Quake 4

Quake 4

Never ever tell a cybernetic beast his legs look like Martian toothpicks.


Quake 4 picks up mere seconds after Quake II (no, we didn't miscount - the multiplayer-only Quake III: Arena wasn't part of the Quake storyline). You play as Matthew Kane, a soldier in an invasion force that breaks through the hole in the defenses of humanity's greatest interstellar enemy, the Strogg. It's up to you to take down remaining enemy munitions, penetrate the heart of the Strogg empire, and teach your alien adversaries that two can play at genocide.


Quake 4 has the same production values, run-and-gun gameplay, graphic nature, and game engine as Doom 3 - but Quake 4 looks more impressive, because its environments are more open, and it doesn't hide its textures in darkness. Your main weapons are your trusty infinite-ammo pistol and machine gun, and both sport a technological breakthrough: a barrel-fixed flashlight (something Doom 3 sorely lacked). Other classic Quake weapons include your trusty shotgun, HyperBlaster, grenade launcher, rocket launcher, rail gun, and nail gun (the Strogg gatling gun). The new Dark Matter Gun can shoot a sphere of dark energy, causing plenty of splash damage. The only things missing from your arsenal are secondary functions on firearms and grenades to bounce off walls. Quake 4 also offers some vehicular combat: The nimble hover tank fires a heavy cannon and carries defensive machine guns, good for knocking out guided missiles. The large robotic walker sports heavy machine guns and missiles. Unfortunately, the vehicles only appear a few times in the game - and not at all in multiplayer mode.


Quake 4 has some basic squad-based missions in which you follow computer-controlled Marines while watching your friendly fire. Your AI squadies do a good job of distracting enemies and staying out of your way. The Medic and Techie give you free health and armor, as well, but they all run ahead to your next linearly scripted objective and wait for you to catch up while you look for hidden goodies, quashing any feeling of being the ranking soldier. If Quake 4 allowed you more control over your squadmates, it would stand out from other standard shooters with squadrons.


Quake 4 has the strongest story-driven single-player game of all the Quake and Doom series (which isn't saying a whole lot), but most gamers are into Quake for the online multiplayer mode. The online gameplay is reminiscent of Quake III: Arena, with a 16-player-per-map limit and standard deathmatch, team deathmatch, tourney, and capture-the-flag modes. Add Arena setting to those modes, and you get speed, double-damage, and other power-ups all over the map. Quake 4 features in-game cross-platform multiplayer support, so you can frag peecee gamers yet again. Mac gamers can even host their own online games - imagine not waiting for a Quake 4 server to open up! Too bad the vehicles don't show up in multiplayer mode.
Quake 4 demands more resources than Doom 3, but offers more bang for the buck - and if you're playing on an Intel-based Mac, you're in luck: Quake 4 is a Universal app.


The bottom line. Quake 4 is a must-have for gamers looking for traditional first-person shooter action.


Intergalactic tollbooth workers demand exact change.



CONTACT: 512-708-8100, www.aspyr.com
PRICE: $49.99
REQUIREMENTS: 1.67GHz G4, Mac OS 10.3.9 or later, 512MB RAM, 64MB ATI Radeon 9600 or nVidia GeForce 6600 or better, 3GB disk space, DVD drive
Awesome graphics. Fun single-player mode. Great Quake III: Arena-inspired multiplayer mode.
No vehicles in multiplayer mode. Basic guns. Haven't we done this before?





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