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Quake 4 Preview

New York City September 22, 2005.
This morning I met with Activision and id about Quake 4. This involved a lot of playing the PC version and some playing of the Xbox 360 version. This preview is tainted positively because I have so much fun killing everything that moves. Quake 4 is a whole lot of fun in single player story mode. A sort of edgy fun. The kind of edgy fun that involves invading your enemy's home world with a pistol.

Quake 4 is really the sequel to Quake 2 in story mode and Quake 3 in multi-player mode (supports up to 16 players). id brings the both of best worlds together in Quake 4. So here's the story. The ground assault begins on the Strogg home world. You play Matthew Kane of Rhino Squad, a squad of elite ground troops. You're on the ground just outside the Strogg fortress. Fight your way in and...at this point who cares? I know all I need to know. I kill the Strogg and protect my comrades in Rhino Squad. Now let's start killing.

If you'd like to view the slideshow click here.

The Strogg are a nasty bunch. Improved AI means that they take cover and set up crossfires where they can. And they like to hide around corners and come out shooting. You follow missions that are usually spoken to you by some commanding officer. If it's a major mission then the objective appears on screen as well. Then you make your way through dark hallways where evil lurks around every corner and across battlefields that are pure chaos to accomplish this goal.

It looked great on PC, very crisp and clear, tons of detail in the character modeling. You get all the bloody gore in crystal clear detail, blood splatter and all. The pacing of the game is very good. There are places to fight and places not to fight. There is a high degree of suspense, where surprises literally made me jump (and start firing). This is a guns blazing kill all the aliens kind of game.

And then suddenly you become one of the aliens after being surgically altered to become a Strogg. From this point on this game is just crazy. Running from battle to battle in a frenzy of destruction. Once in a while I paused to look at a beautiful backdrop, a city in the distance, the sun setting on the far side of a valley. Ahhhh, so peaceful. Now back to the killing! Quake 4 looks good and feels good. Controls are responsive and targeting is accurate.

The Xbox 360 version is every bit as beautiful as the PC version. Everything is a little bit brighter than on the PC. Multi-player mode only supports 8 players, 4 player split screen, coop or not, with a system link cable you can play 4 on 4. The 360 version includes Quake 2 updated to run at a higher resolution.

I am eager to get my hands on the final version. This game is tons of fun if you like killing stuff.

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