helped me to enjoy the game more. I was still pretty bored though. The idea of aliens verse humans sounds good on paper but did not translate well in this game. The idea doesn’t feel balanced or fully implemented.

Graphics and Sound

I think the most painful part of this experience was the sound and graphics. The sound seemed like it was ripped off of half-life, which would have been great sound about 10 years ago. The clips also seemed to be endlessly recycled and made me want to turn the sound off. I don’t remember the music well, so I will count that as a plus. The graphics were just as dated as the sound and resembled half-life in a lot of ways. The player models were all slight variations of each other on the human side, but looked like Starcraft. The environments weren’t good at all


I found this game to be boring and an exercise in frustration. The game play was a good idea, but didn’t work well in practice. I would recommend this game to anyone that has is willing to sink some serious time into it and learn every inch of the game. The graphics and sound were dated and slightly annoying. I wouldn’t even play this game for free which it is.

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