Quake III: Arena (Windows)

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Written by  :  Tomer Gabel (4644)
Written on  :  Jan 11, 2000
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars

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A great multiplayer game, but if you're not a multiplayer fan stay away.

The Good

This game has one of the best 3D engines to date. I disagree with people saying that it's the best as I find Unreal more appealing (haven't played Tournament yet), but the eye-candy is definitely amazing. The 3D engine is great in complexity and generally beautiful. The AI is one of the best I've encountered yet, unlike the veritable stupidity of the bots in Unreal. The bots in Quake III behave reasonably well and human-like (although are simply too difficult in high levels) and the only single player experience available in this game is quite satisfying. The level design is amazing, my personal favorite being The Longest Yard, and the levels are fairly large and allow a great deal of gameplay. The sound effects are excellent (the music isn't all that good though) and the A3D implementation is awesome.

Also noteworthy are the support for hardware transform and lighting (a la GeForce 256) and support for Symetrical Multiprocessing (SMP), which gives an incredible speed bost on dual-processor sysmtems.

The Bad

AI is way too difficult in the higher levels (read: hardcore, or even worse, nightmare) and simply does not miss with the railgun, which is rather annoying. The 3D engine is very slow on relatively modest hardware: last year's near-best computer (my P2-350 with Riva TNT and 128mb memory) is this year's sludge, and I can get more than 30 frames per second in 640x480, 32 bit colour (23ish if I turn A3D on). The music simply sucks (too heavy on the bass and too lenient on the quality).

I'm also personally against the concept of a multiplayer oriented game (including Unreal Tournament), especially because although working on the fastest reasonably acheivable internet connection in Israel (single-channel ISDN), I still get a 450-500ms ping rate, which makes gaming practically impossible, and I don't have LAN-parties on a regular basis.

The Bottom Line

A great game which emphasizes multiplayer gaming. If you're a single-player fan like me, stay away from it.