Quake 4 review


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Buy your copy from Amazon.com Quake 4 (2005) starhalf starno starno starno star Publisher: Activision
Category: Shooter
Available for: Xbox 360, PC
Buy from Amazon.com

Well, it’s official: the wait for “Quake 4” was not worth it. It’s a shame, really, because I was hoping for the greatness that “Quake 2” embodied that was subsequently lost in “Quake 3.” Let’s all just give it up for Valve right now and hand them the FPS crown for the still unbeatable “Half Life 2.” The boys at id Software are just not fulfilling their potential anymore. But times change, and video games jump by leaps and bounds from year to year, and with this jump, the “Quake” franchise has been left in the dust.

But let’s get the big gripe out of the way first in regards to this game. I don’t feel I should have to go out and plunk down a couple hundred bucks for a new graphics card just so I can remotely begin to enjoy a new game. “Quake 4” and its “Doom 3” engine are bullshit, period. I would have figured that any computer with a 2.80 gigahertz Pentium processor and a 128 megabyte GeForce FX graphics card should easily be able to handle any game that comes down the pike. Well, this is not the case when it comes to “Quake 4.” I had to tweak the card so much that I finally got to play this game at its lowest graphics and color depth setting, and it still didn’t play smoothly in places.

It’s a shame that game developers feel the need to pull this crap on gamers as of late. It’s not fair, especially when the computer I have is only a couple months old; and it was enough money to spend on that alone. But developers feel the need to make these games that push a system’s power to the point where you literally do have to start thinking about spending a couple hundred or so just so you can enjoy one of their games. It’s to Valve’s credit that “Half-Life 2” is enjoyable and runs smoothly on not so gutsy systems, but still has the option of being a powerhouse if need be.

So what’s the point of playing a game that you really can’t? Who knows? But getting to the game itself, “Quake 4”’s solo player mode finds you as Matthew Kane, a member of the Rhino Squad set out to defeat the Strogg race and the Stroggos planet itself. This time around, you have technicians and medics on your side, which smacks of “The Thing” in more ways than one, so the game is already taking a couple steps back. There are outdoor fighting environments this time as well, plus battles with tanks and these mechanized walkers that look like giant spiders.

The multiplayer option is pretty much underway with user created maps and the like, but honestly there weren’t that many people playing when I tried it out, or there were just clan games going on that were locked out to non-members. Big whoop. Not that it really matters, because the whole game was such a pain in the ass, from the long installation times to the time spent tweaking my system to run it at a low mode that it just wasn’t much fun at all. By the time I did get around to playing the game, I had greatly lost interest. Kudos to you, id, for making a complete monster out of a once-great series.

So for those of you out there who do have one of those systems that can handle a power hog like “Quake 4,” have at it. As far as I’m concerned, id Software dropped the ball here, and will undoubtedly be pissing off a lot of gamers this holiday season who also don’t have a souped-up system to handle the game. In any case, you’re better off spending your money on any number of better games out there. So long, “Quake.” I hope the Stroggs pound the crap out of some programmers.

~Jason Thompson