Vampires have fascinated mankind for centuries. Stories of bloodthirsty demons, creeping through the dark to drain the blood of the innocent before they retreat back to their coffins to escape from the sunlight. The stories of Dracula, Nosferatu and many others that draw on the legend of vampires have often inspired movies, comics and novels on the subject. Now vampires have really made their mark on the neck of gaming through the companies Psyonix and SquareEnix, who gave us the gem Nosgoth earlier this year.
Nosgoth is a team-based third-person-shooter that pits humans versus vampires in a world that is clearly not doing too well. Vampires are trying to enslave the human race and the humans are doing their best to not become a walking meal. Two teams of four face off against each other and try to just kill each other as many times as they can.
Nosgoth is immensely fun. Once you stop dying every few seconds of course. The battles can get really intense, especially when you are new to the game, everything seems to go so quickly. As the humans, your mobility is limited but you get impressive weapons and firepower. As the vampires, you are basically an evil Batman that drinks blood, running, crawling, leaping, sprinting and swinging from rooftops, you can climbs walls and run incredibly quickly, but your firepower is limited to melee combat (excluding abilities).
Each class has its own powers, the Alchemist on the humans is able to blind the undead and raise a wall of fire, while the Vampire Reaver can leap great distances and shred humans, give up his blocking ability to become impossible to hit and he can throw down smoke to hide his tracks and make it easier to sneak up on humans. The trick for the human team is to stick together and hide under a rooftop where vampires can’t leap to. The trick for the vampires is to keep moving and stay off the ground unless you are attacking in full force.
You use the standard movement controls, the WASD God, and your attacks are delivered with the mouse buttons, Q and F. Each battle gets timed and after a round, you switch teams so the vampire team becomes the human team and vice versa. All that matters in the game is the number of kills and in the end, the team with the highest total number of kills wins. Kills can get rather challenging to get as sometimes the teams will have a minor skirmish, the humans taking a few potshots as the vamps leap across the rooftops to get into a better position, plus there are shrines throughout the maps that restore health and ammo, so even if you take a few knocks in those situations you can easily heal up if you’re a human. If you’re a vamp, get ready to attack because that’s your way of getting health, slicing humans into neat little sandwiches and draining them dry.
The sounds of battle rage across a beautiful world, different maps telling a different story. One map shows a town that looks like it hasn’t been hit so hard by the vampire menace and seems relatively unharmed, while another map almost breaks your heart as you can tell that the town was emptied of human life a long time ago. From the scenery to the deliciously detailed character models to the absolutely phenomenal decals of blood spraying, smoke spreading and bodies being mangled, the graphics in this game are perfectly done. You can see the tiniest detail, like the small flasks that the Alchemist has,bouncing up on down on their strings, as she sprints from cover to cover.
The only problem I had with Nosgoth was matchmaking with steam buddies, but that didn’t stop me from just playing with online peeps anyway. SquareEnix have promised a fix for that and with the quality of the updates that they have delivered so far, I can hardly wait!
This is truly a game worth getting, whether you want to wait for the full release or just take it as it is in its beta stage, that’s up to you, but it’s free and certainly worth a look at.