"The fragfest franchise known as Quake has finally forged a way to the fore of Playstation 2 gaming with a frightfully fun first person shooter. This particular Quake game (Quake 3) has proved to be immensely fun in PC land and is wandering down the same path of greatness in this console adaptation. Quake 2 took you on a journey to hell and back pitting you against all kinds of hideous demons, but this title places more of a focus on sport. Quake 3 places you in all kinds of arenas against a numb..."
The fragfest franchise known as Quake has finally forged a way to the fore of Playstation 2 gaming with a frightfully fun first person shooter. This particular Quake game (Quake 3) has proved to be immensely fun in PC land and is wandering down the same path of greatness in this console adaptation. Quake 2 took you on a journey to hell and back pitting you against all kinds of hideous demons, but this title places more of a focus on sport. Quake 3 places you in all kinds of arenas against a number of foes in various games such as the ever-present deathmatch and capture the flag. It's a title that shows fleeting signs of brilliance and provides its fair share of madcap action, but doesn't quite slip into the upper echelon of console first person shooters.
The gameplay has the usual two distinct forms of play; there's the tournament mode in which battling alone is mandatory, along with multiplayer which can be played with or without friends (no more than four humans at a time please). Apart from a few minor differences it is very hard to tell these two forms of play apart from each other, so unless you're a real social gamer don't expect Quake 3 to be able to hold your attention for an overly long amount of time.
In the strictly single player mode you're taken through a gauntlet of approximately 25 levels. Each one has its own goal, kill a bunch of people, capture a white flag, whatever. These levels are split up into little clumps of five, these get progressively harder and each has its own challenge at the end which is a little more difficult than your standard deathmatch. There are actually 4 different difficulty levels for you to try your hand at if you feel so inclined, the easiest can almost be finished by Quake virgins whilst the hardest is only recommended for those with a death wish. Now once you've killed all of the people and captured all of the flags required of you there'll be a rather difficult boss waiting for you in 5 - 5. If one of the easier difficulty levels has brought you to this boss then you're going to be in for a nasty shock, those with little experience will be left in little pieces all over the stage. Just try and beat this guy on the toughest level and see what happens (Quake's developers take no responsibility for feet injuries caused by repeated kickings of ones television).
One aspect of this single player foray that is slightly intriguing is the implementation of an award system at the completion of each stage. There are 6 different awards, each one with a task that must be done to earn it. You may have to get 2 kills within a certain time frame or prove that you have outstanding accuracy, completion will net you powerful weapons and potent power-ups which can be used in the upcoming battles. So really, the more dominant you are the more you'll be rewarded. Aid may have been better spent on this that keep being destroyed by those pesky bots, but who's to say?
Another interesting feature is the power of your character, play further into the game and it gets stronger in all categories (speed, armour; etc)! Afterwards you can actually import this hyped up character into a multiplayer game and wreak havoc on your pals. This game seems focused on providing the stronger players with even easier victories, tsk tsk.
The multiplayer game has all the same game modes from the tournament, with a couple of new additions. You can have deathmatch, team deathmatch, deathmatch with just 1 weapon, capture the flag, capture the flag with just one flag, hold the flag...and on it goes. A limit of just 5 computer players has been placed on the game, but the arenas are fairly small and there should be enough skirmishes to satisfy. The difficulty levels previously mentioned can also be used with the bots, they can provide very challenging games to the majority of players and are never really push overs.
The weapons on offer here show a good amount of imagination and are well rounded. Every one of them can provide a quick kill, but all have their weaknesses and can be exploited. There's a nice range here, from the boring old guns that only use bullets as their means of extermination to the more outrageous arms such as the energy guzzling Lightning Gun and ferocious BFG. The levels they're placed in show a reasonable amount of imagination, but none of them will have you chanting their name to the heavens and playing them for weeks on end. It's always nice to have maps which offer advantages in certain places having hiding places and such, but these ones are a tad too simple for my liking. There also should have been a few more of them, there's not enough to prompt too many repeated rotations of your Quake CD.
The entire gameplay of Quake 3 would have to go down as only about average. The single player can provide some stellar moments but the multiplayer is workmanlike. Not fast enough, not enough levels and not enough computer players. The controls are hard to fault, everything can be fiddled with, so you don't really have anything to complain about. There are improvements that could have been made to this gameplay, but it's still a decent romp for most.
The graphics are pretty good as a whole, it runs in the highest of revolution for the most part and provides some gorgeous scenery. The maps take you to a number of locations, the most popular surroundings being space and gothic textures. There is a good amount of detail in everything you see around you, not up to par with some other shooters out there but it's not bad. The thing that really hurts the picture is the faded, boring look of everything. It is meant to be a gloomy kind of game but the morose button in MS-Paint has been pushed one too many times. Everything is very dark and miserable and it's easy to get sick of. The backgrounds look good when viewed in moderation, but will induce sleep with practice.
The characters aren't exactly the best or the prettiest, they have that same old washed out look and lack a good amount of detail. Their animations are ludicrous and they're just a little bit too small (that makes them harder to shoot). The weapons fare better, their ammo leaves lovely little trails when fired and they look imposing enough on the screen. These trails and other various effects are skimped on in a big way in multiplayer, it becomes even more basic and more boring. I suppose it was assumed that the ''action packed'' play would distract you from these comatose visuals.
Overall the graphics are a shade below par, this machine is capable of much more and I don't think that Quake 3 has quite pushed it to the limit. There are a few nice touched, but simply not enough to grab your attention in the longer run. The only way to jazz the screen up is by viewing it through infra-red goggles I'm afraid.
Packed full of the obligatory whiny guitar filled rock music and screams of pain this sound package spewed forth by Quake 3 offers nothing new to the listener. THe music track have been chosen to match the pace of the action, and chosen rather well, some of this music sounds rather good and is a decent provider of adrenaline but most of it fails to impress. It's always nice to have a little bit of variety and Quake has just that, but no matter what kind of music they're stuffing into your eardrums it's never really anything that will stand out or prompt a hurried search for the Quake 3 soundtrack.
Sound effects are rather good; full-bodied and meaty and all that. They fit their designated occasion nicely and provide a nice ambience. Cranking down the in-game sound and putting on a CD is sheer bliss, these sound effects can do little wrong. The screams of pain are good, the weapons all sound lethal and destructive, and that kindly voice-over lady has that calming effect that all of them seem to strive for. In general the sound effects do a good job and won't become grating to the eardrums in a hurry.
The term ''mixed bag'' is one that is overused these days, but I'm going to have to just go and use it all over again. The sound of Quake 3 is a mixed bag, the sound effects are rather good, but the background music is rather not good. It's tough to have one without the other, so you might as well just leave it turned up all the time. The sound scheme as a whole is a palatable one, and we'll just leave it at that.
The lifespan here is a reasonable one. You'll see the single player out to the end a number of times just to experience the range of difficulties, and if you've got a nice group of gaming friends then this enlongated lifespan will translate over to the multiplayer section as well. Without someone else to play with Quake can and will get boring, so if you plan to buy this game you better go out and make some friends quickly!
The Quake games have always boasted an impressive amount of fun, this one fails to let the rest of them down. Everything could be moved a shade quicker, but when it comes to simple balls to the wall shooting action Quake 3 will have you giggling and shrieking in pleasure. It can provide some truly divine moments and has enough to keep you enjoying until some of those maps eventually get boring to you.
The challenge is a nice, well-rounded one. Choose between 4, you'll soon find one that suits you, and then strive to work your way up to the next one. With enough practice the toughest computer foes can become easy enough to beat, but that takes a lot of hours to achieve. Nobody is going to become an instant legend, and for that reason the challenge of Quake 3 deserves to get a high score.
THE FINAL PARAGRAPH
In some areas I think I may have been a bit harsh on the game. The gameplay and graphics are by no means the worst out there, they're not even poor really. However Quake 3 doesn not provide us with anything in a FPS that we haven't seen before, and thus it just fails to stand up to others such as Red Faction and TimeSplitters. It is worth a look by all means, particularly for fans of the series. I just can't help but feel though that a persons money is better spent on various other PS2 titles. Renting this game is a good option, it's not a game that you really need to have for more than a week to get the gist of and having it any longer than that could just prove ultimately to be a waste of time.
- A great challenge in the single player mode
- Nice weapon design makes well rounded battles the order of the day
- Great sound effects enhance your experience
NOT SO GOOD POINTS
- You can tire of it quickly
- The graphics need some jazzing up desperately
- That last boss is one tough mofo
GAMEPLAY - 6/10
GRAPHICS - 6/10
SOUND - 7/10
LIFESPAN - 6/10
FUN FACTOR - 8/10
CHALLENGE - 9/10
OVERALL - 6.49/10
Score rounded down to 6 for GameFAQs purposes =D
Community review by kingbroccoli (April 25, 2004)
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