As in its dozens of first-person shooter ancestors, id Software and Activision's Quake 3: Arena transports players into a violent, virtual world filled with deadly weapons, impressive power-ups, and intense combat. Players compete on 26 maps in either deathmatch (free-for-all or team play), with goals to rack up as many kills as possible; or capture the flag, a team-oriented game with scoring based on the number of enemy flag captures. Though presenting the best death-match experience around, Quake 3's two game types lack the variation and originality of a similar game, Epic's Unreal Tournament.
Although you'll need the latest video card and computer hardware, it's impossible to dispute the sheer beauty of Quake 3's 3-D engine. The 26 maps are filled with exquisite architecture and impressive special effects; further, Quake 3 provides dozens of highly detailed player models to choose from. If you've played other id Software first-person shooters, the weapons should all look familiar: machine gun, shotgun, plasma gun, grenade launcher, rocket launcher, lightning gun, railgun, and the BFG 10K. Though impressively rendered and balanced, you've likely used them before in id's Doom, Quake, or any number of other first-person action games.
Hopping online and competing against other Quake 3: Arena players worldwide requires only a 56 Kbps or better Internet connection and a few mouse clicks. Quake 3 offers an infinitely replayable multiplayer experience (and a violent one--not for youngsters), but an unsatisfying solo game. Its single-player tournament mode--a series of deathmatches against computer AI bots--serves simply as a massive training exercise for multiplay. --Doug Radcliffe
- Cutting-edge graphics
- Near-perfect deathmatch multiplay
- Detailed player models
- Beautiful level architecture
- Uninspired single-player experience
- Lack of game variations
- Unoriginal weapons
From the Manufacturer
Hard-wired action is yours for the taking in single-player and multiplayer battles. Your opponents are now personalized for your brutalizing pleasure. These warriors may not be living and breathing, but they'll make sure you aren't either. Feed on raw action, build your fragging muscles, then rack up live death-match kills on the Internet or local area network.