Nearly a year ago we shared that two new PC action games were being ported to Linux. The games were Shadowgrounds and, its sequel, Shadowgrounds: Survivor. Both games were supposed to ship in the first half of 2008 for Linux, but that never ended up materializing. A Finnish game studio known as Frozenbyte originally developed these games and the Linux port was contracted to a company known as IGIOS. In August we were told that the delay was due to publisher negotiations and that they would hopefully have something in a week or two. That never ended up amounting to anything, but a month ago, we finally learned that Linux Game Publishing was working on Shadowgrounds: Survivor. Well, last night we finally got our hands on a beta copy of Shadowgrounds: Suvivor for Linux.
Linux Game Publishing has begun beta testing the Linux client of Shadowgrounds: Survivor with its closed testing community. The beta is just under 1.2GB in size and is fairly complete. This third-person shooter game is based around three survivors who fight the last remaining human resistance, which happens to be an army of aliens.
What also makes this Linux port interesting is that it is the first commercial game on Linux to be using the PhysX library for its physics computations. From the Linux launcher there is also an option to enable the AGEIA PhysX hardware PPU (Physics Processing Unit), but at this time there are no Linux drivers available for the AGEIA PPU add-in cards. From our initial testing of this game on Linux, even with running the physics simulations on the processor, the physics are excellent and among the best we have seen in any Linux game. When it comes to the graphics engine, the image quality is nice but not superior to that of say Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.
As we have only had access to Shadowgrounds: Survivor on Linux for a few hours, we will be back with more details later. Linux Game Publishing hopes to be able to ship Shadowgrounds: Survivor to Linux gamers in March or April of this year.