My impressions from trying the Nexiuz demo yesterday:
When you first load it up, the intro movie plays, which not only sets up the scenario, but also shows some gameplay footage. The game is giving me a lot of Unreal Tournament vibes from looking at that footage. After the intro movie, I was taken to the Start Screen where it says “Nexiuz” and then a pulsing “Press Start” that’s pulsing from white to orange.
So I tried pressing Start. Nothing. I pressed Start again. Nothing. I pressed it again really emphatically! Nothing. Now, before I played Braid, this would have been a real turn off. A puzzle on the start screen? Really guys? But playing Braid has altered my sensibility as a video gamer completely. Now I see a puzzle on the start screen and I think “ooooooh, this is interesting, I wonder how Microsoft let them get away with this”.
So here were my clues: Every time I pressed the start button, I got a sound effect. Plus, as I said, the “Press Start” words were pulsing orange to White, White to orange. Maybe I needed to press Start in a rhythm with the pulsing? Start, pause, Start, pause, Start, pause. Hmmm, that didn’t work. Maybe if I tried the other way, press it when it turned white instead of when it turned orange? Start, pause, Start, pause, Start, pause.
Nothing. Now I was really intrigued. What kind of game was this, that had such a hard puzzle on the Start Screen? Especially in a Unreal Tournament type game, what could possibly be the purpose of it. My next clue was that the sound effect didn’t play when I pressed the Start button, it only played when I LET GO of the Start button. So I thought, well, maybe I need to keep it pressed through either the orange or the white parts of the pulsing, and only let go at certain times.
Right then, the game suddenly put up a message box telling me it couldn’t connect to the servers and to try again later. It took me to a menu, where my only play options were to play online, and bot training mode was grayed out for the demo. So wait, there was no puzzle? That whole time I was in the start menu, it was just trying to connect to server with no feedback to me as the player whatsoever? And they launched this game today without making sure that their servers were up and running?
I tried getting into a match a couple of times, but I got the same error again. Shrug. Oh well, it was interesting while it was a puzzle game. As a multiplayer-only demo with no multiplayer, it’s pretty horrible.