Quake 4 Review

Developer: Raven Studios Publisher: Activision
Release Date: October 18, 2005 Also On: Xbox 360

Quake III took the multiplayer FPS genre by storm. It was fast, bloody, and fun. Its only downside was the omission of a real single-player story. You had skirmishes, but all that this experience was, was multiplayer against computer-controlled opponents. So technically, I guess, Quake 4 is a sequel to Quake 2. Quake 4, unlike previous games in the series, uses the equivalent Doom engine for its time. Quake 4 runs on a “heavily� modified Doom 3 engine. I put “heavily� in quotes because although that’s what they call it, it really isn’t what I would consider “heavily� modified. The guns are different, but they aren’t entirely. You have a pistol, shotgun, and machinegun with different models, but they sound and act exactly the same as their counterparts in Doom 3.

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My biggest gripe with Doom 3 was the repetitive nature of the game. It was almost all in-doors, and every room looked like the last. However, in Quake 4’s single player game, it is very diverse and entertaining. You get a variety of indoor and outdoor environments, and you know where you are. That is, you don’t have to think to yourself “Have I been here before?� The story, although simple, keeps you interested. Basically the Strogg have taken over and you, as a marine, must help clear the area of the enemies. But inside this vague story lies a lot more; you are given dozens of objectives inside of the story, like to protect a certain person as he defuses bombs, escort a medic to a wounded soldier, or find a panel to open a door.

One of the widely-supported problems with Doom 3 was the inability to hold a flashlight and a gun. Games like F.E.A.R. tried to fix this by allowing people to use a flashlight with any weapon, which people saw as good, but with Quake 4, I believe they’ve done even better. To help keep the game challenging, you can only hold a flashlight with certain guns, so you have to choose between minimal firepower and a light, or optimal firepower and no light. This issue is not as big as it seems, though, as most of the game is not nearly as dark as Doom, which is how it should be. Heck, you even get vehicles. Soon into the game you get a tank, packed with giant tank shells and a secondary machinegun. On the other hand, you get to ride a convoy in which you cannot control the direction or speed you are moving.

The sound in this game is good, although there is not much music, the music that is there fits well and the voiceovers are great. It is really believable when a commander is screaming over his radio, or when you are receiving orders. The one thing that really separates the Quake 4 engine from the Doom 3 engine is the speed. It’s a lot faster, and there is much less suspense. They obviously did not make the graphics any worse for speed, but systems have steeply increased in performance since last August, so it’s a byproduct of system evolution.

The multiplayer is fast. It’s REALLY fast. It is actually faster than the single-player. The weapons are actually different from the single player game, implementing the lightning gun, and a handheld circular saw! Hooray for violence! In creating a server, there are a good number of options, but not a good number of modes. You have deathmatch, arena deathmatch, capture the flag, and arena CTF. This would have been fine for a direct sequel to Quake 2, but you have to keep in mind the 8 year gap. Another slight disappointment for the multiplayer is the fact that there are only 10 maps. They’re good maps, and you can download homebrew maps (and mods for that matter), but there just aren’t very many built-in.

All in all, the game is great. Imagine Doom 3, but more fun, more diverse, and with more multiplayer, and you have a pretty good idea of what Quake 4 will play like. Raven did a good job of making this game available to a lot of types of gamers, as if has solid single-player and multi-player modes. This game will surely be known in the future as a benchmark for gaming. I highly recommend this game to FPS players of all ages (above the age of 17, of course!).

Graphics: 10
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 10
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 8
Final: 8.8
Written by Dave Review Guide

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