This is the first review I ever wrote for this site. It’s also just about the worst game I’ve ever played, strategy or otherwise. Playing this game was pretty much the genesis of the Review portion of this site.
Picture this: It’s the 44th century and things are going great. There’s no violence, and no crime. There’s only one problem with this Utopian existence. You’re bored. So bored that the only think that you find entertaining is watching people kill each other. That’s where the Nexagon: Deathmatch comes in. The Deathmatches feature convicts battling it out for the ultimate prize: freedom.
This game raises a lot of questions, like, “If there’s no crime, where do the convicts come from?” But those are questions that you don’t need to ask.
I had high hopes for Nexagon: Deathmatch, but I’m not sure why. The official website actually exists, and has some stuff to download, which is good. Even the opening movie (which you can download for free from your friend the Internet) is kind of neat.
The game itself, on the other hand, is another story.
Nexagon tries to be a combination of some Real Time Strategy game and Smash TV. So you not only have to stomp your opponents into the ground, but you have please the advertisers while you are doing so. Pleasing the advertisers is as simple as controlling a billboard (placed throughout the arenas) or buying little decorations for your Sanctum (your base). Of course, you also have to work out a budget to also buy more units. They may be convicts, but they don’t work for free.
Believe it or not, the actual gameplay is pretty pathetic. It consists of you giving your units the general idea of what you want them to do, and then they go over and only kind of do it. The gameplay is kept moving through the use of the automatic pause feature, that stops the game whenever something important happens (like your unit sees another unit). Once each side gets more than one unit on the field, you can imagine the fast-paced action when they start looking at each other.
Combat in this game is a little funky as well. When the units are walking to where I told them to go, and they get attacked, they dutifully keep going and won’t fire back until they get to wherever it is I told them to go. Bless them.
I only managed to play through the tutorial mode and part of the first map of campaign mode before the game mercifully killed itself off, so I’ll concede that I may not have gotten to the part of the game where I unlocked the Fun.
Everything is in 3D, and the Thralls look different enough that you can tell them apart from one another. Mostly. One of the features that the box boasts about over and over again is the ‘completely destructible 3D environment’ which is good, because I wanted to destroy everything about this game. The music is passable, but the announcers get old very quickly. They’re using their ‘DJ’ voice throughout the matches, I guess to simulate a television broadcast. The only thing it simulates is ‘Lame.’
OK, well, the game has a multiplayer feature, but I couldn’t use it. There were no servers up when I was playing the game, and I wasn’t going to make one of my friends blow the $2.99 plus tax on this game to try out the crappy multiplayer.
So what went wrong? The official site looked decent. The trailer looked OK. The testimonies from CDMag and DailyGame.net on the box were glowing (sort-of). Even the cover of the manual was printed in color.
I can certainly see why this game went from it’s original price of $39.99 to $2.99 since it’s original release in September 2003. I understand that there are a few people that actually ended up liking this game, and I feel sorry for them. If you have the opportunity to pass up this game, take it. Take it and run.
Game Name: Nexagon Deathmatch
Purchased from: EB Games
Amount of money I wasted on it: $2.99
One word summary: “Pitiful”