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Quake 4

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

Quake 4 is the triumphant return of the classic id Software series to the PC (and later this year on Xbox 360). The Quake franchise was born out of id's attempt at building a brand new franchise along with a great game engine. Using the technology from Quake titles sped up the development times for several other companies. For some unknown reason though this series has been sitting on the backburner. Now that it has returned, instead of using its own engine, Quake 4 uses the technology from Doom 3. And instead of id developing the title internally, they have passed the development over to the capable hands of Raven Software. The results are stunning.

Quake 3 was built from the ground up as a multiplayer game. This was exactly the opposite of what the Quake series was known for. But since it still is one of the best multiplayer games to play, it was easy to overlook the lack of a worthy single player mode. Quake 4 returns to its roots by giving players a great single player experience. On top of that is an updated version of the Quake 3 multiplayer experience. The multiplayer stuff is definitely not innovative but more of the same. But if it ain't broke, don't fix it--right?

To call Quake 4 stunning is an understatement. But like Doom 3, Half-Life 2, and many other great First Person Shooters, that beauty comes at a hefty price. You will need a very powerful system to make this beast perform at its best. And don't go by the minimum system requirements. That will simply make Quake 4 run. It will not, however, run well. If you are light on the PC hardware side, instead of investing in a new process and graphics card, you may want to pursue purchasing an Xbox 360. Quake 4 is due out in late November and there you won't have to worry about any system requirements.

Not only can the Doom 3 engine generate great indoor environments, Quake 4 takes it outdoors to reveal incredibly detailed open spaces. To witness the beauty of the alien areas of the game is almost worth the price of admission alone. Q4 also has very detailed models that move in a lifelike way and just appear to be slightly upgraded in all ways over the Doom 3 models. It is amazing what this game engine can do!

All of the sounds are just as sharp as the visuals are. Weapons shoot, explosions are heard, chaos erupts around you, and the voice work used is just great. This is war and I feel like I have heard exactly what this war would sound like in real life.

During the course of the single player adventure, you will have the opportunity to have your weapons upgraded by fellow marines. These upgrades increase the performance of your weapons and make them all much more enjoyable to use. This also gives the game a better feel. Instead of using the exact same weapon, you can now have it modified slightly. One problem with the weapons is that most of them aren't really needed until later levels. It is then that the gameplay really shines as you have a lot of choice for what weapon to effectively use.

Besides some vehicle machines that are a bit too easy, Quake 4 has rock solid gameplay that will keep you busy for some time. Once you master the single player campaign, you can jump online for some updated Q3 multiplayer madness. If you have the hardware to run it, this is definitely a game you want to own. We will also be covering the Xbox 360 version of this title--expected to ship in late November 2005. Hopefully it will bring all of the beauty and fun of the PC version to your TV and Xbox Live.

By Kaleb Rutherford - 11/10/05
ESRB Details: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language
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Screenshots for Quake 4

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