Friday, August 25, 2006

Quake 4 - Review

I finally finished quake 4 today at Lieutenant level. I never played the default difficulty setting; I played the difficulty setting that was one setting higher straight away, because I've played a lot of shooters and wanted a bit of challenge.

In the end, I came off very impressed. The single player campaign is just nonstop FPS action. ID Software/Raven really delivers an impressive shooter experience for the Xbox 360. I also like how the game ends...the final battle is pretty epic and when you finish it, you get this nice feeling of satisfaction and reward.

While the ending is the usual 'short ending' that most games have, IMO I thought the ending was pretty satisfying. It finishes the story while at the same time leaving everything a bit open-ended:


SPOILER WARNING!







At the end of the game you get all the nice congratulations from all the other soldiers; however, there is a slight hint that, since you yourself are a Strogg, essentially, the Strogg have not yet been defeated, since as long as you exist, the Strogg can still return....Nicely done!







END SPOILER!


Positive comments on Quake 4:
--> As I said, this game is all about the action. Great variety of enemies, great level design....it never gets dull. There are a few scares here and there, but this is definitely not Doom 3.
--> The AI of your allies is superb. They don't get stuck, they don't get lost, they know how to fight and generally get the job done! A surprise, considering most ally AI is pretty stupid in other games.
--> The AI of the monsters at Lieutenant level is pretty good....they're not overpowered at this difficulty level, and at the same time they provide a good enough challenge to keep you on your toes
--> Storytelling and cutscenes throughout the game were a surprise. There is even a level or two where you basically just interact with the other soldiers, which gives the game a bit of character of its own.
--> For the most part, the graphics in the game are beautiful. Note that I played this on a VGA monitor, and this really helped me appreciate all of the details in the graphics and design.

Negative comments on Quake 4
-->The framerate. There are sections in the game where the framerate goes down. The truth is, it doesn't go down enough to affect your aim, so while it is true that sometimes the game enters the sub 15 FPS level....the game is playable. And there are only a few short segments where the framerate takes a hit. The framerate problem is ignorable.
--> Bugs. Two major ones but note that they don't totally destroy the game. I made a thread before about a potentially console killing bug in the game. Also, I found another bug where theres a ladder in the game that you can't climb out of. The ladder leads to a secret area that isn't required for you to beat a certain level, so if ever you find it and get stuck, simply reload an earlier save and dont climb down that ladder.

Overall:
Other than those concerns about the bugs and the framerate, the game is just solid. I still recommend the game because the pacing and the nonstop action is just right. Oh, and the boss fights in the game JUST KICK SO MUCH ASS!!!! The cyborg design is superb, and I recall having a good experience with one or two of the vehicle levels (the mech and the tank levels).

The positives largely outweigh the negatives unless you're a perfectionist with your games. If you have a powerful PC, I'd recommend the PC version a lot more since that one is getting more love from ID Software in the form of patches. But, if you have a 360 and can't afford a good PC, the 360 provides a good platform to play this game on. This game is a great buy for fans of the FPS genre. I give the game an 8/10.

Note: Get this game if you play on an HD set or a VGA Monitor. SDTV doesn't do justice to the graphics in this game.

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