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Quake 4

Developer: Raven Software | Publisher: Activision
Players: 1+ Player Game | Release Date: 10/18/05 | Genre: FPS

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I reviewed the PC version of Quake 4 a while back and really enjoyed the game. While it was a lot more of the same fast-paced Quake action we have seen before, it was done on top of the DOOM 3 Engine and really made DOOM 3 look like a bad game. With all the power of the Xbox 360 and the stunning results we have seen with titles like Call of Duty 2 playing better on newly released Xbox than their PC counterpart, I am sad to say that the ball has been dropped on this release.

Since I have already experienced the awesome multiplayer elements of the PC, I was a little less excited to play it on Xbox Live. However, I was completely shocked to see just how incredibly buggy the multiplayer element was to this excellent shooter. It takes a minimum of two minutes to start up a match, at the beginning of a match, everyone is frozen for around five to ten seconds, if anyone leaves a multiplayer game in the middle of it, the whole match is frozen, and more. However, you may not even get to see these moments because the multiplayer games consistently freeze up. To date, Activision, id Software, and Raven have not addressed the Xbox 360 issues. Activision has patched several problems in Call of Duty 2 though. Just shows you where their priorities are.

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The biggest problem with the multiplayer element being this buggy is that there is almost no way to obtain the gamerscore points for Quake 4. The large majority of them are online so don’t expect to get anyone where the 1,000 maximum points on this game.

Like the PC, Quake 4 looks very good. However, I felt the visuals were not as polished or stunning as the PC counterpart. This could be overlooked if the game ran well. However, as you get farther and farther into the story, the game runs worse and worse. It is as if Raven polished the first 45 or 50 percent of the game and decided nobody would pay attention if the rest of the game ran at less than 30 frames per second. On top of this, over the course of my review time with Quake 4, the title froze up my Xbox ten times! Every time this happened when I was loading up a new level. I quickly learned that before I completed a level, a save was required because I expected the game to freeze up.

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I may not be a game Developer or Publisher but when a game locks up, it is a sign that someone has failed his or her job in testing before the release date. While some bugs may slip through the cracks, it is unforgivable for a game to freeze up a system consistently. If I found this bug, surely someone in testing must have discovered it as well.

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I really like Quake 4 a lot. I had fun with the PC version, love the story, love the “surpriseâ€? that happens to the main character, and I greatly enjoyed seeing the DOOM 3 engine effectively used for the first time. Despite my love for this game, I must give Quake 4 our lowest recommendation due to the freezes in the single player and horrific multiplayer modes.

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If you can go into Quake 4 and overlook these serious flaws, you will find a fun game. However, if you want to play the multiplayer modes and don’t want to have your gaming experience be slowed down by freezes, stick to the PC version. As for me, I will probably play through the game again on my Xbox 360 if only to unlock more gamerscore points in the single player game.

By Kaleb Rutherford - 01/17/06
ESRB Details: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language
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Screenshots for Quake 4

Trapt

Dead or Alive 4