Winter!: Prepare for holiday gaming!
Quake 4 is an older game amongst the vast range of titles available to this platform. Being among the first titles overall, it is admittedly, dated. This aside, it can still be a decent game, and one that carries a decent story you can follow and get into..more or less.
Being an iconic name and originator in FPS and online multiplayer deathmach style play, my first concern was with the story itself. All the original games of this style shared one flaw, that being lack of story, Demonic beasts that force you to run through mazes to kill them (Doom), Demonic nazis that force you to run through a maze to kill them (Wolfenstein), Demonic aliens and humans that force you to run through city like mazes to kill them (Duke Nukem) and finally, demonic alien species that make you run through mazes to kill them (Quake).
Sliding this game into the tray for the first time, I was skeptical..what could they do to infuse life into this franchise? Well the story is fairly straight forward at first. You play space marine Matthew Kane, revered alien fighter and familiar name from previous Quake incarnations, who along with his squad, the fabled Rhino Squad, attacks the Stroggs home world in an attempt to finally destroy the species once and for all, after having destroyed the Leader of the Strogg (The Makron) in Quake 2. You deal with the usual miltary like bravado of the soldiers as you meet the other characters inthe story. Characters that come back at certain points along the story arc to provide you with either information or help at certain times in your various missions. The Other members of your units exhibit their own personality traits which starts to veer the game away from a boring shooter into one you can get into. Johann Strauss is a paranoid, and selfish engineer who provides some humourous interludes in the game, Lieutenant Voss is your CO and who ultimately you will have to kill as he become a mini boss towards the end of act 2. Nikolai "Sledge" Slidjonovitch enters into the game providing you support from time to time, as well as a host of others that provide assistance to your mission as well as add colour to the games stryline,.
Act 1 involves a mission to destroy the Nexus using an EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse) bomb, which goes awry in the end leading to your capture. Act 2 is where the game becomes more interesting storywise as during your capture, the Strogg transform you into one of their footsoldiers. After you are rescued by your fellow marines, you witness first hand a kind of racism as you are viewed as strogg and not human, even though the process to change you was not fully completed, you were able to maintain your own conscience. You become vital to the second mission though as your genetic makeup allows you to access areas of the Strogg bases that the human marines cannot. The Second Act sees you destroying a monstrous creature that is in the creation of the Strogg. Finally, the game finishes with you being sent on a mission to shut 3 towers down that will finally destroy the nexus and end the war. Again your genetic makeup proves pivotal to the mission as you and you alone can enter areas only strogg can Access.
As far as gameplay is concerned, the graphics are nice, although dated but that's unavoidable as the game was released in 2005. The game flows smoothly without alot of "jerkiness" seen in some games. Controls are very straight forward with basic movement, reload, shoot, zoom and jump options. Being an older game, there are no special moves or anything you need to memorize or a variety of button mashing techniques to memorize....its a straight run and gun game, which works for me.
The game uses an auto save as well as save on the fly options, which also worked for me as I was able to save at key points where autosave didn't initiate. Autosave though was problematic at times as when it did kick in, the game froze until the save was finished. Not a deal breaker in any way, but an annoyance none the less. With both the autosave and save on the fly features, you will need to manage a large number of save points in the game. I found myself deleting numerous times through my sessions to free up space and remove confusion. Loading games however, takes quite some time, so sit tight as each time you reload, you'll be waiting up to a minute.
Shooters pride themselves on the number and variety of weapon options, and Quake 4 is no different, Standard blaster (with unlimited ammo...the only weapon with that feature), machine gun, shot gun, nail gun, rail gun, rocket launcer, dark matter gun, lightning weapon, grenade launcer and a pulse weapon are bulk of whats available. Each has a limited supply of ammo, but reloads are available throughout the game. Another nice feature is each weapon is customizable, allowing for scopes on some weapons, higher damage output, tracking systems and larger magazines or faster reloads. These customizatons become available as you complete the game, co
Game Traits applied to Quake 4 (X360) by Chefjayman