During E3 2005,
a lot of people waited in line to watch the Quake 4 demo
that ended up being a live gameplay session conducted by
some of Raven’s designers and programmers. After having a
closer look to the game, and a brief chat with one of
Activision reps, we bring you our preview of Quake 4, so you
can know a bit more of what to expect when the game is
released by the end of this year (not official yet).
A few people expressed concern about
Raven Software working on the project instead of id
Software. What many people don't realize is that Raven has
been working with id for a number of years, and it is
doubtful that id would just randomly pick a company to help
develop Quake 4. Raven has released heavily acclaimed
titles such as Heretic (1994), Hexen II (1997), Soldier of
Fortune (2000), Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast (2002), and
Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix (2002). For a full list
of the titles that Raven Software has worked on, please look
The Quake series is undoubtedly one of
the most popular in the first-person-shooter (FPS) genre
ever. The first iteration of the series is considered by
many the father of multiplayer deathmatch also, so it’s no
surprise that as we get closer to the estimated release
date, more people are talking about Quake 4 and the game's potential. The expectations for the new game are set extremely
high and we are just as excited to see how well id Software
and Raven Software will work together to deliver the latest
installment of Quake.
Let’s remember for a second that Quake
III was developed as a multiplayer-oriented game, and Doom
III, the latest game to be developed in-house by id, was
supposedly set to bring back single-player action to its
titles, that did not happen for many quality-wise, at least.
Quake 4 is a true sequel for Quake II,
and gamers will play as a marine named Matthew Kane, a
member of a military unit called the Rhino Squad. This
should seem odd for people that played the first three Quake
games, because this is the first time that we know the name
of the character we are playing. The marines are supposed
to be securing and cleaning up the planet Stroggos, which is
the home planet of the Strogg aliens.
Kane doesn't have a pleasant landing on
Stroggos, because his dropship is hit by the Strogg. The
game then begins as Kane comes to during the middle of a
firefight where the person who revived him gets shot in the
head. It is an interesting start to the game as you are put
in action almost immediately.
One of the most talked about aspects of
the Quake 4 demo was about the Strogg, which aren't known
for humane treatment of marine prisoners, and this is
clearly evident part way through the game. Kane's unit is
completely devastated and he ends up being captured. The
game cuts to Kane waking up on a conveyer belt that leads
victims through a process which "stroggifies" the soldiers.
Players get to watch, in first-person mode, as the marine
ahead of Kane gets his legs sawed off and replaced with
Luckily for Kane, though, he is rescued
by a squad of marines before a computer chip is placed into
his head, which means he is now partially a Strogg but still
a human marine. Kane becomes a valuable asset to the
marines because he is now physically stronger and faster
than a human.
During the presentation, it was also
mentioned that Kane will venture through a lot of the game
with companions, which is something certainly new for the
series. It will be interesting to see how well original
Quake players adjust to this change.
Because Quake 4 isn't supposed to be something like a
Soldier of Fortune game, Raven supposedly is making sure
that any interaction between Kane and his squad mates is
fast and easy.
Since the game is built off of the Doom
3 engine, immediate similarities could be seen between the
two. Creeping down some of the corridors in Quake 4 is
nerve-wrecking and players can't really be sure where a
Strogg may be hiding, much like Doom 3. Raven seems to be
doing a good job using the Doom 3 engine to their
full-advantage, further enhancing it as well, although the
people at Activision didn't want to go into too many details
about some of the changes that have been made. Another
obvious difference between the two games is that there will
be open, outdoor spaces in Quake 4, instead of just dark and
Some of the common criticisms of Doom 3
have been fixed for Quake 4. Unlike Doom 3, reading from a
journal or unlocking some secret cabinets won't be
necessary. And, yes, id Software has learned from previous
mistakes, and has made sure that a flashlight and weapon can
be equipped at the same time.
Vehicles in the game include a hover
tank and a mechanized walker, which looked like fun vehicles
to control. Watching the Raven engineer control the walker
to kill Strogg looked enjoyable, and will just be another
aspect to the game that people should look forward to.
Something that a lot of people are
curious about is the multiplayer capabilities of Quake 4.
Gamers are going to demand multiplayer action that is
nothing like Doom 3 and more like Quake II or Quake III. So
far details are scarce, however it was mentioned that
vehicles will only be available for single-player action.
Kane should have a wide variety of
weapons in his arsenal to help him destroy Strogg enemies.
People that played Quake II may remember weapons such as the
machinegun and hyperblaster, those along with the railgun
should make a triumphant return to Quake 4. In the other
hand, a lot of people, especially those looking forward the
multiplayer action are not too keen on a return of the BFG.
Quake 4 will supposedly have a "super weapon", but we aren't
really sure what that means.
Finally, something that I noticed while
watching the demo was that people who don't know any
previous storyline from the first two games don't really
need to go back as Quake 4 starts off interestingly enough
where a new player can just come along and begin the journey
I certainly believe experienced
developers like id and Raven Software can deal with the
pressure of releasing a potential blockbuster game, and hope
that they deliver something that gamers will want play in
the years to come. From what I saw, the single player looks
brilliant, but I’m still anxiously waiting to see what has
been prepared with the multiplayer, it better be good,
whenever it’s done.