Review by Pierce_Sparrow
"Great action game that improves upon the series!"
While FEAR may have been the game everyone was watching this year for PC, Quake 4 was certainly an eye catcher as well. And while not as good as the former (it's competition upon release day), it is certainly a fun action game that plays well with it's new elements, primarily the squad combat, something that the game seems to balance well enough. While Quake 4 won't change gaming in any way, all the formula standards are there: a variety of weapons, lots of enemies, linear maps, etc., it is a very fun game with and excellent campaign.
The game puts you in the role of Kain, a new recruit and scout for Rhino squad, who has joined hot off the heels of Quake II, which saw a lone Marine kill the Mikron, leader of the Strogg. You, and the rest of the Marines are flying in to finish the job and destroy the Strogg once and for all. However, things are not that easy, and your ship is soon shot down. What follows is you, and your fellow marines, attempt to bring down the Strogg. That's right, you heard me, you AND your fellow marines. Because this time you are not alone....well, not for about half the time anyways. You will be joined by various marines at times, and they can be quite effective too. Of course, being the scout, you will have to run up ahead much of the time, but they will help you out quite a bit. There is also one nifty major twist slightly past the beginning of the game that is pretty cool. If you haven't already heard it, I will let you find out on your own. What is exceptional to mention is the fact the story in this game is perticularily well told. It's not necessarily anything that is surprising, but it is a great war story. It's a bit reminiscint of the Stormtroopers series in the way it tells of a massive war betwee humanity and a race of aliens. It's a great war story that actually feels like a war story. Whereas Half Life, Doom, and even Quake II see you as the sole survivor attempting to be something of a superhero by one manning it the whole way through, not only does Q4 give you friends to fight alongside you, but that twist I mentioned before gives you a bit of a reason to be somewhat superhuman.
As I said before, the game is pretty standard. You will find an assortment of weapons to use against the Strogg, and these are familiar to Quake fans. You'll get your shotgun, auto rifle, pulse gun, rocket launcher, and even the nail gun, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense in the context of the game, but is fun nonetheless. One new addition are the vehicles stages which are both free roaming and act like a rail shooter. However, none of these are very challenging, and worse off is that none of these makes an attempt to do anything different. If you have played other games with vehicle stages in them before, you have played this one too. However, they can provide incriments of fun.
The visuals in this game are nice, and once again use the Doom III engine. The characters look great, but the Strogg are especially nasty as the tower over you and seem just as vicious as you could expect. Unfortunately, they aren't perticularily that challenging either, which is sad because once you realize they only look nasty, they just don't seem as impressive.
While the game might seem to be less than impressive, it does what Doom III managed to do: be fun. Theres plenty of action and the feeling of being in an actual inter-planetary species war is one that few shooters as of late have even attempted to do. Even the superior FEAR doesn't once give you this feeling. Overall, Qake 4 will please fans of the series, and should provide entertainment to those who are just looking for a good shooter.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 10/24/05
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