- Quarantine (2017 on Windows)
Description official description
In Quarantine, you play the part of a taxi driver, desperate to escape from the violent prison city of Kemo. Deliver passengers to their destinations, so you can earn money to upgrade your cab, and take on undercover missions in the hope that somehow you can find a way out. An impressive array of cab-mounted weaponry will help you to survive.
- カランティーン - Japanese 3DO spelling
- デススロットル 隔絶都市からの脱出 - Japanese Saturn spelling
- ハード・ロック・キャブ - Japanese DOS/PlayStation spelling
Credits (DOS version)
Average score: 62% (based on 28 ratings)
Average score: 3.3 out of 5 (based on 55 ratings with 7 reviews)
Games where you can drive over people without penalty were becoming the rage in the Nineties, and in fact this was a core game mechanic. It started in the Seventies when Death Race was released in the arcades. It was the first game to generate controversy, and it was eventually pulled. After that, there was really not much else until Quarantine was released in 1994. The game was developed by Imagexcel, one of the developers who exploited the Doom engine, introducing features that were impressive at the time. The game also shares something with RoboCop, the 1987 film set in a futuristic Detroit, a city overrun by crime. Quarantine is also quite violent, so the game is not for the faint-hearted.
Kemo City, known as the hovercar capital of the world, also has a problem. The government brings in OmniCorp, a mega corporation that solves Kemo’s woes by constructing a wall around the city and placing the community into lockdown. Not only that, but years later an antidote is introduced into the water supply. Known as Hydergine 344, it was supposed to suppress criminal thoughts. Unfortunately, the designers of the antidote were unaware that the water supply had an abnormally high bacterial content, causing a reaction when it was mixed with the antidote. The end result was the population having psychopathic tendencies. Upon those uninfected was Drake Edgewater, your average citizen who makes a living as a taxi driver.
Quarantine opens up with an amusing cinematic showing Edgewater living in a lovely neighborhood, dreaming that he is the President of the United States waving to a crowd of people. He has a dog, newborn baby, and a wife that loves him to death. Things go downhill from there. He gets kicked out of his house, and is forced to spend his days inside a '50s-style checkered cab. He then decides to be a unlicensed cab driver. Not only does he pick up passengers, but he goes on a killing spree where he shoots or mows down everything that gets in his way – including dogs. I always find it amusing that when we first see Edgewater, he looks like a toupee that comes alive. This opening cinematic tells the player what they need to do in the game.
Kemo City is divided into five sections, and you start in Downtown Kemo. The first thing you’ll see are vehicles that take pot shots at you, but you can retaliate by shooting your hood machine guns. You can also go inside a “Weapon King” and buy additional weapons. Among these are the Punisher, Fire Belcher, missiles, various types of mines, and the powerful Devastator. You can even have a Uzi and participate in drive-by shootings. How good is that? Besides the vehicles are pedestrians who go about their business. Most of them will attack you with bullets or molotov cocktails, but you will also see some trying to hail a cab or standing there in the middle of the road waiting to be squished.
You will spend most of the game picking up fares and deliver them to a specific location within the time limit, and the time limit varies depending on how far you are away from the destination. You can also refuse to pick them up, or simply eject them while you are driving. You will eventually start to receive story missions, which usually involve delivering parcels, blowing up buildings, or dealing with a group of terrorists. Unlike the ferry missions, you have to accomplish the story missions within the time limit, otherwise it is considered a fail. It doesn’t matter whether you complete the story missions, you have to do it all over again if you don’t complete it within the set time limit. After about fifteen story missions, you are given an “exit password” that will unlock the access tunnel to the next section. You can still continue with the ferry missions if you find your cash is running too low.
Like Doom and its clone, you can die in the game. In this case of Quarantine, there are two. You can run out of health, or fall into the drink (either by driving carelessly, or by vehicles ramming you off the road). Either way, you are presented with Edgewater's file on screen, complete with three photographs and some information, and the words "Case Closed" stamped across it. I like how running out of health results in the cab's windscreen getting littered with bullets.
I like how much effort Imagexcel has put into the open-world maps. These maps are quite huge, and getting to Point B on the other side of the map can take a long time depending on how fast you drive your vehicle. There are many sites worth exploring in all five maps. Among the hundred of sites in the game, you can visit a drive-in theatre, a shopping mall, empty reservoirs, a cemetery, a school, and rail yard. All these sites are well designed, and I encourage you to take a break from completing missions and visit them at least once; believe me, it’s worth it. Out of all the maps, I really like The Projects. It reminds me of the apocalypse, with burnt-out buildings wherever you go.
The game provides some realism. You can see Edgewater’s hands on the steering wheel, and you can see him turn it to the left or right if you go around a corner. Also, no matter whether you go inside a Weapon King or service center, you see the arm attach and detach from the cab instead of the menu just appearing on the screen. I like the way most of the characters in the game have a sense of humor, yet turn aggressive if you refuse to ferry them or don’t get to where they want to go in a reasonable amount of time. Finally, you can see the black-and-white image of the passenger on the top-left.
Quarantine boasts a 13-page manual complete with instructions on how to operate the game and illustrations thrown in for good measure. There is an interesting backstory near the end of the manual, and this backstory is also included in the game in case you lose it. Also included are reference and registration cards, and technical supplement.
Upon starting the game, you are asked to input the flesh ratio factor, the result of a pedestrian weighing a certain amount inside a car traveling at x mph. You will need the copy protection code sheet that comes with the game for this. The first figure is located among the numbers running across the columns, while the second can be found in the rows to the left. All you need to do is meet the two numbers with a pen or finger and you’ve got the right number. Get the code wrong three times and you are out of the game. Assuming you typed in the correct number, you are greeted with the two company logos. Of these, I like the Imagexcel logo with the man and the company’s logo written on his forehead. As Ross Scott said, it is the look of a man whose progress has been halted because he needs more test subjects for his experiment.
The reference card has the controls you use to operate the cab and its built-in feature. I like how they are spread out so your fingers are not restricted to one side. I also like how Imagexcel included in option to switch between low and high resolutions. (With low resolution you can actually make the game look like its PlayStation/Saturn counterparts.)
On the copy protection sheet, the numbers are printed in black ink on a dark red background. This is meant to make it hard for anyone to make a photocopy of it, but at the same time it makes it difficult to read because of the choice of ink, requiring a magnifying glass to read. Why couldn’t Imagexcel make users look up the manual, searching a line followed by the word?
Like most games that were released in the Nineties, the CD version of Quarantine contains audio tracks from Australian bands that play during the game, and most of the tracks are inappropriate. I mean, the first track is about someone stepping out in front of a car; this is quite fitting for the game. But then the next one that plays after that is the singer getting an attractive woman he just met to dance with him. While you are installing the game, it tells you that you can substitute the CD for your own. I recommend some heavy metal music. Speaking of soundtracks, the first one you hear when you start up the game is 'The Driver is You" by The Fauves. If you access the menu to save or load a game, the soundtrack continues playing. However, if you decide to load when another soundtrack is playing, the current ones gets cut off and you are taking back to the Fauves song.
I found the game difficult in some places. For example, you have to defeat HoverBoy, who flies around in a jetpack. In the 3DO version of Quarantine, you can get a clear shot of him as he doesn’t move that fast. But in the PC version, HoverBoy is traveling at about 500mph, making it easier for a lot of ammo to be wasted. What? You didn’t like dealing with HoverBoy? Well, how about having a go at his little brother, Slumlord? And don’t get me started on the three grannies who drive so fast in their blue vehicles, that you can hardly see them in your view screen.
Okay, I lied a bit about the opening sequence. Inside the game, you are actually be treated with a few slideshows of Edgewater making a variety of faces. To access the "real" opening sequence, you have to run a batch file outside the game. Why couldn't Imagexcel include it in the game, like they did in the 3DO version?
The Bottom Line
Since Doom’s release, a lot of game companies capitalized on its success, and one of these was Imagexcel. Unlike Doom though, the player has to drive around in a vehicle, completing missions within a time limit, and the large maps that you have to negotiate have locations worth checking out at least once. Enemies such as vehicles and rogue civilians have a go at you, but you can get the last laugh by extracting revenge on them. That’s about it, really.
Quarantine is a very good game, only let down by its high difficulty, the way the game’s copy protection is laid out, and the poor selection of audio tracks for the CD version. Also, it is a shame that disk users of the game had to make do with a lack of music; Imagexcel could have given them the option of MIDI tracks or nothing. Nevertheless, I would like to see a remake of the game. Definitely one for the Doom fans.
DOS · by Katakis | カタキス (43051) · 2020
It is very fast paced, and also very gory.. but instead of the usual rip-the-guts-off-a-civilian it's more like maniacal, since you basically drive over every pedestrian you see and put the flamethrower and the sawblade to good use...
The game can be a mess sometimes, not only graphically but sometimes the stupid taxicab gets stuck into things and the driving takes some time to learn. Also the passenger time limits get very annoying in a bit.. and the game, finally, is quite repetitive.
The Bottom Line
A fun 3d shooter disguised into a driving game where you blast the living xxxx out any and everyone you see.
DOS · by RmM (68) · 1999
Quarantine is one of the few games that successfully created it's own universe by borrowing different elements from Sci-Fi material, without turning into a complete ripoff. The game starts off with a nice intro, where we are introduced to the plot of the game:
We are in Kemo city in the year 2047. Originally Kemo was rich and wealthy, but the growing crime problem brought the city in financial decay. Police enforcement could not be supplied so therefor a giant cooperation by the name of Omnicorp proposed a solution to the problem. They promised to clean up the city and get rid of the crime with the so called "Q" solution. A giant wall was built around Kemo city, the inhabitants were told it was a defense measure, but it proved to be otherwise...
"Q" was for "Quarantine", and Kemo city was now transformed into a prison city. Besides serving as a prison for the millions of citizens, Kemo was also used for criminals from the outside world. Omnicorp had plans for Kemo city, and they decided to test the so called "Hydergine 344" which is suppose to eliminate any criminal thoughts in brain. Hydergine 344 is put into the city water supply, but unfortunately Omnicorp failed to discover a bacteria within the water supply. This bacteria made the Hydergine mutate, creating a virus and instead of eliminating criminal thoughts it did the exact opposite, infecting people making them into raging mad men.
As the virus is spreading, you must escape, and let nothing stand in your way. You make a living as a cabdriver, and you earn money by safely delivering a passenger or a item to a certain destination. As you make more money you can upgrade your cab with armor and new weapons (Flame throwers, chainguns etc.). Kemo city is divided into different sectors and you have to figure out how to get from one to another without getting killed by the countless of virus infected mad men.
Quarantine is a awesome game. You get drawn into the universe, and once it's got a hold of you it's hard to let go. You often find yourself just driving around for hours instead of trying to accomplish missions. This is very entertaining too...
The graphics in the game are of '94 standards average, but nicely done none the less. The sound is very good, the sound fx works good, but especially the music is magnificent. The Australian garageband sound somehow fits totally in with the universe, and with the exception of a few weird tracks the entire soundtrack rules. (I still listen to it to this day). The gameplay works good, and once you've gotten use to drive the cap it's smooth. The enemies aren't very clever, but it doesn't really matter with this type of game.
The main problem in this game is in my opinion the skill level. It's very hard, and you often have no idea how to progress in the game. None the less, this doesn't ruin it in anyway...
It also seems as if the code for the game is a bit buggy, because I've experienced some weird crashes.
The Bottom Line
A great game, which successfully manages to mix Sci-Fi elements and create a futuristic universe which you are drawn into.
DOS · by Apogee IV (2278) · 2004
The CD version of Quarantine includes a great soundtrack, featuring 11 Australian bands. There is no mention of this soundtrack in the manual, and there is only a brief/incomplete credit list at the end of the game. Here, then, is the complete soundtrack listing:
- Berlin Chair - You Am I
- The Driver Is You - The Fauves
- The Wahooti Fandango - Custard
- Ingrown - Smudge
- Lie Down Forever - Godstar
- Snail Trail - Screamfeeder
- Uranium Watch - The Daisygrinders
- Weak Will - Underground Lovers
- Whirlwind - Hellmenn
- Yellow Beam - Crow
- Now You Know - Sidewinder
You can buy CDs by (nearly all of) these bands at Greg's Music World: http://www.musicworld.com.au/<hr />
GameTek released a sequel in 1995: "Quarantine II: Road Warrior".
Related Sites +
IGCD Internet Game Cars Database
Game page on IGCD, a database that tries to archive vehicles found in video games.
- MobyGames ID: 96
- Wikipedia (en)
Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history!
Contributors to this Entry
Game added by xroox.
Game added March 13th, 1999. Last modified November 25th, 2023.