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Euro Ships Ahoy - Quake 4

Quake 4 PC To Hit European Retail Stores is the press release announcing that Raven's shooter sequel is heading to European stores:

Mesquite, TX - October 20, 2005 - id SoftwareTM, Raven Software and Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) have confirmed Earth's invasion of Stroggos with the announcement that QUAKE 4TM PC will be available at retail outlets in European territories beginning on Friday, October 21. The long awaited sequel to QUAKE II®, QUAKE 4 enlists gamers in the role of Matthew Kane, a member of the Earth Defense Force's legendary Rhino Squad, to penetrate deep into the heart of the Strogg war machine and engage in a series of heroic missions to destroy the barbaric alien race.

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42. No subject Oct 22, 2005, 11:46 The Bigg Unko
 
Sorry but the Quake series..like the Dooms.. enough already. Let's see what ID's next shooter is going to be.

 
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41. Everybody is a critic. Oct 22, 2005, 00:48 Cartman
 
Quake 4 is a great game. That is all.



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40. Re: Hype? Oct 21, 2005, 23:45 G-Man
 
Haven't played Quake 4 yet, but I'm thinking that MeatFarts is saying that they didn't make the NPC's believable enough and the scripted events were lame. He gave a fe great examples in his post.

I'm sure he's looking for something along the lines of HL2 where the NPC interaction is fairly solid and they act up and get excited when action is actaully happening on screen. They also don't have particularly repetitive sound bites that they bark out.

 
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39. Re: Hype? Oct 21, 2005, 22:10 fujiJuice
 
How is F.E.A.R. so drastically different? I've played both, and they each have an equal dependency on scripted events to relay story, although F.E.A.R. does have superior enemy AI.

Your chief complaint seems to be that the game doesn't live up to your expectations of what the next Quake should have been. As someone else indicated your desires for NPC interaction are way ahead of the technology.

 
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38. Re: No subject Oct 21, 2005, 20:46 scorpius
 
FEAR was disappointing, although the shock scenes are quite well done, the pace of the game just isn't right. You encounter the same enemies allover again countless of times. And with slomotion the "great AI" gets no chance at all, most of them you can kill before slowmotion ends. Repetetive and unsatisfying is the word i would use to describe FEAR. (and no i don't get scared easily

Quake4 singleplayer on the otherhand is quite ok, it's immersive, you get involved. Although the system requirements are too steep imho. Multiplayer Q4 disappoints, i wanted something refreshing, what i got was a q3a engine upgrade.
This comment was edited on Oct 21, 20:59.
 
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37. No subject Oct 21, 2005, 19:58 Hump
 
As repetitive as Quake 4 may be, I find myself playing it far more than FEAR and SS2, both of which I am also in the middle of.

Thats not to say its better/worse or anything but.....well....uhm.............yah...

*scratches head and walks away*

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36. Re: Lack of hype? Oct 21, 2005, 19:30 Warhawk
 
Oh, and that "let's throw some enemies at the player and then some more" idea fossilized about 5 years ago.

Huh, and I keep hearing about all those folks who loved that feature in the Serious Sam games and others. They must not have gotten the memo.










You DID put out a memo, right?



*** Warhawk ***

I made the armor myself. It's not magic, it's just shiny.


This comment was edited on Oct 21, 19:30.
 

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Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away? - Ripley
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35. Re: Hype? Oct 21, 2005, 19:21 G-Man
 
Hey MeatFarts, enjoyed your FEAR review, but enjoyed this one more I second the laughter behind the quote "this is QUAKE FUCKING FOUR!"

I've become very dissapointed in id Software and their associated crew Raven... Return to Castle Wolfentstein was the game that really let me know that I was hooked on gaming for life. I owe my love for gaming in a large part to id Software.

id Software has got millions in the bank enabling them to be one of the VERY few companies out there that can truly sit back and release a game "when it's done" like Blizzard and Valve. Why not spend another six months on this game and polish it? So it's going to pump up your development budget by 20%, I guarantee you that they would have increased their revenue by 100%. I'll be surprised if Quake 4 tops 150,000 copies in the first three months after launch... Quake FUCKING FOUR should have been good enough to sell 400,000 units in it's first three months (I'm talking north america only numbers here folks...)

A quote that a Microsoft guy said to me at GDC a year or two ago sticks in my mind right now "An increase in a games quality of 5%, will result in an increase in revenue of 50%".

It's so true... Quake 4 is going to be a rental for me (EA has a huge library of PC games we can rent) where as I can gurandamntee that FEAR will be picked up first thing tonight (right before I catch the sure to be shitty DOOM movie!)

This comment was edited on Oct 21, 19:23.
 
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34. Re: Hype? Oct 21, 2005, 19:11 Elf Shot The Food
 
Seriously, what do you want? Branching storylines and open-ended, non-linear gameplay? It's a Quake sequel, and for what it is, it works. Some of the stuff it does might not be new, but things like vehicles and squad interaction (limited, yes, but it's there) is new to the series.

I'm liking the game so far; if I had a complaint, it would be the weapon strength, or lack thereof. Enemies can take lots of damage before they die; I just got the rail gun, and it takes four shots to kill one of those lowly guys that chuck grenades.

Then again, I'm playing on the second-hardest difficulty level, so that might have something to do with it.

There's some cool stuff in the game, like the medical labs sequence (grisly and gory) and the bit with the giant heart.

 
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33. Re: Hype? Oct 21, 2005, 18:14 MeatForce
 

You know that you basically just described the shortcoming of every FPS released in the last 5 years or so and ascribed them to Quake 4 exclusively? Or rather the major one shortcoming, because you made 50 points of one problem: "NPC scripts for movement and dialog are sometimes triggered weirdly and look out of place, but darn - technology for this isn't really that good and won't be for the next 20 years or so." Really.


Yes I did. Because this game - more than any other in recent memory - manages to take literally every single convention the genre has to offer, execute them poorly, and put them together in one exceedingly georgeous package.

Why does it do this? Well, I assume because those conventions when done well are actually fun.

Take FEAR, for example. There's nothing innovative in the game at all, and in terms of core gameplay (shoot lots of things before they shoot you), it's identical to Quake 4. But it's one of the best games of its kind ever released.

And inspite of its many and various faults - lots of conventional gameplay definitely being one of them - an excellent game still manages to shine through in HL2.

This game is not even close to being in the same ballpark as those.

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GW: Tashen Boke [R/Me]; Rosti The Ninja [Mo/R]; Gort Grimley [W/Ne]
 
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I'm not even angry. I'm being so sincere right now, even though you broke my heart and killed me.
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32. Hmmm... Oct 21, 2005, 18:07 judas
 
So far I have to say I'm somewhat ambivalent about Q4. It's big dumb old skool fun, which I like. At first I was thinking 'uh... this is Doom 3 all over again' but I think that was just because of the engine and a few other things, but it quite quickly becomes clear it's a Quake game. Some bits are extremely cool, like near the beginning where you have to find the landing zone for a pick-up and (minor spoiler) a HUGE ship comes swooping in to land. What I really, really don't like are the bits that make it blindingly clear that this was developed with consoles in mind - it's like you're suddenly playing a completely different game; it sucks hugely and is a major disappointment.

 
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31. Re: Hype? Oct 21, 2005, 18:03 wasp
 
I've never liked NPC's from day one for the reasons listed below. However, more co-op support would be nice outta the box. Replacing NPC's with real ppl who could have different powers than yours would be better. The game could be designed that way from the start (but also could include a single-player mode too).

 
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30. No subject Oct 21, 2005, 17:50 Ping
 
I hate to write it, but MeatFarts may be right.
Let's see what Vietcong 2 will do (October 24).

 
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29. Re: Hype? Oct 21, 2005, 17:41 ColoradoHoudini
 
i figure this is as good of a place as asny to ask this:

how is FEAR's? multiplayer? is the game slowed down a bit from the demo? are the weapons still so powerful that its a "who sees who first" wins scenario?

and Q4..hows the multiplayer? all i keep hearing about is the singleplayer.. who the hell plays Quake for singleplayer?

 
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28. Re: Hype? Oct 21, 2005, 17:32 cyxxon
 
(long and boring rant which I read completely...)

You know that you basically just described the shortcoming of every FPS released in the last 5 years or so and ascribed them to Quake 4 exclusively? Or rather the major one shortcoming, because you made 50 points of one problem: "NPC scripts for movement and dialog are sometimes triggered weirdly and look out of place, but darn - technology for this isn't really that good and won't be for the next 20 years or so." Really.

Half-Life 2 was an amazing game IMO, but the NPCs sometimes (!) stood around, got in your way, ran into fire without a reason, medics did not heal you even though you were quite low on ammo, they would not react to "use" and so on and so forth. Same with Call of Duty for example.

Anyway, I will stop now after this short answer and go back to playing this really great and entertaining game with incredibly gorgeous visuals and have fun doing it (yes, I am talking Quake 4 here). Have fun playing that game from the future where NPCs are not scripted but behave like humans, always have something new and interesting to say and now when to do that and how. Thanks.

This comment was edited on Oct 21, 17:33.
 
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27. Re: Hype? Oct 21, 2005, 17:30 sc4r4b
 
Jesus... you know it is possible to over-ANALise something so much that the object turns to complete shit.

That said, you do have several good points. My personal favorite is that this is QUAKE FUCKING FOUR!

Still, I am having fun with this average game... and I am anxiously awaiting Quake Wars.

I don't play video games... I play murder simulators.
http://bf2tracker.com/bf2_userprofile.php?bf2id=43526450
 
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26. Re: Hype? Oct 21, 2005, 17:07 Semantics
 
hahah. oh man, oh man.

 
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25. Re: Hype? Oct 21, 2005, 16:48 MeatForce
 
I finally had to arrange to get some hands-on time for myself with Q4, so I borrowed my friend's copy last night and played until I just couldn't take it any more. .. Can't recall the name of the level I got to, but I'm supposed to be trying to interrupt Strogg communications by blowing some crap up -- past the first vehicle segment with the spidery things, anyway..

I'm going to post my thoughts here, but be warned that almost all of them are going to be negative. If you like the game, that's entirely your prerogative, just don't take it personally that I'm about to post a bunch of stuff you probably don't want to hear.

Also going to apologise in advance for what will likely be quite a long and disorganised rant, since I'm full of things I want to complain about, but always very short on writing skills.

So scroll on by if any of that is likely to piss you off -- I won't be offended.


Ultimately, I think this is a BAD game. Quite amazingly bad, actually. OTOH, that does not mean I haven't been able to find some things to like about it as well, so I'll start with the good:

- The graphics are really really nice. And I mean REALLY. There are TONS of places where I've been charging along only to be stopped cold in my tracks by some of the most impressively over-the-top level design I've ever seen. It's definitely not always good level design from a mechanical/gameplay perspective, but there is a LOT of completely gorgeous stuff to look at here, and they've managed to get the engine to do a few things that I've been hugely impressed with.

Playing this game simply because you want to see the crazy visuals is really the best excuse you can have, and a perfectly adequate one at that. GREAT graphics here. Virtually unrivalled at the moment.

- It runs well. A64 3200+/9700 PRO/2GB and I'm running at High-Quality 1024x768 (no AA) with all the effects set to max, and it's running better than Doom 3 did while looking quite a bit better at the same time. Indoors and out, the framerate seems to be very stable, which is very nice to see given my aged 9700Pro.

- The game is Quake II in some strange way. That mostly slots into the "bad" section for me, BUT nostalgically, I like running around in these crazy environments they've built, and then suddenly realising which part of Quake II I'd be in if I were playing that game (right now it's the part that's mostly grey walls with glowing blue tubes all over the place and the experiments going on... which was always my favourite part of Q2). It doesn't count for a lot to be honest, but I do enjoy it, and I didn't want to stop at only two points under the "good" section...

'Cause that's it. Everything else I have to say about the game falls under the "bad" for me, sadly. Ok, I'll go one more for "good" (but I'm stretching):

- The machine gun is also a flashlight and sniper-rifle rolled into one handy weapon that you'll never need to switch away from if you don't want to


Now, before I turn myself into flame bait, let me try to explain my POV on this game: This isn't just any ol' FPS that Raven got handed to them.

This is QUAKE FUCKING IV.

Not only that, but it's the year 2005, it's bringing the SP game back to the franchise, it's following the disappointment that was Doom3, and IT'S QUAKE FUCKING FOUR!!. "Any old game" is the LAST thing this title should be.

Instead, this game turned out to be "every old game".

The worst thing about it is that not only have we already played this exact same game 100 times in the last two years, in MANY MANY cases, we've already played it BETTER!! The list of tired old clichés in this game starts ~10 seconds in and was still showing tremendous depth a few hours later when I decided to quit.

The beginning of the game has been the beginning of at least one level in the last six FPS' you've played. Pretty much guaranteed.

Like mouselook, it has become mandatory in an FPS for us to experience the pathos and confusion of a harrowing drop-ship crash. As we're coming-to, someone must rush to our aid only to be gunned down by savage and unstoppable enemy forces. OOOOooo the magic!

Sure "chaos of war" can be an effective tool for setting a scene, but Raven does it with such limp-dicked finesse that when you get up out of your crashed ship, THERE ISN'T EVEN ANY CHAOS!! Nothing's happening, actually. There's just a strangely laconic medic casually pawing through a crate, and some dude standing around near a door doing.. nothing.

It was such a lame-brained attempt at a sequence that's been done better since at least Opposing Force (or - dare I say it - QUAKE II??) that I found myself laughing at the game before I had even been given control over my character.. not a good start.

Soon after, I found myself squaring off against my first Strogg. He emerged from behind a barrel using some sort of horrid line-dancing hop-to-the-left manoeuvre, and then stood still shooting at me. Occasionally he would do "The Timewarp" back behind his barrel to take cover, although I'm not sure from what, as I was at first too stunned by what I was seeing to return fire.. unfazed, Stroggy just hopped from side to side at me. Yay! They ported the AI from Mortyr to the Doom3 engine!!

To describe the enemy AI as "basic" is really putting a fine point on it. It IS basic, and here it is:

10 jump left
20 say "human! I hear you!"
30 attack for 2 seconds
40 jump right
50 goto 10

Anyone who tells me this game is SUPPOSED to be nothing but an excuse to point big guns at dumb things and shoot them, needs to go and play FEAR, because there is a right way and a wrong way to do that kind of gameplay. To be clear, Q4 gets it WRONG! The gunfights are boring as toast in this game thanks to the utterly insignificant AI you face.

There were so many places where I found myself wondering, "are they totally insane??" when encountering their latest half-assed attempt to crib ideas from every other shooter ever made. Here is a partial list of the brilliant ideas Raven thought would be acceptable in the game called Quake Fucking 4..

- doors you need to go through that magically open because an NPC has entered a room or said a line of dialogue

- monster closets that aren't so much closets, but doors to useless rooms which you can GUARANTEE are going to pop open just so they can spew a few monsters at you

- an elaborate, fully animated sequence that involves you climbing into the seat of an enormously powerful cannon so that you can: press the mouse button once to fire it, and then press the space-bar once to get out again

- NPCs who are described as "looking all over the place for you", whom you find standing perfectly still, and who do not react to you jumping all over the objects in the room they are in until you walk to their magic trigger.. at which point they exclaim "Oh there you are! I'VE BEEN LOOKING ALL OVER FOR YOU!!"

- NPCs borrowing the voice from the NPC right next to them in order to repeat the exact same bark the last three NPCs used

- Squaddie NPCs bunching up behind you in doorways or anywhere else they can manage it

- Engineer or Medic NPCs whom you escort through dangerous areas who then become "a little too busy to chat now" when you ask them to fix your gear

- Flying enemies which all die using EXACTLY the same canned 'crash' animation, even if this means completely breaking any laws of physics, both real or imagined


- Stacks of crates that you suddenly can (and must) climb on that look identical to the many many many stacks of crates you can't (and would never bother to) climb on

- Groups of NPCs standing around chatting and clearly enjoying a coffee break who tell you "I'm a little too busy to chat right now" when you decide to see if they have anything useful to say. 99% of all NPCs in Q4 are "too busy to chat"

- Virtually no way to distinguish the NPCs who are "too busy to chat" from the ones who are silently waiting to tell you the most important information you have ever heard (my personal favourite being the NPCs who literally tell you "look over there, we're going to blow that thing up" so you don't miss the awesome set-piece explosion)

- Groups of NPCs waiting patiently for you to walk near them so that they can begin their 'immersive' two-sentence conversations, and then return to not talking to one another. Particularly amusing when the level design is such that you can pass through the trigger point for more than one group, and suddenly everyone is immersing you all at once before silence returns

- NPCs who don't react AT ALL when one of their squad-mates dies. Not a peep out of these guys about a fallen comrade, even when it's someone important like the medic or engineer (I guess they're all just too busy to chat)

- NPCs whom you sometimes need to escort, and sometimes need to follow, but who don't indicate which activity you should be doing at any given moment

- Strange pregnant-pauses in the dialogue and action while you wait for an NPC to finally get around to performing their awesome bit of scripting

- Scripted NPCs "taking cover" behind something you can't take cover behind without taking fire. Same NPCs not moving out of the way when you show up. Same NPCs causing you to get stuck on them and the scenery while yelling "TAKE COVER!!" As if their lives depended on it, while standing utterly still in the open


Jesus.. I could triple the size of that list; I know there were a whole handful of things that were cracking me up as I played last night that I'm forgetting about right now. SO many things in Quake Fucking 4 prevent it from even approaching "good" it's hilarious.

Remember how Unreal II looked incredible and was supposed to blow us all away with it's awesome Unreal II-ness but turned out to be a remarkably shitty game overall?

Yeah, well this game is WORSE than that. At least Unreal II actually tried to have a 'new' idea it could call its own (talking about the oh-so-ground-breaking defence-building stuff %)). This game doesn't have one speck of originality to it outside of the admittedly very impressive looking level design.

Furthermore, it's totally unacceptable to me that for all the derivation going on here, so much of it is handled so amazingly BADLY. The dialogue, the AI, the enemy placement, the 'puzzles', the squad combat, the 'immersive atmosphere', the physics, the on-rails sections (I'm not even going to go into those -- veins are already throbbing on my forehead where I didn't think I had any. Just know that they are insane for including those), the music, the 'story', the heart-wrenching scripted sequences, the world you're supposed to 'interact' with -- ALL OF IT has been done somewhere else before and better.

There's no co-op. And multiplayer is Q3A with quadruple the system requirements and no bots.

(yes I know that was their goal, but to that I say WHY?? Why do we need a less-functional version of Q3A, when clearly the sentiment there is that Q3A was perfection???)


I'm not done, but nobody needs to read this much of my bullshit, so I'm going to tie this one off anyway.

If this was an 'original' IP coming from an unknown developer, I'd probably score it somewhere in the 60% - 70% range due to the heartbreakingly lovely visuals and not entirely gimped-up weapon designs.. BUT I'd put it under a massive qualifying statement that explained I was only doing so as a kindness for putting out a first effort that didn't completely suck..

Well, THIS IS QUAKE FUCKING FOUR people!! Not a title to be trifled with, IMO, so they don't curry any favour with me by having it suck.

Not only that, but they didn't hand it off to some upstart. This is fucking Raven (or should that be goddamn fucking Raven).

There is just no way these guys shouldn't know better by now than to release shit like this to the market, but you know what?? THEY ALWAYS RELEASE SHIT LIKE THIS TO THE MARKET!!

Same shitty voiceovers, same dumb-as-a-brick AI, same generic gameplay, same idiotic NPC barks, same-as-can-be from start to finish.

It's the same old crap from them, but since a lot of work clearly went into this product, I'm now convinced that this is the best those guys can do; the occasional spark of creativity you might see somewhere will always be stifled by the awesome stupidity of their other design decisions.

Because this is QUAKE FUCKING 4 and was made by industry veterans Raven and id, this game gets a score of 40% from me, which is basically for graphical prowess and the nostalgia-factor/Quake II nods I've enjoyed along the way so far.

$15 - $20 from the bargain-bin if you're still curious, or when the first decent mod shows up, might be ok.

But even playing a borrowed copy made me angry, so ultimately I'm recommending giving this one a pass.

(unless you want to see the pretty pictures or marvel at how utterly and amazingly BAD QUAKE FUCKING FOUR turned out)


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GW: Tashen Boke [R/Me]; Rosti The Ninja [Mo/R]; Gort Grimley [W/Ne]
This comment was edited on Oct 21, 18:26.
 
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I'm not even angry. I'm being so sincere right now, even though you broke my heart and killed me.
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24. Re: Lack of hype? Oct 21, 2005, 16:34 Masa
 
Been playing both Q4 and FEAR myself. Both are fantastic IMHO.

It's definitely NOT DooM3...Whatever naysaysers want to believe, Q4 plays altogether diferently. I'll admit I'm enjoying FEAR a little more than Q4, but both are great games.

 
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23. Color Scheme Oct 21, 2005, 15:53 fujiJuice
 
I'm glad others said they enjoy the color scheme, I always did too, it's not quite as limited as people like to believe.

 
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