Friday, January 06, 2006

Quake 4 -- Completely satisying

I have just finished the first good traditional shooter since Serious Sam and
Return to Castle Wolfenstein. There's nothing wrong with the latest Quake besides the frequent crashes suffered by many folks who play the game. There are patches out for that problem now, but I still had problems playing without being ripped out of the game by errors. That aside, Quake 4 is everything It should be.
Throughout the game you are mostly by yourself, but you meet marines that help you out and move the game along. There are technicians and medics who heal and repair your armor and the techs have the added bonus of upgrading your weapons with new functions and capabilities.
Most of the weapons that appeared in Quake 2 return in Quake 4. Each one is useful in it's own way and doesn't become a bench warmer in your arsenal. I was overjoyed to see the grenade launcher again, a weapon that is tossed out or used a side feature in other shooters. Your need for a flashlight demands that you lurk through Strog territory with the machine gun which you pick up early in the game. Fortunately, it's a good weapon for all situations and I didn't mind having to use it as my flashlight. The BFG 10k is gone and in it's place is the Dark Matter gun which is like a black hole launcher (very cool).
The enemy AI wasn't so impressive, not that it had to be with the sheer brute force it had at its disposal. All your foes tend to use ambushes and numbers against you. Most of them take more than two shotgun shots to put down and require back-peddling to handle. I'm rather tired of the familiar Nazis I have to face in the large number of WWII shooters I play so the large and nail gun toting Strog are refreshing. There is some vehicle ridin' bits but they aren't particularly fun or unique, kinda weak.
I loved Quake 4 for the nostalgia of playing a Quake game. There's too few shooters that make every weapon vital and each baddy fun to fight. Even less with the fantastic Doom 3 spooky lighting and gore.