I must agree, there aren’t many native strategy games for Linux, especially not those who can usually match the commercial ones for Linux. Actually they are so rare, they could probably be counted on the fingers of one hand. I could include here games such as the very popular Glest, Spring or Tribal Trouble.
Warzone 2100 is a free, open-source, cross-platform 3D real-time strategy game available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X, which is distinct because it offers a pretty different gameplay than the usual RTS games.
The version I’m going to talk about is 2.3.8, the latest release at the time of writing. Warzone 2100 is in continued development, improving with each new major release. For only a 57 MB tarball, this game really offers more than enough features and playability, not to mention the minimum system requirements, according to the homepage:
- 1 GHz CPU
- 128 MB VRAM
- 100 MB hard disk space
- OpenGL 1.4
Here are some of the main features:
- 3D graphics, 3D engine allowing to zoom in/out, rotate the map at 360 degrees and change 3D angle
- runs in fullscreen or windowed mode
- single player and multiplayer support
- single player campaigns
- huge number of units and upgrades
- units can be customized in every way possible by applying different technology upgrades
The action takes place in an apocalyptic future, after humanity was pretty much wiped out by nuclear war and oil is the primary resource for energy.
What really makes Warzone 2100 pretty unique is the upgrades system, which allows to fully configure units with technology updates. The number of upgrades is huge, and I really mean huge (if you don’t believe me have a look on this page on website, and these are only the turrets upgrades).
Warzone 2100 is pretty rich regarding configuration, and it allows to configure video performance, screen resolution, fullscreen or windowed mode, sounds and music, change keyboard shortcuts, mouse settings, AI difficulty and scroll speed.
The official website comes with a pretty decent archive of user-made content, maps and mods, a guide which covers all the aspects of the game, and the community forum. A separate random map generator (included in Warzone Map Tools) is also available here.
Installation in Ubuntu
There is a PPA for Warzone 2100 but it currently has no packages, and the official website offers only a source tarball. However, here are instructions to compile the latest version from source in Ubuntu 11.04:
tar -xzf warzone2100-2.3.8.tar.gz
Next let’s install the needed dependencies to compile it:
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get build-dep warzone2100
Then go to the uncompressed warzone2100-2.3.8 directory and issue the usual commands:
./configure make sudo make install
Run it by typing warzone2100 in a terminal or by pressing Alt+F2 and typing warzone2100 in the run box.