Question: What do you get if you take the setting and feel of Microsoft’s Halo series, and combine it with the fast-paced action from Quake and Unreal Tournament?
Answer: Probably a Michael Bay film. But, also, Warmerise, a multiplayer-only first person shooter created and maintained by NSdesignGames. Given that its actual subtitle is “Red vs Blue”, it’s a little hard not to make a comparison to the Halo games, which it obviously draws some inspiration from in its visuals and general feel. However, its gameplay is quite a bit different, and it’s worth looking at on its own merit.
Warmerise is a complete and fully-functional — albeit rather bare-bones — FPS game completely playable in a web browser. Every match pits two player-formed teams (designated Red and Blue, of course) against each other in traditional deathmatch-style skirmishes, in which the sole goal is to score more points than the other team. By murdering them, obviously. The gameplay is simple and easy to pick up, and does the job it sets out to do quite well — the controls are tight, the hitboxes are accurate, the weapons are (mostly) balanced, and the gameplay is just plain fun.
Warmerise has a surprisingly-solid variety of maps included, with eight different battlefields to test your prowess on, and over twenty-five different weapons to unlock or pick up on the battlefield. In addition, those who make a free account for the game for the game will find that the website has an impressive number of extra features to it, including a Top 100 leaderboard, a forum, clan support, and a social-networking-esque service to connect with friends.
That said, it isn’t perfect. Visuals are a little on the basic side, but they’re passable enough. In addition, while the game does have eight maps included, the larger ones don’t work nearly as well as the small, condensed ones, and can be a bit boring. Finally, new weapons require a near-absurd amount of experience points to unlock, and you’ll probably need to play for several weeks before you have an arsenal outside of the default weapons.
However, all-in-all, Warmerise is a fun and well-crafted little shooter that’s fantastic when you’ve got a bit of free time, and is likely to keep you entertained for at least a few weeks. It’s a solid entry to the genre of browser-based FPS games, and definitely worth a look.