Review by Hypnofear
"Simple but oh so fun."
Quake 4, it's certainly taken its time in getting here, it has been 6 years since Quake 3 Arena was released. Quake 4 though has more in common with Quake 2, in that it has a fully devolved single player mode and the multi-player takes more of a backstage role. This is the exact opposite of Quake 3 which was basically multi-player only and had no storyline whatsoever.
Quake 4 puts you in the role of Matthew Kane, a member of the elite Rhino squad who are involved in the attack on the Strogg planet Stroggos'.
Gameplay is firmly in the love/hate column for those looking for a good old fashioned pick the gun up and shoot the monsters, you're going to have a blast, the weapons are great, some of the old favorites returning including the Railgun, Nailgun and Hyperblaster.
There are loads of monsters to shoot down, some of the best returning from Quake 2 but now looking a lot meaner and there are some nice new ones too. Sadly for those looking for that something new and innovative, apart from a few vehicles being added to spice things up, you're going to be disappointed, this is Quake exactly as it always has been, in fact playing Quake 2 (which comes on the bonus disc included) makes you realise just how much the gameplay has not changed over the years, but if it is not broke don't fix it.
First of all lets get it out of the way, yes this game has an un-steady framerate and is not as smooth as other launch titles like Perfect Dark Zero and Call of Duty 2, but please note that these framerate problems have been greatly over-exaggerated by a lot of reviewers. From my experience, apart from 1 or 2 moments in the second half of the game, the game was always very playable and the framerate did not distract greatly from the experience.
I must mention how good the lighting effects are in this game, when you're indoors you'll see an vast array of great lighting effects, from your team mates torches, to fancy Strogg environments and machines, plus the artwork and imaginary gone into these sections is fantastic and a lot more varied than those found in Doom 3 (the game which graphics engine this game runs of), outside environments do not look as impressive as indoor, but do there job.
Not outstanding but consistently good, the voice acting is very solid, nothing brilliant but the chatting with teammates and various ambient sounds do help build up the atmosphere of the game and place tension in the war between the humans and the Strogg. The weapon sounds meaty and suit what they are (especially the Nailgun).
Basically think Quake 3 Arena but running on the Doom 3 engine with some weapon changes and you're more or less there, I was a massive fan of Quake 3 Arena so in my opinion this is great fun and certainly worth playing online.
My only complaints are the limited number of maps (download content is supported so maybe more in the future) and the match making system leaves something to be desired, in some cases the loading of matches actually lasts longer than the match itself, which is not a good thing.
Yes it may feel a little dated, but it's great to pick up and play due to its simplistic nature, and the thrill of a well placed Railgun shot cannot be replaced.
Overall you're going to get an enjoyable single player experience that will last you a good 10 hours, a simple pick up and play multi-player and a fantastic bonus in Quake 2.
The graphics might not be as smooth as I would have liked but do not make the game unplayable in any way. The multi-player isn't as well developed as Quake 3 Arena but I was not expecting it to be in the first place.
Overall it's a good launch title that's certainly recommended to those looking for simple shooting fun.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 01/05/06
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