Quake 4

aka: Q4
Moby ID: 19650
Windows Specs

Description official descriptions

Quake 4 is the true sequel to Quake II, continuing the Strogg vs. Humans storyline from the point where Quake II ended. The Strogg is an alien cyborg race which, much like the Star Trek Borg race from which they seem to be partly inspired, wander the galaxy conquering planets and wiping civilizations. Their sole purpose is to collect organic body parts with which to swell their ranks. After a prolonged war, the united armed forces of Earth decided to launch a desperate counter attack on the home planet of the invaders, Stroggos. By some twist of fate a sole marine was able to disable the Strogg main planetary defense (aka The Big Gun) and kill Makron, their leader. That was the end of Quake II. The second wave of attack is meant to land on Stroggos and take advantage of the brief disorder, ending the threat of the Strogg forever. Of course it will not be that easy...

This time the lone soldier theme (of Quake I, II and the Doom series) is replaced by a war. Not as large scale as a military FPS or even Halo, but close enough. There are squad mates, some of which are important to protect, some vehicles (a hovertank and a mech) and frequently changing objectives to achieve. The arsenal contains elements from all Quake games (nailgun, rail gun, lightning gun) and the classic BFG has been replaced by the Dark Matter Gun. Weapons can be improved later in the game, making them much more effective. The game uses a somewhat improved version of the Doom 3 engine to good effect. Multiplayer options are rather limited, offering only the standard Deathmatch modes and CTF.

Quake 4 was developed by Raven under the guidance of id Software.

Spellings

  • 雷神之锤4 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

225 People (212 developers, 13 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 77% (based on 64 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 117 ratings with 8 reviews)

This game puts the “whore” in “war-gasm”, because you can't spell “stupid” without “id”

The Good
Quake IV is the prettiest “ugly game” you can allow your retinas to feast on in recent years besides DOOM3. There are lots of amazing lighting and particle effects. Characters and environments are richly detailed. And I don't know how anyone can get excited over this, but rocks look like… rocks. Yah, so go think about that the next time you're not singing in the shower.

Also, Quake IV is true to its roots as a gore-filled meat-bag red corpuscle buffet that infuses every possible moment with gory, horrifying death. Quake IV knows there's a macabre delight from this spectacle and provides it with giddy aplomb. This game is great that way and never ever shies away. This game isn't just violent, it's enjoyably violent. This is not so much exemplified by the game play (people's brains don't explode out of their body—as they should, like in DOOM3) as it does with the wanton cruelty you witness performed by the Strogg. From the first image you see of a disembodied corpse with a hole in its head (hey, how can that be a spoiler?) to all the medical experiments done on captured humans it's all a regular Rob Zombie flick, straight out of Fangoria. Best of all is the one scene you see from a first person POV that you are helpless to do anything otherwise. (it's the Disney theme park ride you can't get off, so hat's off to id for this level of high game immersion which doesn't hold us back at arms length. I hope further games include such ridiculousness… so break a leg!)

The in-game interface is an amazing piece of design, something seen previously in DOOM3. The weapon crosshair becomes the mouse cursor when put upon an in-game computer, which never detracts you from all the killing you need to do. Such an easy and efficient method will surely be copied in future games.



The Bad
The original DOOM was a watershed moment in videogames; that little game from an upstart developer named id would introduce to teenagers worldwide the dominant genre of videogames for years to come in the West (if not the world): the first person shooter. Besides being influential in other notable areas like shareware and use of graphic violence, DOOM would foist upon us the videogame equivalent of the dumb summer blockbuster; from then onwards gamers would forever flock to the loudest and shiniest new piece of emperor's clothing dangling before them.

While most people enjoyed the exciting game play of being Heaven's custodian cleaning up Hell's minions with a double-barreled mop, what is more memorable are the graphics: the way the game allowed the player to enjoy the visceral experience of snuffing out life from a first person view just as though you are really there, sleeves rolled up, mopping away, something that hadn't been widely seen before (oh, stop it with the Wolfenstein howling) This type of POV also added to the thrill ride by properly setting up a dark and suspenseful atmosphere that made it a truly frightening experience, allowing said teenagers to test their manhood whilst squeal with that high annoying pre-pubescent yelp.

Two whole paragraphs written about the amazing ability of DOOM to blend game play and technology to create a product whose sum is more than it's parts, and what does a game developer hear? Graphics!! Screw the game play and story!! People only want to see the latest in geek special effects. After Luke's successful Death Star trench run in Star Wars (1977), the rise of the movie blockbuster encouraged movie makers to focus on this formula: a pretty spectacle that will wow eyeballs and fill seats with bums and make profit.

And that's how it is with Quake IV, a game made by the same company that started this trend. However, id is not the same company of misfits who set out to change the world; id is only interested in maintaining the status quo by giving us yet another empty game of wonderful bump mapping and dynamic lighting effects. A great game great graphics does not make. I don't care if the Strogg I'm fragging has beads of sweat that fall off his Strogg nose using highly developed sweat physics rendered individually in real time as influenced by the randomly generated nose hairs which are generated according to each specific Stroggs gene pool, if the game doesn't tell a good story with good game play then what's the point?

This complete adherence to the dogma of consistently striving for cutting edge graphics is wrong. Completely wrong. Folks, this is the same cup and ball game you've been playing for about twenty years, only now you're playing with a nicer cup (or for you ladies, a nicer ball). The AI in Quake IV really hasn't improved; you play this game as you would Quake II, which again plays a lot like the first DOOM. Enemies don't flank you or work together as a squad or take cover as though it would actually save their life, usually you have the FPS standard kamikaze death run (and see how well that worked back in WWII?). You use the same tactics—like move close to some guy, have him use his melee move on you, back away and use your shotgun, rinse and repeat.

Hey, you multimillion dollar fat-cat game makers: how about giving us gamers an AI enemy who can actually outsmart us? Stop overwhelming us with sheer numbers and program an enemy who actually wants to win. I don't care if the next id game has us battling that blocky tank from Atari 2600's “Combat” just so long as it wants to fight me and will do everything it can to succeed. If the new millennia can't give us cars that can fly well then just give me that, will ya?

This old “one hero against a million” has gotten very old over the years. This premise of a plot damages any credence the story tries to establish if you don't acknowledge it as other good games have managed to do. This untalkative grunt is the one person who will succeed (cause it's the story of Quake IV), but why should we care? Why does he do it? Yes, he's solider following orders, but why does he succeed? Why him and not the other guy not named “Cain” who actually speaks? Why don’t we ever know his side of the story? If your protagonist doesn't talk, then why give him a name and a face? And won't you game designers stop calling bad mofo's “Cain”; if this guy is so bad ass well then you can hire one more voice actor so the character can tell me himself, right?

I remember clearly this story from some id hotshot when Quake came out. Some Guy Lombardo flush with pride from the success of DOOM was being asked what the story of Quake is, to which he scoffed. Guy said something along the lines of, “Story? We don't need a (stinkin') story. Did Pac-Man have a story? No!” Of course, the next Quake would have the Strogg storyline, and then of course the next Quake 3 Arena would not. This return of the Quake series to the Strogg-Earth storyline is not a good move unless you have a story to tell. A new story. Why is there a war? The Strogg leaders may want human body parts to arm their war effort, but what does the common Strogg want? How does planet Earth go about invading the Strogg homeworld when Earth finally runs out of resources? What happened to the guy in Quake II (which, of course, is you again). How is this game Quake IV besides the title and the trademark?

You might say this type of questioning is irrelevant in a FPS, but if you’re going to spend 20 some-odd hours in a campaign it should interest you for the whole of that time. Furthermore, id really does away with the story by completely negating the story from the previous Quake II. Remember how you slogged your way through it, hour after hour and level after level, until your final confrontation with that damned Makron when you put a smackdown on that bitch, his being armed with BFG’s in his armpits notwithstanding? Well, SPOILER ALERT it doesn't mean a cold witch's teat because they just made a new Makron! What kind of story is that? It's like saying you didn't save humanity when you beat Quake II, it was all a dream! That means whatever you hope to accomplish in Quake IV doesn’t amount to a thimble of mouse piss because it will all be negated in time for Quake V, which by then will feature all enemy grunts who all look different from one another with band-aids, gangsta tats, and customized Afros who slowly slid leather gloves onto their seven-fingered hands as they perform a kamikaze death rush at you.

As a lowly grunt you continually receive orders as what to accomplish next. However, the game's inclusion of letting you see your mission objective with a mapped key is a complete sham. It doesn't matter if your next goal is to turn on the coolant rod if you have no map to see where you are going. This game is completely linear; all you have to do is go to a new area and throw some switches. Barring that you should backtrack to a area with monsters, do your trick with your gun and they way will be made clear. This is the game’s trick to masquerade itself as something more complex, like as though you need good navigational skills or if the decisions you make have an outcome on the game. This is DOOM I all over again, hunting down the yellow key or whatnot.

This constant mention of DOOM is well deserved because Quake IV is the exact same game as DOOM3. You heard me. You take the latter and put it outside with vehicles and bad team combat and it's the same. They may have different objectives however (DOOM3 tries to scare you witless and Quake IV tries to shock you with gore, the former being very unsuccessful to us po-mo know-it-alls). You know, it was cute when that has-been Scorsese ripped himself off by making “Casino” (1995) after he did “Goodfellas” (1990), but how can you blame him? At the time he hadn't won an Academy Award yet. Scorsese was desperate for praise and acceptance, and would later get it with that timewaster “The Departed” (2006) (go see the original “Internal Affairs” (2002) with Andy Lau and Tony Leung).

Scorsese had a reason. You, id, are just turning a fast buck, you filthy hawkers you. So, two games, released a year apart, same graphics engine, same premise: silent but named marine/grunt is given orders by higher command to take on the impossible odds of a unquestioning evil horde and win, all the while not knowing what his own motives are, all the while with using amazing graphics and predicable AI.

Just like DOOM3 before it, Quake IV is all the same thing, over and over again. It’s a war-gasm that stretches out as long as your hand can handle it. It that frag high you just wish would keep going on and on and on. The pacing is handled poorly where it’s either intense firefights or drudging through pointless exposition to do something you don't understand. (Nexus wha?) The game play is of the uber-macho type: Quake IV (like DOOM3) punishes the player over and over again. It isn't challenging your wits, it's asking you if you have “dem mad skillz” to withstand this onslaught. The game is directly asking you, “Are you macho enough to endure me?” This questioning of your sexual orientation goes right down to the high system requirements required to handle this resource pig. Well, if you’re going to punish me, what about a reward? (my dom is always sure to reward me or I don’t pay!) The game never acknowledges this; Quake IV says the tough punishing game play is it’s own reward, as though playing it is a good and just deed. I'm going to save the Earth, am I? Well how about a cool rendered cut-scene with the half-naked female Strogg leader, or a funny scene that is somewhat funny? (that Russian character is cool, natch).

Also, what's up with the future being so ugly? Before the humans invaded, wasn't the planet a nice place to live? Don't Strogg families go out a walk pushing the tram along the boulevard? Okay, maybe Strogg aren't born as much they are assembled out a pile of ass and elbows, but what do they do there except build ugly space stations? Strogg architects have all the sensibility of a hack who has only seen movie “Aliens” (1986) over and over again. Game environments shouldn't be just made so that you can have cool battles in them, they should exist on their own with their own reasons for existing. Hey, before you bust up this tea house with your kung fu, what do Strogg do here? What do they think of the war? Who do they think the hottest chick on “Sex and the City” is? The Quake IV game world isn't an immersive one despite how well rendered it is; it isn't a place you'd like to go and hang out and think about what they do in that building, or what did it look like 100 years ago. It's just a construct to do your murdering in.

I don't hate this game, I'd like you to know, but if you've read my entire review up to now well I guess I have to at this point.

The Bottom Line
Game makers will only make games as bad as consumers will let them. Quake IV is not a positive step forward if all future games have the same emphasis on graphics but not game play or story or even fun.

Quake V will not buck this trend because next year consumers will still be the same. The id company will still be making millions upon millions of dollars. And you will shell out whatever they are asking for in order to play the finest eye candy money can buy.

By the way, Pac-Man does have a story: our intrepid hero is searching for fulfillment. He can only attain this enlightenment by consuming, eating pill after pill, cleansing . At the start of each maze, Mr. Man is as complete and satisfied as he possibly be (symbolized by his being a full round yellow circle that starts out right below the ghost home). However, as he is being chased by a mortal threat he is forced to abandon this higher state and seek the next time he can achieve this state, which is at the beginning of the next stage after he clears the current stage.

Everything has a subtext, everything has a story. So frag you, Guy Lombardo.

Windows · by lasttoblame (414) · 2007

This game gives the Quake Series a bad name..Multi-player wasn't too bad....

The Good
The single player story mode started off ok but eventually got pretty boring. This is one of few games I actually gave up on. I quickly got bored with it and decided to just play it online.

The multiplayer deathmatch's aren't as 1/2 as much fun as Half-Life 2. There are some features however that are different from other online multi-player games that almost make the game interesting. For instance I really like the movement in this game. You can actually do a couple of cool things with some practice.

One of cool tactic was crouch surfing, which is when you hit a launch ramp and as you land you hold down crouch. This causes you to go really fast in a crouched position. Very effective tactic that is useful in a crowded area with crossfire everywhere.

Another advanced movement skill was strife jumping. It is when you would run to an edge and as you approach you turn your look to the side and side strife towards the edge. Then as you jump you whip your look (mouse) straight ahead. This causes you 2 soar appr. 10% farther. Doesn't sound like much but there are many situations you can only strife jump from one place to another.

There weren't to many server crashes online but I also noticed there weren't many people either. There were more empty servers than anything. It was nice to see some Quake 3 Arena deathmatch maps though.

The Bad
I really don't like how "cartooney" the ammo in this game was. It would have looked a lot cooler if the ammo looked like ammo, instead of these big bright boxes. At least in the older Quakes it looked like an ammo case.

The Bottom Line
An OK FPS multiplayer game, just don't bother with the story.

Windows · by DudeOfMonson (97) · 2007

Did we even need a sequel to Quake 2?

The Good
OK, maybe my One-line Summary was too rough already, but there is a piece of truth behind it. Anyway, let us get to the good parts of this game.

Beginning with the graphics - it's good, in fact, it looks beautiful, cause it's using the Doom 3 engine. Some improvements have been made from Doom 3's engine however. The lighting is a lot better, the blood and gore look more beautiful and realistic, and the game became more colourful overall. Although not all things have been improved goodly, for example, maybe it's just me, but the character models seem kinda too cartoonish, but that's not a complaint, they still look good.

Not much to say about the sound, there are no soundtracks like in the previous games, only sometimes an ambient sound can be heard in the background, and just like in Doom 3, there is a cool soundtrack playing in the main menu. The sound effects created by the weapons or other effects like explosions aren't to be glorified. What we got left are the characters. The monsters on the other hand, sound hostile, cool and businesslike, so they are OK. The way they speak the Strogg language makes it even better. The voice acting isn't like in F.E.A.R., but it's still well done, especially in combat situations.

The single player campaign is quite interesting and long enough to take us on a good and memorable adventure. It won't exactly blow you away and make you wanna play it many more times, same goes to multiplayer, but it's still fun. The weapons arsenal is rich, filled with weapons from Quake 1 and 2, such as the Nailgun, the Lighting gun, the Railgun, but also has a new cool introduction like the Dark Matter gun, which is, though a replacement for the legendary BFG10K, but is almost as powerful and has its own interesting effect.

Most enemies from Quake 2 return, and some of them, like the Gunner, in a very good and familiar form, some though, just like some monsters from Doom 3, had to wear a stupid looking new costume, and behave even more stupid. This doesn't ruin the gameplay though. There are a few new entries too, by the way.

Unlike in Quake 2, the "friendly" AI is now even useful in combat and helps you defeat the Strogg. They sometimes come in handy and are surprisingly strong when compared to the Strogg. Medics and engineers can heal your health and armor respectively. You can also ride tanks and walking robots as you progress through opened deserts of Stroggos.

The missions and objectives aren't too special for games of this type, and even for Quake 2. They are pretty similar to the game's prequel.

The multiplayer is taken directly from Quake 3, and hardcore fans of Q3-s multiplayer would perhaps be pleased, all others won't, and this is where we get to the flaws of this game...

The Bad
The small flaws made in the single player campaign weren't those which didn't make this game a hit it was supposed to be. It's all the multi-players fault. It's just too much Quake 3. I don't understand 1 thing - they put so damn cool vehicles in the single player campaign, and also added medics and engineers to it, then why not make multiplayer the same tactical warfare experience? Instead, they just took some maps from Q3 and Q2, added some new, took a couple of Q3-s power-ups, mixed it all together, and voila, there we have it - an updated Quake 3 with graphics, models and weapons from Quake 4. Sounds kind of stupid, don't you think? Will, i'll tell ya, if you read this, and believe all what i say, than the multiplayer is exactly as bad as you think right about now.

This is why Quake 4 couldn't keep up a tactical war with Call of Duty 2, F.E.A.R. and other successful shooters of that year, because it used the primitive caveman tactic of Quake 3.

The Bottom Line
Will, in case you didn't get my point correctly, Quake 4 isn't a BAD game, the single player campaign is fun and that's OK, but just don't play its multiplayer to be disappointed. If you are looking for a sequel to Quake 2, i would even, in fact, recommend this to you. It really is a sequel to Quake 2, lets face it. And besides, making a sequel better than a prequel is very, very hard, especially by a different company.

Windows · by Medicine Man (328) · 2009

[ View all 8 player reviews ]

Trivia

Development

Being the first time Raven Software has designed a game based on a id license, id required overall approval of all design.

E-Sports

On 14th September 2005, prior to the release, The CPL (The Cyberathlete Professional League) announced Quake 4 as the one-versus-one competition game for 2006. With major cash prizes at stake, this is the duel game all the top gamers will be playing in 2006. 2005's duel game was Painkiller. In the past, The CPL also supported Quake, Quake II and Quake III: Arena.

German index

On November 5, 2005, the English version of Quake 4 (Windows) was put on the infamous German index by the BPjM. For more information about what this means and to see a list of games sharing the same fate, take a look here: BPjS/BPjM indexed games.

Rifts

Kevin Long, the lead artist for Quake 4, was a longtime staff member at Palladium Books and was one of the original artists for the Rifts roleplaying game. Many of the designs in Quake 4 resemble his earlier work with Palladium. Some examples include Quake 4's Blaster, which resembles the early Coalition energy pistols from the Rifts rulebook and Quake 4's machinegun, which resembles the Triax Railgun from Rifts Sourcebook 1.

Version differences

The German version of Quake 4 is intensively cut, particularly bloody scenes (Strogg Medical Facility, as marines are going in the cage), some bodies, body parts are deleted or blacked out. You cannot fire at your team members.

Awards

  • GameSpy
    • 2005 – Most Disappointing Launch Game (Xbox 360)

Information also contributed by Edward Beezy, Independent Scott Monster and Xoleras

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Related Sites +

  • Official Webpage (Mac)
    The official product page for the Mac version of <em>Quake 4</em> on the publisher's website, which provides a trailer, a short article by Aspyr tech support employee Andy Brazell, patches, a demo, and purchasing information, among other such things.
  • PlanetQuake
    The biggest Quake series related site.
  • Quake 4
    Official game website
  • Quake 4
    Official game page on id Software's website
  • Quake 4 on Schnittberichte
    Here you can see the difference version from quake 4 USK 16 with the uncensored europe PEGI 18+ version, in german indexed.
  • Quake IV GNU/Linux FAQ
    Overview, download location and instructions for the Linux version
  • Quake4.euro
    European Quake 4 community.
  • The Humans Strike Back
    An Apple Games article about the Macintosh version of <em>Quake 4</em> (March, 2006).
  • X360A achievement guide
    X360A's achievement guide for Quake 4.

Identifiers +

Contribute

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Silverblade.

Windows Apps added by Plok. Macintosh added by Sciere. Xbox 360 added by Kabushi. Linux added by Iggi.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Sciere, UV, Yearman, Independent, Zeppin, Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third, Titan10.

Game added October 23rd, 2005. Last modified December 2nd, 2023.