Sunday, August 28, 2022

Quake 4 (PC) Review

I finished this game on Saturday, June 6, 2009, 11:49:00 PM. This review was first published on GameSpot on June 7, 2009.

For the first time ever, a Quake game is not developed in house by id Software. Raven Software, the developers of Soldier of Fortune, were entrusted with the job of creating a new Quake game. The story continues right after Quake 2, where the unnamed marine destroyed the Makron, and the player, as a part of Rhino squad has to secure the planet of Stroggos.

Graphics are stunning. Shadows are very realistic and add atmosphere to the game. There are a few low resolution background textures, which stand out poorly in comparison. Indoor levels look fantastic. Player and enemy models are rich in details and fluid in movement. Doom 3 engine really shines here.

A word has be said about the hydraulics in the game. As you can see in the video (00:29), they are these elaborate set pieces, and while you cannot call them beautiful, they are awe inspiring mechanical marvels. Its fairly obvious that a lot of work went to designing these machines throughout the game. I have never played a game which had this kind of environment, where machines are so well created.

Sound quality is good, and weapons sound better than they did in Doom 3. I enjoyed using the shotgun a lot, it packs a lot of punch, and it is very lethal at close range.

Most of the weapons here are variants of the old ones, which work very well for the game, but I thought the BFG was somewhat lacking the power of its predecessors. Quake II and Quake III had better BFG. I was hoping to see a BGF that was similar to Quake III.

Vehicle section are basic, but fun, and they break up the action very well. I particularly enjoyed the mech walker level.

Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the game is the potential that was left unexplored. About a quarter of the way through the game, the player is captured by the Strogg, and undergoes a ‘Stoggification’ process. This involves a rather gruesome bioengineering process where the limbs are severed, and mechanical counterparts are attached in their place. The brain is implanted with a neuro chip which when activated, turns the human into a Strogg. Kane is rescued just before the activation is complete, and so remains as a human with Strogg implants.

The developers had the chance to turn the game around with this, and yet, we never get to see any real gameplay changes. There is a slight health increase, and it is now possible to read the letters on the walls, pass through some portals towards the end, but nothing much else. There are no abilities to be gained here. So, that part was disappointing. It would have made a difference between a good shooter and a great.

Overall, my reaction to this game is very positive. This is a fantastic game, albeit it does not utilize its full potential. Given that the game is very cheap and latest official patch will make the game work without the CD/DVD (that’s the kind of support I’d like to see from developers), it must be bought and played.

+ Stunning visuals
+ Lots of action
+ Plenty of weapons
+ Fairly long single player

- Missed out on better game play

Verdict: Must buy

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