Review by Lord Hugo
"Quake IV: Dissappointing But Pretty"
Ah, the long awaited sequel to Quake III. Fans have been clamoring for a sequel for quite awhile. I must say I was quite excited at the prospect to play it on my 360. The fact that it uses the same engine as Doom 3 was even more thrilling. Unfortunately, Quake IV doesn't quite live up to its franchise. Mind you, Quake IV isn't bad
Just not what it could have been. But read on, the review awaits.
There's not too much to set the bar on the 360 yet for graphics (except a few titles), so Quake IV easily impresses. Its graphics are on par with Call of Duty 2, which is no slouch in that department. The visuals can be hard to notice at times, what with a lot of dark environments. But once out in the light with fellow marines, it's easy to get captured with the gorgeous graphics. Facials are done quite nice, though a little more variety to the marine's faces would've been nice. Explosions and gunfire are done quite nicely, and you really feel like your playing the part of your marine. All in all, it's one of the best graphical showings the 360 can show at this time.
The gameplay can be a bit difficult at times. 2-3 times during the game, it seemed like the AI just ramped up in difficulty after a big story event. That causes a lot of frustration as you try and find a good feel for the new difficulty. At times I had to go all the way back a half hour, just so I could adjust how I play. That isn't a good way to increase the difficulty, and brought hours of needless frustration. If it weren't for the helpful hints on some of the load screens, I would have no clue what some of the weapons can do. The game does a very poor job of introducing your to each weapon when they're so different. That said some of the enemies actually have some substance. Some enemies actually require abnormal tactics to defeat, and that brings a certain freshness to the combat.
At first, it seems like Quake IV's story might impress. The beginning has a nice little cinematic, and you get a little excited at the landing. But from then on, it's mainly combat and predictable missions with little bits of story thrown in. I won't spoil anything for anyone, but the one big surprise in the game is listed in the manual! I would've liked to have been stunned by this, but no such luck. The missions are fairly linear, requiring you to go through another path to unlock a door. To try and make the game seem less linear, they change the environments while you're gone as if enemies and such had been there. But very rarely is this anything more than a few blood spatters and maybe a body. All in all, the story is quite disappointing from what it could've been.
The camera is a real bonus to this game. Never once did I feel as if I wasn't the center of the action. That's always a plus with this kind of fast-paced game. Also, the controls were well mapped. Shooting and moving was quite easy and fluid, which keeps you in the action. Nothing is worse than a camera causing you to screw up, or causing you infinite amounts of trouble. I gave it a notch down because the crouch feature wasn't as easy. You had to press in the left analog stick to pull off a crouch, and it just seemed to not too responsive at times. Anyways, that's a minor inconvenience that can be remedied.
The sound within the game is superb. Explosions and other environmental sounds work well. And the other little sounds give way to a small hint of urgency and fear. The music is a bit lacking at times. There just seems to not be enough of it at all, and Quake IV doesn't play the fear factor enough for lack of music. What music there IS in the game is fairly good. The voice acting is also quite superb. The voices coming through your com link during combat gives insight to what's going on. Also, mouths move realistically with voices. There's very little to dislike about the voice acting.
Replay Value 7/10
I was shocked at the amount of Replay value this can have if online is your thing or various achievements. The numerous amounts of achievements were enough to draw me back several times. Not to mention the online is fairly good. It doesn't revolutionize the genre, that's for sure, but it is entertaining. There's a plethora of modes, which provide hours of distraction. Unfortunately, the Single player lacks in replay value. Other than achievements there's really no reason to replay the Single Player Mode.
Final Analysis/Conclusion 7/10
This game has quite a few flaws that the scores I've given don't indicate. The single player is short, and just not all that up to par. It distracted me for a bit, but there's really no reason to make you want to complete it. The multiplayer and achievements are about the best things it has besides the stellar graphics. But, multiplayer and achievements aren't everyone's piece of cake. Fans of the series should be appeased, but know that they could've had much much more.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 05/16/06
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