Quake 4 (PC) Review

By Athanasios 04.07.2016

Review for Quake 4 on PC

It's not 1996 anymore. The year is 2005; one year after Half-Life 2, and a year before… well, a gazillion other FPS titles. To put it bluntly, this is no longer an age where the only competitors are Quake and Unreal. Using Doom 3's slightly altered id Tech 4, Quake 4 tries to bring some life to an almost dead franchise… by offering nothing new whatsoever.

Like Doom 3 before it, Quake 4 doesn't really care about the multiplayer. This is all about the campaign, which tries to be immersive, as well as fun to play through. Is it? Well, without going into detail, it's sort of like any iteration of the Call of Duty franchise. In other words, it is immersive, and yet, that's not really saying much. The players will "feel" that they are Matthew Kane, the lone soldier that will strike a blow into the heart of the alien Strogg empire, but they won't really care. Killing the enemy is cathartic… but not that emotive.

It should be noted that this ride, while powered from Doom 3's id Tech 4, doesn't follow the same path, which means that, instead of leaning more to horror, this feels more like WWII… IN SPAAACE!!! The shift in mood means several things. For starters, the environment looks quite boring. The beauty of this graphic engine had to do with how dynamic lighting and darkness managed to complement some, otherwise, dull places. Unfortunately, that beauty is lost here, since this isn't any more about "super sci-fi" labs and hellish caverns, but more about Earth-like rusty steel, army-green plastic, and Mars-like red sand - and throughout the whole freaking game!

Screenshot for Quake 4 on PC

The really big problem, however, lies in the action, which has always been the core in all of id Software's creations. Again, compared to Doom 3, it's a lot faster, the weaponry has more "kick," and the enemies are more aggressive. Compared to the rest, however, there's nothing special about it. In other words, this is like the very old Quake II; a title that shook the earth back then, but didn't have what it takes in order to remain relevant to this day.

Unlike, for instance, F.E.A.R., enemies are the typical morons of old-school FPS. They run towards the main character, they shoot at him, and they sometimes scream at him. All it takes to shoot them down is a full magazine and sheer brute force… and a little bit of good ol' strafing, of course. Furthermore, the levels, typical of most modern shooters, are stupefyingly linear and full of scripted "surprises," with doors locking in order to funnel the player into the only path available, where a "scary" ambush will occur.

There are only two "innovations" here, and they don't really help that much. Firstly, some missions require boarding a vehicle, but both of these instances are pretty boring; the hover-tank battle lasts too long, and the bipedal tank ride is too slow. The second thing revolves around the so-called Stroggification, where Matthew Kane will be transformed into a Strogg. The presentation of this 100% first-person sequence is surely quite intense, but, gameplay-wise, it doesn't really change things that much. Kane will be able to read Strogg text, operate Strogg machinery, and go through Strogg security lasers, but it would all feel the same if he had remained a simple human.

Screenshot for Quake 4 on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Id Software relied on its popularity and technical prowess for way too long, and in the process almost destroyed its two, once legendary, franchises - evident by how boring and unimaginative Quake 4 turned out to be (which, by the way, wasn't even created by it). Luckily, the developer turned over a new leaf, and gave the world the magnificent Wolfenstein, and Doom reboots, which both fused the old with the new. Hopefully, the same will happen with the fifth Quake, if it ever gets developed.

Developer

Raven Software

Publisher

Activision

Genre

First Person Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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