Review by Sinister187
"An Unrelenting, Blood-Filled Shooter."
Resembling 'Doom 3' in many-aspects, 'Quake 4' should appeal to those looking for a simple and blood-soaked First-Person-Shooter. The entire game consists of running and gunning, nothing really complex or aggravating. So gear-up and get ready to kill some alien baddies!
Using a modified 'Doom 3' engine, the game sports some amazing graphics and lighting effects, and after the gory opening cinematic, you are sure to be sucked into the game's horrific atmosphere from the start. You play as a marine known as, Matthew Kane, who along with other marines, crash-land on the home planet of the Strogg. From here, you have to fight your way through hordes of nightmarish enemies to prevent the destruction of Earth. Along your mission, you will witness many shocking and disgusting sights, your fellow comrades dismembered to pieces, hung on giant-hooks, and gutted from battle or horrid experiments. And in an interesting twist, halfway through the game, you are suddenly captured and transformed into a Strogg, the process in which it is done, is painful-looking and utterly brutal. You'll go from looking like an average human to a mesh of mutilated flesh and robotic-parts, resembling something from the film, 'Virus'. This cool turn allows for more health, faster speed and a better understanding of the Strogg world. When the change is complete, people will react to you differently, which I thought was an awesome little addition, some will stare at you and go about their business, while others will question whose side you are really on.
The game is all about violent action, the moments were it stops are brief, mainly when going back into your space-craft. You basically go from level to level and blast the living Hell out of anything that isn't human. Your comrades are usually by your side in most of the missions as well, so if you're ever low on ammunition, they have your back. Although, you don't have any squad-command abilities, which is a bit of a bummer. It also sports lots of tiny additions that are refreshing, such as medics providing you with health-serum to replenish your wounds and engineers adding to your armor when it has taken damage. There's also some driving to be done in this game, you get to pilot a tank for a bit and blow your foes to smithereens along with a monstrous mech. The weapon assortment is pretty nice too, with stuff ranging from machine-guns to grenade-launchers, and nearly every one receives an upgrade. There's even a buzzsaw-weapon attached to your wrist for up-close devastation, however, it is only available in multi-player. Your enemies consist of aliens of all shapes and sizes, who have faces only a Mother could love, and even that is pushing it. The environments are neat, thankfully it isn't as dark as 'Doom 3' so you'll be able to see all sorts of bloody remains strewn about and lots of wicked architecture. The outside portions are alright, nothing really mind-blowing, the scenery is basic and desert-like in appearance, the Strogg planet resembles Mars to be frank. The single-player campaign is fairly-long, over twelve-hours or so, one of the big disappointments is the lack of co-op and non-system-link multi-player, if these were incorporated, the replay-value would have been much, much higher. The game is also easy, if you're a hard-core player, set the difficulty up a notch before starting the story mode.
Playing online is fast and hectic, the maps are well-designed and there is no slow-down. It has tons of levels to choose from as well, including ones from 'Quake III', so once you get fragging, you're likely to stop no time soon. Modes include all the classics like Capture The Flag, Death-match, Team Death-match and Tournament. The main gripe however, is the number of players it supports, only eight as opposed to the PC version, which allows for sixteen. The controls are dead-on, like most other FPS games on Microsoft's consoles. The Left Stick moves your character while the Right Stick allows to look, clicking on the Left Stick makes the character crouch while clicking on the Right Stick centers the view. When pressed the Right Trigger fires your current weapon and the Left Trigger zooms in, the Right Bumper switches to your next weapon while the Left Bumper goes to your previous weapon. A is to jump while B is to use/talk, X is to reload while Y is to select the flashlight, the directional-pad acts as a quick weapon select. Finally, Start is to pause the game and Back is to view your objectives/score.
'Quake 4' has it's flaws, some drops in frame-rate and no co-op but other than that this is a really solid, basic FPS. For fans of that genre, this is a must-have in your Xbox 360 library, as a bonus, it comes with the full 'Quake II' game, which is a classic. You really can't go wrong with this title, you get a lengthy campaign, awesome boss-fights, loads of blood and guts and near endless shooting. Pick it up and frag everything in sight like there's no tomorrow!
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 07/24/06
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