There have been rumors since last year that Valve may be serious about porting Source games to Linux after Valve Software began seeking a senior software engineer with the responsibility of porting Windows-based games to the Linux platform. Valve Software has yet to officially announce Linux clients for any of its software, but at Phoronix we have received information confirming that Valve is indeed porting its very popular Source engine to the Linux platform.
In addition to CodeWeavers announcing the availability of their new CrossOver Games product to play popular Windows games on Linux, S2 Games has today announced the availability of the Linux client for its "Savage 2: A Tortured Soul" game. Savage 2 is a fantasy-themed game that is a combination of a first person shooter, real-time strategy, and action role-playing game. This is the sequel to "Savage: The Battle For Newerth", which was also ported to Linux some years ago.
While we're continuing to see new Linux-native games introduced (such as the recent Shadowgrounds announcement) and the continued work by Linux Game Publishing with different games, the Linux gaming market is still far from being saturated and it keeps many gamers from even trying out Linux because of the limited choices. As they near version 1.0, WINE has been making strides at allowing gamers to run their Windows game binaries on Linux and last year Transgaming had introduced Cedega 6.0 with expanded game support -- among other improvements. Today though another option has been introduced and that is using CrossOver Games to run your favorite Windows games on Linux.
It has been nearly four months since Unreal Tournament 3 first shipped for the PC, while the Linux client is still missing in action due to software legal issues. At the same time, Linux Game Publishing is running late on delivering their Linux ports of both Bandits: Phoenix Rising and X3: Reunion. Over the past couple of quarters it's definitely been an unpleasant time for the Linux commercial gaming scene, but this week there is good news coming out of Finland and that is two games -- both relatively new to the marketplace -- being ported to Linux.
Since the release of Nexuiz 1.0 in 2005, we have been tracking its progress as one of the leading open-source first person shooters. With time, this fast-pace game has picked up a nice level of artificial intelligence for its in-game bots, engine optimizations, single-player campaign missions, and a variety of technical advancements. Nexuiz has always been one of the leading open-source first person shooter games, and with the release of Nexuiz 2.4 yesterday it reaffirms that you don't need to be a major game studio -- or a game studio at all -- to develop a quality title and even for being a free software game it has impressive graphics. With the graphical settings near maximized, a GeForce 8600GT on a quad-core system was brought to its knees by this free software (and free content) game.
Linux Game Publishing, the company behind porting such games to Linux as Cold War and X2: The Threat, has prepared a new Linux GUI installer for its forthcoming titles. While this new installer doesn't feature any overwhelming additions, it has been written finally to use GTK2 and other new functionality for this setup utility.
At Linux Game Publishing, much of their attention as of late has been focused upon their port of X3: Reunion, which is Egosoft's successor to the (already Linux ported) X2: The Threat. However, outside of this space adventure title that shipped for Windows in 2005, Linux Game Publishing has also been working on a few other game ports, among which is Bandits: Phoenix Rising. The closed beta for Bandits: Phoenix Rising had started in January of 2007, but there was only one beta released and no further information from LGP on this game was released. Frankly, we forgot a Linux port was even being worked on. However, thirteen months later the second beta of this Linux port is now available to those in LGP's closed beta testing program.
Accompanied by an updated Windows release, last week id Software had released its Enemy Territory: Quake Wars v1.4 update for Linux. We have previously shared most of the details surrounding this major ET: Quake Wars update with the same changes as the Windows build. One of the most interesting features, however, is the new threaded renderer for improved multi-core performance.
While Unreal Tournament 3 for Linux has been tied up in Epic's legal department, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars has been maturing quite nicely since its introduction earlier this year. This week the Windows development team had announced ET: Quake Wars v1.4 would be available before Christmas with a host of new features. Today at Phoronix we can now confirm that this update will also be available for Linux gamers in a timely fashion.
Last week Ryan "Icculus" Gordon had confirmed that the Linux client and server ports of Unreal Tournament 3 were caught up in a legal issue regarding some middleware used in this latest PC title from Epic Games. However, what is the middleware that Unreal Tournament 3 is caught up in? There is a strong possibility that it deals with the PhysX licensing from Ageia Technologies.
Last week we mentioned that X3: Reunion for Linux was going forward with beta testing, which is going on ten months after Linux Game Publishing originally announced they would be porting this X2 - The Threat sequel. Well, those fortunate to have closed-beta access privileges at Linux Game Publishing were finally greeted with the X3: Reunion Linux binary yesterday. In addition to the Linux binary, there is also support for DragonflyBSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD. X3: Reunion was originally supposed to ship for Linux back in August, but seeing as the closed beta testing hadn't even started until yesterday, don't expect the final release until the first half of 2008.
The Battle for Wesnoth is not your typical run-of-the-mill TBS game. The genre turn-based strategy, or TBS, is very self-explanatory. It is, simply put, a game where-as the game flow is broken down into turns or rounds and the game plays from there on. Although there are many other fantasy-themed titles floating around the Internet, this one does stand out of the crowd with its many intriguing features. For starters, the game offers nearly 200 forms of units along with 16 variations of races and six factions to choose from. The game allows the users to become creative and embark on their own personalized journeys. From conceiving your own units and characters to forging the worlds you dream of being in, the Battle for Wesnoth is a must-have download for any gamer out there.
Last weekend we provided benchmarks for NVIDIA's GeForce GPUs on Enemy Territory: Quake Wars after the native Linux client was released on the previous day. However, we hadn't delivered our ATI Radeon benchmarks since we knew the release of the fglrx 8.42 driver was just days away. Now that the AMD 8.42.3 Linux Driver was released this afternoon, we have ET: Quake Wars benchmarks to share from the Radeon X1950PRO, HD 2600PRO, and HD 2900XT.
The Linux client for Enemy Territory: Quake Wars was released yesterday, but can you expect this Linux-native game to run with your existing hardware? In addition to this first person shooter being very multi-core friendly, it does require more graphical horsepower than any current Linux game. While there is a "low quality" mode for ET: Quake Wars, quite frankly it looks like crap. On the opposite end of the scale, this game does support Soft Particles and other improvements to make this a stunningly beautiful experience. To help you determine what works on the NVIDIA side, we have taken three midrange GeForce graphics cards and tried them out with Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, the long-awaited title by id Software and Splash Damage, launched today in North America. While a Linux-native client of this game isn't available today, it will be available shortly.
For those new to Linux or the yet to be converts, Cedega is an application that emulates Microsoft's DirectX and allows the user to play a variety of games within Linux that otherwise wouldn't be possible. While Cedega is not completely open-source and requires a monthly subscription, it is based upon WINE. WINE supports a variety of games but isn't designed solely for gaming and often lacks support for some of the newer DirectX titles. In this article we compared the gaming performance of Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows Vista, Linux, Linux with WINE, and Linux with Cedega 6.0.
While id Software and Epic Games are among the few major companies that are Linux gaming patrons, if you've been wanting to play such games as Battlefield 2142 or Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, you will now be able to do so starting April 14! Next week Transgaming will be introducing Cedega 6.0 "Swordfish". Among the features are increased performance, usability improvements, and a horde of new games support. Phoronix was fortunate enough to receive an advanced media release copy of Cedega 6.0 and today we will be just hitting the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all of the changes that make up this release.
With Cold War (Mindware Studio's inaugural title) having gone gold late last month for Linux, we took the time to get a few questions answered by Mindware Studios. In this interview, Patrik Rak of Mindware answered some of our questions about their Meng engine as well as a few pieces of information from what we can expect to see in the future. We also learned some more information on their Linux and Macintosh client intentions for future titles.
Nexuiz, an open-source multi-platform game designed for classic death-match game-play, has come yesterday with Nexuiz version 2.0. Nexuiz v2.0 comes just days after its one year anniversary of their inaugural v1.0 release. While this isn't like some free and open-source games that have poor graphics, Nexuiz 2.0 is surprisingly good, and even supports High Dynamic Range! Nexuiz 2 brings several competitive features to the table such as a single-player campaign mode, new particle effects system, and more. We at Phoronix have taken a quick look at this latest update.
Coincidently, during E3 2006, Linux Game Publishing had released to its Beta community, the full version of Mindware Studios and Dreamcatcher's Cold War title. This game tells the story of Matthew Carter, an independent journalist that takes on the KGB in the former USSR at the height of the Cold War. While the game had only been made available to select Linux gamers just two days ago, we have up some personal thoughts on this game, as well as a great deal of in-game action.
Announced last week by Linux Game Publishing was word that Egosoft's X2 The Threat had finally went gold with its Linux port. Today at Phoronix, we are performing a GPU showdown with a handful of popular graphics cards to see what reigns supreme as well as looking at what will be required to appropriately run the game with Linux. We have taken six PCI Express cards from both ATI and NVIDIA and now have our X2 The Threat results for your viewing pleasure.
Sneaking out silently late last month was a 2006-04-26 build of Sauerbraten, which has been tagged the Occlusion Edition. In this new release are lots of new gaming goodness from this Cube-based engine for first person shooters and role playing games, it however does not go without a few bugs. Some of the advancements in this multi-platform game include new occlusion culling, smoother lighting, game-play fixes, and many other optimizations. Overall, it is an incredibly action-packed release and at Phoronix we have a few views from this latest engine.
Released earlier today was the Quake 4 v1.2.1 point release patch. The major feature to come down the pipeline in Quake 4 v1.2.1 is Hyper-Threading Technology and dual-core support for the Linux binaries. With Quake 4 now supporting Hyper-Threading and dual-core processors, players should expect to find significant performance gains when gaming. Two of the numbers that id Software have stated is a 25% performance jump compared to non Intel Hyper-Threaded CPUs and dual core processors should experience somewhere in the ballpark of a 87% performance boost. At Phoronix, we have examined these performance situations using an Intel Pentium D and Intel Pentium 4 HT CPUs to get a better idea as to what can be expected from upcoming multi-threaded games.
Back in February of this year, we featured a small arsenal of tests against various NVIDIA graphics cards using Transgaming's Cedega v5.1 demo -- which was recently released at that time. Today we are back again with Cedega v5.1 as we look at its fate under ATI Radeon cards running the proprietary drivers. Is there much to share this time around or has Transgaming and ATI not been the best of associates?
Released yesterday afternoon was the Quake 4 v1.1 point release patch. Among appending four new maps for professional game-play, there is also a new Forcemodel option as well as Brightskins. Another major feature to come down the pipeline in Quake 4 v1.1 is Hyper-Threading Technology and dual-core support, however, that is presently limited to the Windows version. At Phoronix, we have analyzed the performance abilities of this latest Quake 4 point release under Linux with a Pentium D processor and GeForce 7 solution.
One of the strongholds preventing computer enthusiasts from switching to Linux is due to the lack of retail games available under Linux. However, TransGaming's Cedega software allows a majority of Microsoft Windows games to run seamlessly under Linux with very little to no end-user modifications required. TransGaming Cedega operates by emulating the Windows 32 APIs including Direct3D, DirectInput, and DirectSound. With the most recent version of Cedega (v5.1) hitting the web last week, we have conducted a series of tests to examine its performance impact on some of the popular titles.
Nexuiz, one of the popular open-source first person shooter games available for Microsoft Windows as well as Linux on both x86 and x86_64 platforms, has released v1.5 today. Unlike some of the past releases, many of the features in this release are prominent from a new instant action mode to improved artificial intelligence and completely new menus! In addition, there is now smoother net-code, engine optimizations, redone sound effects, all new character skins, new game-modes, new maps, and new characters. For the open-source enthusiast, Nexuiz v1.5 is definitely worth checking out!
Linux Game Publishing's port of Egosoft's X2 - The Threat has reached a new milestone with the fourth BETA release. Although there are still bugs to be fixed in the game before it ships to gaming distributors, this latest release available exclusively to the closed LGP testing community finally features ATI commercial driver support. Will this be another disappointment for the fans in red, or will this be a crucial win? We have thoroughly tested X2 - The Threat BETA 4 with various ATI Radeon cards as well as a NVIDIA GeForce 6 for comparative numbers.
Sauerbraten, the experimental gaming engine based upon the popular Cube engine, has sneaked onto the Internet this morning with a new release. The stock game includes support for both single-player and multi-player variants, and as with previous Sauerbraten releases, it offers many of the same abilities and controls as the original Cube. Certainly the game is no Quake 4 but is an exciting action-packed title available for compilation on any major operating system and is completed powered by open-source software.
Although X2 - The Threat is still under development by the talented folks over at Linux Game Publishing, many of the initial issues seen by the closed BETA community that is testing this game have now been resolved. Twice already we have done game-play performance examinations with the various BETA candidates, but today we are finally delivering some Linux X2 - The Threat screenshots. These images show the various menus available as well as a few cut scenes and in-flight gaming and the integrated benchmark. More images will be delivered upon the retail availability of the game.
167 linux gaming articles published on Phoronix.