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(Nov 23, 2009)
We had no trouble creating a Quake Live account and beginning the game; the graphics looked great and everything seemed to operate as it should.
With the tutorial over, getting into a Quake Live game is easy. The maps are brilliant, it moves smoothly, the sound effects are perfect. The focus is on fun - it's not graphically violent, and many of the character models are quite silly - and it really is a breath of fresh air. The community features are good. You can find and invite friends easily, and join them in games. There are also extensive leaderboards, to see how great you are compared to your friends, or the entire world. It may look a bit old, and if you're a veteran, you might find the tutorial a chore, but it's such an enjoyable game to play, it's hard to hold this against Quake Live.
Quake III Arena was sublime, and that’s what this is: sublimity in a browser window. Every match is a white-hot opera of surging gunplay that leaves the crump-and-pew of rockets and rails ringing in your ears for minutes afterwards. It’s as immersive and pure an experience as it ever was, and it’s even hard to care that the engine is showing its age. Oh, and it’s free. What are you doing? Stop reading this now, open a browser window and sign up.
In conclusion, Quake Live has all the important advantages of a successful online game: freeware, low requirements, no installation needed, detailed statistics, impressive variety of maps and game types, skill management, online community and so on. I'll let the screenshots talk for themselves!
Quake Live is not flawless, but it is easy to play. Registration and installation, two hoops that some games make it surprisingly hard for players to jump through, couldn't be easier in Quake Live. Give it try. You will be surprised by how much fun a free old-school shooter can be.
Quake 3 may be an old game but now that it can be played for free right on your browser, it’s much more convenient and accessible. Quake Live is a no brainer for old veterans, but FPS players not familiar with the series should also check it out, provided they can look past the aged graphics.