Quake 4

Take Doom 3. Enhance everything. Replace the Doom universe with the Quake 2 universe. Result is Quake 4. Another good old fashioned run and gun first-person shooter (FPS) where you are Matthew Kane, a marine joining the fight against the Strogg.

Release Date

October 2005.

Pros

Excellent graphics. Not as good as S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl, but it comes very close. Quake 4 graphics basically look like enhanced Doom 3. I guess this is expected since it uses an enhanced Doom 3 engine. Everything from the people to the environment to the effects look like Doom 3 enhanced.

The music is very good. They play at appropriate points and makes the game feel like a movie.

Your team mates in the single player game are done well. No longer are you a lone gunner like in Doom 3. But at the same time they will not do everything for you. It is well balanced to make the game fun without you doing all the work. They even chat to you and each other which makes it feel even more like a movie.

The speech for the characters are excellent.

This is game’s surround sounds as good as S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl using the Logitech G35.

Overall the sounds are excellent. The guns have much more boom than that of Doom 3.

The story is a direct sequel to that of Quake 2. Anyone that has played Quake 2 knows that the Strogg experiment on humans and make them part of the Strogg war machine, but Quake 4 with the better graphics and good use of game engine movie sequences, takes this story to a horror movie level. Complete with blood and guts.

There are vehicles to drive, much like Red Faction. And also mounted guns you control for a bout of on-the-rails shooting.

Cons

The game is very linear. There is no path deviation to take from point A to point B. And doors are conveniently locked off until later when the game says ‘now you can go this way’.

Sure you are no longer the lone gunner in the game, but sometimes the AI for your team mates is just plain stupid. Sometimes they like to walk into your line of fire for no reason at all. It is OK in terms of you cannot shoot your team mates, but when you have to protect them, this stops you from taking out the enemies good and proper.

Other Points

This is the first game I have played where you can change the position of the gun on screen. Although it does not bother me, I guess some people would find it useful because it allows for different parts of the screen to be visible when the gun graphic is not placed there. There is also an option to remove the gun graphic completely.

The level designs have improved from Doom 3. They are now varied between open spaces and closed corridors.

Although the game looks like a sci-fi horror movie, it is not scary at all. Doom 3 gave me chills sometimes. Quake 4 just makes me want to go mow down more Strogg.

These days more people play MOHAA multiplayer than Quake 4. As a result I never tried the multiplayer.

Biases

Reviewed version 1.4.2.

I really liked Serious Sam, all the Doom games and Quake 2.

I also really liked Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, SWAT 4, Red Faction, Bioshock, Alien Vs Predator, Soldier of Fortune 2, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky, Rainbow Six, Rogue Spear and Call Of Duty 4.

I also liked Red Faction 2, Painkiller Overdose and Star Wars Battlefront 2.

I also liked Battlefield 1942, Delta Force and Spec Ops 2.

DRM

A registration key must be entered when installing the game.

The DVD must be in the drive to play the game. But if you patch the game to 1.4.2 first then the DVD is not required to be in the drive.

Patches

1.4.2 – After installing this patch, you do not need the DVD to be in the drive to play.

Minimum Requirements (as stated on box)

  • Intel Pentium 4 2.0Ghz or AMD Athlon XP 2000+ processor or higher
  • 512MB RAM
  • English version of Microsoft Windows 2000/XP
  • 100% DirectX 9.0c compatible 64MB 3D Hardware Accelerator video card required
  • 4X Speed DVD-ROM drive and fastest drivers
  • 2.8GB of uncompressed free hard disk space (plus 400MB for Windows swap file)
  • 100% DirextX 9.0c compatible 16-bit sound card and latest drivers
  • 100% Windows 2000/XP compatible mouse, keyboard and latest drivers
  • DirectX 9.0c

Computer Played On

  • Core 2 Duo 2.16GHz
  • 2Gb RAM
  • ATI Radeon X1600 256Mb RAM (laptop version)
  • Logitech G35 headset.
  • Win XP Pro
  • Graphics settings are set to whatever I feel comfortable with playing on this PC. They are usually not set to the highest settings. All screenshots are taken with my settings.

Handy Tips

Add +disconnect to the shortcut to skip the intro movies. Found at Tweakguides.

To get Quake 4 to give surround sound when using a Logitech G35, you must set the Windows XP Sound audio device speaker setup to 5.1 surround. It does not work if it is set to 7.1. As such, the G35 surround sound does not work in Windows 7, because in Windows 7, the G35 only has the 7.1 setting.

Recommended Mods

Quake 4 HardQore – provides a fun and simple side-scrolling shooter using the Quake 4 engine. I found the controls a bit difficult to get the hang of, but it is a fun little game. Reminds me of Contra. To get the game working, you must get both the “HQ Final for Q4 1.4.2” and the “HQ Patch for Q4 1.4.2” files.

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