A review of Cube 2: Sauerbraten

Note. The high-resolution images of the game visible by clicking on the small versions included in this page are in high quality PNG format but for that reason their average size is over 2 MB.

The game Sauerbraten is also known as Cube 2 as it is based on a rewrite of the game Cube's open source graphics engine. Cube can still be found on the Internet even if it hasn't been updated for years. Sauerbraten is available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X and is freely downloadable from its reference site.

The vast majority of open source FPS games are based on an evolution of the various versions of Quake's graphics engines: Sauerbraten is an exception in this sense however developers must have thought it was useless to reinvent the wheel so the game modes implemented are the classic deathmatch and capture the flag with some variations. These are multiplayer modes that allow you to challenge other players in a local network or the Internet, there's also the possibility to play in single player mode against bots driven by the PC.

The different graphics engine has led to some peculiar choices compared to other games: for example in the fights against bots you need to configure the minimum and maximum level of difficulty and the player has all the weapons from the beginning but he has to get their ammunition.

The Sauerbraten package includes dozens of maps: many of them have classic locations in castles, palaces and stone ruins:

Map 'Hallo'

Map 'Nevil'

Map 'Ruine'

Map 'Osiris'

People with a good artistic talent can create on their own everything needed to create environments of different types and maps with different characteristics: in fact it looks like Sauerbraten fans have a considerable artistic talent because there are many other maps with different settings. Here are some maps with urban environments, usually larger than average and therefore more suitable if the number of players is high:

Map 'Suburb'

Map 'Urban_c'

Map 'Campo'

Among the maps with a classic theme, there are some inspired by real places:

Map 'Venice'

Map 'Caribbean'

Some maps on the other hand have a futuristic / surreal setting, sometimes however mixed with natural elements:

Map 'Guacamole'

Map 'Injustice'

Map 'Core_refuge'

Map 'CDock' in campaign mode

Mappa 'Neon'

Another variation is in maps containing buildings or other objects floating in the sky or even in space. They have an additional difficulty as you need to be careful not to fall into the abyss with the consequent death:

Map 'Valhalla'

Map 'Duomo'

Map 'Asteroids'

These are just some of the maps included in the standard Sauerbraten package: it's really hard to choose which pictures to include and those selected may show only part of the imagination and the skill of the authors because many maps are fun to play but they also look great.

If you want to play alone for deathmatch training or for other reasons you can do it in two modes: "bot match" or "Campaign". "Bot match" mode is basically a deathmatch played against various bots of which you can set minimum and maximum skill, in "Campaign" mode instead the goal is to kill all the bots to go to the next level. The game includes some levels made specifically for "Campaign" mode and the bots in this mode have more variety.

On Sauerbraten site there's also the link to the main game community's forum where you can find other people to play on the Internet with and if you want you can join a clan to play network games in the modes that allow team fights.

Linux users might find Sauerbraten in their distribution's repositories, for distributions that don't include it, for Windows and Mac OS, you can download it from the project site.

The game includes a readme file that contains the links to the game documentation, partly included in the package, partly on the Internet, with pages dedicated to the game configuration, map editing for those who want to edit and create new maps. There are also some links to online communities of Sauerbraten fans for those who want to find other players to exchange opinions and fight with them on online servers.

The light graphics engine allows you to run Sauerbraten on computers non exactly brand new and / or not very powerful. It's a game recommended to first person shooters lovers to play on your own of with friends, especially if you appreciate games that also look good.