developer: Raven Software
publisher: Activision Blizzard
Game mode: single player
Multiplayer mode: local network / Internet
The fourth installment of the cult first-person shooter series for PC and X360, developed by Raven Software (the creators of Hexen: Beyond Heretic and Star Wars: Jedi Knight II – Jedi Outcast, among other titles) under strict supervision of id Software.
The action of Quake 4 takes place right after the conclusion of 1997’s Quake II. The nameless commando who had decided to traverse the planet of the Strogg by himself defeated the main opponent, Macron. The painful blow dealt to the aliens did not seal their fate, though. The remains of the enemy forces managed to regroup and created a new threat. Moreover, the Strogg brought a new Macron to life, much more dangerous than the last one. A special commando unit, codenamed Rhino Squad, goes into action. Their task is simple: get rid of the aliens once and for all.
Similarly to Quake II, the gameplay focuses on the single player mode. Matthew Kane—the commando that we assume the role of—will have to rely not only on his firearms skills but also depend on his squadmates that take an active part in the campaign against the Strogg. Despite the huge dose of action, both in open space, and in close-quarters corridors of alien installations, Quake 4 for PC and X360 features simple quests that involve, for example, carrying an object from one spot to another, and so on—just like its older brother.
In the game, there is a theme of medical experimentation conducted by the Strogg on humans (some of them we could already watch in Quake II). While fighting, Kane is also subjected to the morally questionable procedures after having been captured. Thanks to them, we receive special implants that let him wreak even greater havoc. As far as traditional weapons are concerned, no drastic changes were introduced. The old and tried weaponry—for example, Nailgun, Hyper Blaster, Railgun, Shotgun, and the Lightning Gun from the original Quake—are back. If that wasn’t enough, Quake 4 lets us drive several vehicles. Fast driving combined with extermination of monsters is one of the highlights of the title.
Enemy character models also draw inspiration from the series’ roots. Well-known opponents, such as Berserkers, Gunners, and Grunts, make a reappearance in the game. While playing, we will also encounter sinister characters responsible for medical experiments, powerful bosses, and Macron himself—a giant robot covered with living tissue.
The program is powered by the latest graphics engine created by id Software for Doom 3. Perfect play of lights and shadows brilliantly blends with huge buildings erected by the Strogg. The developers made sure that, apart from claustrophobic locations shrouded in dark, we can visit many open spaces that impress with the grand scale of the structures we see. The game also retains the spirit of Quake II by the fact that there is a myriad of symbols and flags from the 1997’s installment of the series to be found as well as the unique architectonic style characteristic of the Strogg to be seen.
PC / Windows
Recommended: Pentium 4 2 GHz, 512MB RAM, 64MB graphic card, 2.8 GB HDD, Windows 2000/XP
Microsoft Xbox 360
Uses: Xbox Live