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Quake Arena Arcade


If you werenít around during the Quake boom a decade ago, ID and Betheseda are attempting to revive interest in the series with the release of Quake Arena Arcade for the Xbox 360. The Quake franchise is known for its fast paced gameplay requiring not only lighting fast reflexes on the trigger, but also predicting where your enemy was going to be in a couple seconds rather than where they are now. In many ways, it was the "training manual" for anyone that wanted to get into FPS games, more so than games like Wolfenstein or Doom. Thereís no single player mode that comes along with the game, only a campaign mode that shows off the various maps / modes of multiplayer.

quake arena arcade multiplayer

Just as you would expect, the controller is a poor substitution for the keyboard / mouse combo with this style of wild, rapid gameplay. For instance, whipping around to fire off a couple rockets while jumping in the opposite direction is more difficult on the controller. Itís also difficult to use the more accurate weapons rather than the ďbullet sprayingĒ weaponry.

The multiplayer options are expansive with support up to 16 players and 40+ maps to digest. It also comes with plenty of matchmaking options as well. Unfortunately, the online community is completely vacant and the majority of matches I played were only populated by 3 or 4 players. I did find a single match with 9 players, but itís still a far cry from the 16 player insanity on the PC. You can complete the roster with bots, but they arenít exactly the smartest players. Thereís no lag to be found during the matches that I played, but the lack of players at peak times is incredibly disappointing for a multiplayer only game.

quake arena arcade laser

There are 12 achievements to earn in the game (200 gamerscore points). Itís a relatively standard set mostly awarding points for specific multiplayer kills liking killing someone with Quad damage or killing a player after dying. There are definitely some tasks that will eat up your gaming time as well, like killing 1000 players or playing in 500 matches. There isnít anything incredibly creative in the set though.

Graphics

The visuals in Quake Arena certainly havenít held up well over time. The dull, bland brown environments might have impressed PC gamers before the Dot Com bubble burst, but it looks unattractive in high definition. However, the framerate is silky smooth as one would expect. But thatís not a spectacular accomplishment compared to the vast sea of first person shooters, both released in the arcade and on disc for the 360. The character models are blocky and the texture work is hopelessly trapped in the past.

quake arena arcade frag

Audio

Fans of the original will find plenty of homage paid to the game that they loved 10 years ago. Much of the original sound effects are included in the game and there are some slight tweaks as well.

Conclusion

Frankly, Iím still trying to stomach the price. 1200 Marketplace points ($15) is incredibly steep for a game that is found for free on the PC and has a miniscule community compared to the PC version. Even at $10, the game feels overpriced for the amount of content that comes with the title. Adding in the fact that itís somewhat difficult to play with the controller, the visuals are uninspiring and the community is pretty much absent and we have a FPS thatís never going to flourish. The most ardent Quake fans are likely going to want to stick to the PC version rather than lay $15 for this title and anyone that missed the Quake generation of games isnít going to find enjoyment in Quake Arena Arcade when compared to any FPS released in the last 10 years.



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