Written by  :  MichaelPalin (1421)
Written on  :  Feb 22, 2006
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  1.57 Stars1.57 Stars1.57 Stars1.57 Stars1.57 Stars

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Can we say "$hit" in mobygames?

The Good

I think I'll probably win some enemies with this review about Quake 4, but seriously I can't find anything remarkable about this game. Maybe the design has been a hard work for the guys of Raven, and some models are rather cool. Aside from that, unless being an average game is something good, this game has nothing of interest.

Still, is obvious that if you are reading this you have probably enjoy the Quake series, and this game can be briefly described like a Quake 2 with modern graphics and sound and a bit of coop with other marines NPCs. And there are also vehicles, but this is not a good point of the game, actually.

There is also an improvement in graphics with respect to Doom 3. As in Doom 3, you need a very powerful machine to play it smooth, but at least here, you can take the shadows out whenever you want, what is very useful.

The Bad

I wander why there is usually very few reviews for games of the last year. I think that people here like to do good reviews and most of them are enough experienced to see that games are getting more and more repetitive and are rarely remarkable in some way and, therefore, nobody wants to make their review, their bad review.

Yes, Quake 4 is another FPS more and a bad one. And I dislike it specially because I liked the rest of the Quakes. The principal problem with Quake 4 is that it is a Quake without motivation, any other Quake were developed to be revolutionary in some way, but this one is just another FPS. I must admit, that some of the things I dislike about this game are present in the other Quakes too (specially Quake 2), and that I didn't dislike then because I was younger. In any case, they were more original then, ten years ago, and, the fact that they are here too is very sad.

The story is one big crap in this game. It's about US marines (the rulers of the year two-thousand-whatever) fighting an alien race. This is about bad aliens, so, like most of the marines vs. aliens games of the last years, they are brainless and violent and you better don't question the reasons of this war. As this is an Id game (not really, Raven is the company developing the game, a good proof that Id doesn't really care about the new Quake) the enemies are all a mix between rotten flesh and cybersomething, which was cool the first time but not the next ten times. As for the character development and dialogs you will only here things like "I'm a marine, bugga, bugga, bugga" and nothing more. Well, you don't really need to listen to what they say as you always know what to do: KILL!!. I think that in all those games where the marines save, not only the planet Earth, but all the galaxy, there could be very cool a "zero" weapon that makes the marine say: "I'm a marine" and all the enemies flee scared to the bones. Oh!, and, of course, you are not a random marine, you are the hardest marine ever.

So, once you are immerse in the story and you have some motivation to play the game, hordes of mindless enemies will attack you frontally, one after another in veeeery long levels of boredom. Some breaks in the routine will be the fight-with-friends levels and the combats in vehicles. The combat with vehicles were really frustrating, too, as the vehicles from the future seem to have very bad handling, and the levels were very poor designed. There is no need to pay attention to story through the levels, but if you want to know, is more or less like these: Bang, bang!, "oh!, those aliens are very hard", bang, bang!, "oh!, here comes supermarine, he will save us all", pium, pium!, supermarine: "arghh!, they've catch me, and they are transforming my body into a monster, but as I can kill more, now I'm happier", kaboom!, pium, pium!, "look, is supermarine, now is one of them, no he is not, but as he has some silly mental link to the big boss now we know where it is", bang, pium!, "let's kill it", "supermarine, here the boss (the god one), for some reason only you can enter the big boss level, no matter if you are a teenager with problems to communicate with others, the destiny of the universe depends on you and blah, blah, blah", so you fight the final boss (a really silly one), you lose, the aliens win... then you load again until you win and everyone is happy. Of course, supermarine still wants more action.

As for the graphics, if you have play Doom 3, half of the textures are from this game, so you can imagine how it is. Sometimes you wont know if you are playing Quake or Doom, remember, hellish monster with some dignity: Doom 3; silly aliens: Quake 4. I must say that the Doom 3 engine seems very artificial to me. When playing Doom 3 (which I like), the final look was very positive to me, the graphics make their job very good, but in Quake 4 I really have the feeling that everything is very poor, as in a sci-fi B-movie. I have the same feeling with Gears of War trailer (Unreal 3 engine), somehow, the new hyper realist graphical engines don't look real to my eyes. In addition, I find the level design very unoriginal, I'm going to explain this in a more wider context: the sci-fi nonsense.

As there are humans in outer space, I presume this comes later than Doom 3, which happens in 2146, I think. Doom 3 was actually another sci-fi nonsense, so this one is a sci-fi stupidity. If you played Doom 3 you may have noticed the dated weapons, the PDA technology 150 years after its development, the lack of some futuristic war technology: the soldiers seem to walk while fighting, there's no jet-pack, nor jumping assisted by the suit, nor communication center integrated on helmet, nor nothing. In Quake 4 you can even watch some Sargent with a ridiculously big laptop. Plus, the only thing that vehicles in Quake 4 have futuristic is that they float in the air, but any vehicles with wheels moves better than those. Of course, the fact that US Marines still exist in 2150+ is rather childish, but if technological sci-fi concept of Quake 4 is laughable, we can't expect nothing of social sci-fi. And I must insist on how stupid is the idea of futuristic buildings and spaceships with all the tubes and cables and air conducting stuff visible and accessible, Halo was maybe a better example of how a futuristic setting should look like. I don't think it is a good idea to make buildings in Mars more depressing than Mars itself, the people living there will go nuts for sure. Well, some of these ideas are very difficult to confirm, but is not that hard to use a bit your imagination to do something plausible, at least.

The Bottom Line

Less than average FPS, a shame for Quake series, and a shame for videogame world. Your children shouldn't play this game, not because of the violence (which can make a 5 years old child laugh), but because they going to waste their time. It's sad, but I don't think that Id need to change their philosophy, the usual game of the '00s is as insubstantial as Quake 4 is, and we can't ask them to do something better, because they don't know. At least, Doom 3 was much better than Quake 4, and maybe we can still expect average games with groundbreaking graphics from the guys of Id.