Review by Ofisil

"One of the best Arena FPS games"

Quake 3 Arena is an FPS developed by Id Software and released by Activision. After reinventing the genre with Quake and Quake 2, Id Software, knowing that these games have become famous for their Multiplayer totally ignored Single Player and created a FPS for online fun only. For many it is considered to be the best Arena FPS around… well, is it?

Story: N/A

An ancient race of powerful creatures, (or Gods, I don't really remember), have captured the greatest warriors of all time and have placed them in the Arena eternal. In order for someone to be freed he/she must compete with each other in order to reach Xaero, the champion of the Arena and kill him or have the honor of dying by his hand. Good and simple story that doesn't affect neither gameplay nor score.

Graphics: 9/10
Design: 7.5/10

The legendary Quake 3 Engine! One of the best graphic engines of the last decade, but although we have very good graphic quality the general design is a bit simple at times and doesn't take advantage of Quake 3's power. First of all the game models, have very good textures and animation, they also have separate body parts which they move as they look around and some of them have special animated layers on them, like lava running through body scars for example. The problem is their variety… or lack of. Most models are just different variations of a base model and there are only 12-15 base models. Next the levels have very good design, with the typical Id Software's style of gothic and futuristic blended together. The bad thing once again is that they could be much better. Textures are good but don't really stand out, skies are just a bunch of fast moving layers and special and special effects are rarely used.

Sound: 8/10
Music: 7/10

I can't really say something special about Quake's sound section, because there isn't really something special about it. Music is there but even if it weren't it wouldn't matter, characters make pain\death\gesture sounds which sound good, weapons sound good too and the Narrator's deep voice which is constantly informing you about the score sounds good too and that's about it.

Gameplay: 7.5/10
Replay Value: 7/10

You select one of the available characters, which have only different appearances. After that you enter a stage, which is actually an arena full of weapons and items to gather and fight the other warriors. Each time you kill an enemy you gain a frag point and each time an enemy does so gains a point too. Each time a warrior is killed he respawns in the map and continue fighting until he or another one reaches the frag limit, (10-20 in Single Player Mode).

Weapons are typical Doom\Quake weapons like machineguns, shotguns, missile\grenade launchers, plasmagun\BFG and railguns, but at least they've modified in such a way to leave no weapon overpower the other ones, requiring to use the right one in the right occasion. Items are very simple too and range from the typical health\armor\ammo to powerups that last for a specific amount of time and increase your weapons power, your speed or make you regenerate or become invisible.

The Single Player is divided into Tiers. Each Tier is divided into 4 maps, finishing at first place in each map lets you continue to the next Tier. The CPU characters, (called Bots), have very simple AI in lower difficulty but has extremely high accuracy when the difficulty rises and don't get me wrong I love a good challenge but being killed from a distant railgun shot because I dared to step out for a millisecond is very irritating and not realistic at all.

The Single Player of course is there only to prepare you for the real thing and that is… the Multiplayer! There are 3 game modes, Free for all where its everyone VS everyone, Team Deathmatch where you choose between 2 teams or Capture The Flag where each team must capture the enemy's flag and bring it in your flag or prevent the other team from taking yours and doing the same thing.

To put it simply, Quake 3 is a very good game, one of the best out there, (not that there are many to choose from). Instead of being complicated with secondary fire, a more complex level design or use of vehicles, it is just like most Id Software games, grab a gun and shoot everything that moves and that isn't you. Although this is what makes Quake 3 so fun is also its disadvantage because this gameplay might seem a little too repetitive for someone, also there aren't many available modes or configuration options, you just enter an arena and frag! Quake 3 though, like most FPS can be modded to improve replay value and although that doesn't affect the overall score it is a good thing.

Positives:
-Simple, fast and very enjoyable
-The Quake 3 graphic engine

Negatives:
-Not many Multiplayer Modes

Also Play:
Unreal Tournament (PC)
Unreal Tournament 3, 2003 & 2004 (PC)

Overall: 7.7/10

Quake 3 was one of the first of its kind but surely not the best. Which game is the best you say? Well actually there isn't one… it's just a matter of taste. You want something more complex and with more options, (and more “fireworks”), play Unreal Tournament, you want fast and addictive arcade gameplay choose Quake 3 but to be honest the best thing you can do is to play both…


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/12/07, Updated 12/02/09

Game Release: Quake III Arena (US, 12/02/99)


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