By Sam Coles:
Quake alongside Doom has to be one of my favourite first person shooter franchises because the games have nothing to do with each other except the name. However in 2005 Raven Software were tasked to make a direct sequel to Quake II simply named Quake 4 and I often hear on the internet that this game is bad and is the black sheep of the Quake series and I don’t understand why. In my opinion this was one of the last traditional first person shooters of the time before the modern military shooter took over.
The game takes place after the events of Quake II where a lone space marine took down the Strogg leader and you play as Matthew Kane where you go in and clear the rest of the Strogg out. A lot of people have a go at this game due to the story which I would say you’re stupid if you’re expecting a good story from early id software games because John Carmack was dead against the heavy use of stories in games. Quake 4 has a basic set up and lets you get on with it with very few interruptions.
Quake 4 like F.E.A.R was one of the last traditional first person shooters of the era before regenerating health and linear corridors took over. You go through each level completing objectives, finding new weapons and picking up med kits and armour. The shooting in this game is fantastic with great feedback from all the weapons, even the starting pistol has kick to it which if you’ve played the new Doom games the pistol is usually effective as harsh language. My favourite weapon has to be either the nail gun or the hyper blaster with a high level of output as you destroy legions of enemies. Each weapon has an upgrade such as being able to lock on with the nail gun to the less fun scope on the machine gun.
Visually the game looks fantastic considering it came out nearly 12 years ago and it’s a launch title for the Xbox 360, it was during this time that games utilised dynamic lighting with games like F.E.A.R, Doom 3 and Far Cry which don’t see in games anymore. It does take a lot of aspects from Doom 3 in terms of the presentation with dark corridors with nothing but a faint light at the end of the tunnel, this can evoke some tension as you go from all out gunfights to a slow paced and tense situation and it almost becomes a horror game.
The only problem I had with this game was the performance and I was playing this on the 360 so it might not apply to the PC version, the game runs on an uncapped frame rate and this can vary from smooth to dips below 20 fps in busy segments. It doesn’t happen too often but it can kill the pace when it does happen.
Quake 4 is a great game and I don’t understand why it gets the negative attention it gets because it’s a solid shooter experience. If you have a 360 or PC pick it up its super cheap these days and won’t break the bank.