The Nitro Family Demo

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The Nitro Family is a game based on the Serious Sam engine. It aspires to be cool like Serious Sam, but it falls seriously short. Read on and you will find out why this budget shooter could take a big byte out of your sanity.

OverView

The story this game is based on goes something like this...

In the near future people are so stressed out and suffering from mental diseases, that they all start taking a drug called "Healthy Family". This drug causes serious brain damage over time and they turned into raving maniacs. So started the war between the druggies and the sober people. The drug companies created a cure that somehow involves babies. So they steal the hero's (your) baby. And that's where the demo starts off, with you running down the street, your wife in the carry case on your back, and a whole bunch of drug crazies in front of you.

Demo specifications.

Size = 211MB

The demo comes with 4 (I think) levels and should take the average gamer 2-3 hours to complete. The menus are fairly simple and not much setup time is required. The setup is exactly like Serious Sam, so if you have played that game you will find this one very easy to get into.

Graphics = 4/10


Wow look at the detail in this courtyard!

I must say that the graphics in this game are horrible and that's putting it nicely. This game is based off the Serious Engine, but either it is an old version or the developers didn't do enough work. Serious Sam 2 had a lot more detail than this.


The gas station is awe inspiring

The texures are very flat and bland. There are hardly any objects around to break the monotony of the corridor of buildings you are forced to walk between. There are occassional cars and a few barrels that you can blow up, but it really feels dry and bare. Comparing it with Duke Nukem 3d - a 10 year old game - I would have to say the DN3D had more variety.


This coastline is teaming with variety.

I ran the game using 4x AA and 8x AAF but the the power lines were still very jagged and whereas it smoothed everything out, it still couldn't hide the fact that there is no variety. The guns were the best modeled items and even they paled in comparison to the quality most fps games show nowadays. Bear in mind that this is supposed to be a new game. Maybe they are saving all the good stuff for the full version.
Sound and Music = 3/10

 

Just when you thought it couldn't possiblly get any worse, it does.

Music

Lets deal with the music first. There's only one problem I have with the music. The fact that it only has ONE 2 minute rock song that plays over and over and over again for the whole 3 hours you are playing. No mood music, no triggered sequences. Just one song over and over and over again at the same volume. I thought for sure that it would change in between levels, but I was wrong. It got so annoying that I just had to turn it off, and thats where we come to the sounds of this demo.

Sounds

The sounds are better than the music for the sole reason that there is more than one sound effect, but just barely. To be fair I think that this demo was rushed out after that leak of the earlier demo. However that does not justify the fact that a lot of major sound effects were poorly done or missing alltogether. Here's a little list.

-Footsteps, There are footstep sounds for enemies but not for the player

-Rocket Launcher, Is missing sounds totally

-Explosions, Virtually nonexistant

-Gunshots, Are very dull and lifeless

-Enemies, Always taunt the same and scream the same when they die

I was very unsatisfied by the quality of the sound effects. I really think sounds should play a major, not a minor role in the imersiveness of a game.

Physics = 3/10


Man is born to trouble as the enemies fly upwards.

The physics in the game truly simple. All of the enemies fly upwards when you shoot them. This can be very fun at first, because you can keep shooting them in the air and they just bounce higher and higher. However this gets old really fast. Cars and barrels also tend to bounce upwards when shot with the rocket launcher.


Bouncy, bouncy!

I really can't think of anything else to say about the physics because of extremely small amount of objects that actually react to weaponfire. Oh wait, there is one part of the level where you have to bounce along canvas tents to reach your objectives. This ain't gona be no HL2
GamePlay = 5/10


The rocket launcher scores some gore!

The gameplay isn't so bad if you like things very simple. There is no sneaking around, puzzles, or objectives. Just shoot everything in your path and keep walking and you will complete the game. Enemy AI is also very simple. Enemies plot the shortest course to you and try to take it. Often they get stuck in a corner, endlessly running to try and get you.

Get the ammo, shoot the baddies, we've all done this routine before.

About the only thing that saves this game from complete boredom, and the real reason why I tried the demo at all is the fact that you can hold a different gun in each hand. Its kind of cool being able to blast away with the rocket launcher while popping off savages with your shotgun. However the guns run out of ammo quite quickly and with no autoswitch, you quickly find yourself scrambling for a different gun.

The enemies are much like Serious Sam. Extremely unintelligent, they rely on numbers to try to crush you. Most of the battles, however, were very easy. I only died once or twice the whole way though.

Another beef I had was that the mexican police were using laser rifles. The whole game is based on classic weapons and they put some cheesey laser guns in? The more I play the more I realize that this game is just not finished.

The more enemies you kill, the more money you get, you can use this to buy a few upgrades to your gun. However for this to provide an element of fun, the upgrades have to be more varied and plentiful.

Overview and Final Thoughts
The SOLE reason to download this demo is the 5 minutes of fun you can have with 2 guns. Lets hope the developers take note of the community fix some of the problems in the game. Is it worth the download time, NO. Will it be worth $40 in the store, NO NO. Will it be worth $10 in the bargain bin, not without major changes. Your time is valuable, don't waste it.
ScreenShots


Big fat mini Boss.


Final Boss, also big and fat.


More bouncy, bouncy.


Using extasy to speed things up.


More glorious detail.


The best screen of all.

The End

That's it folks. Lets hope the next demo I review is a better use of my time and yours. If you have any feedback regarding this review, please head over and post it here in the forum.

 

Daniel "Nicao" Guenter

Head Programmer, S.L.A.G.D.