Internet browsers have come leaps and bounds in the last few years in terms of being a gaming platform. Often delivering the experience in the form of a flash arcade clone or an in-depth RPG requiring a 50MB client before being able to play it. Quake Live is seemingly a significant jump, offering a full, graphically capable, online multiplayer first person shooter for no price at all. To add greater insult to injury it’s all delivered in a 5MB browser plugin. Too good to be true?
The grounding of the game is Quake III Arena. Though understand grounding as meaning the entire game. Take everything you remember about playing Q3A, and simply apply it to a streamlined browser experience. Everything has been rebuilt from the ground up, with levels being heavily based off of original and the more popular user created maps from the original release in 1999, as well as a boastful variety of seven game modes. There is also matchmaking in place, partly chosen when you decide upon your difficulty level during the training level, and in part decided upon by your performance during gameplay.
Both matchmaking and amount of modes will likely be tweaked and increased as the game currently remains in the state of being an open Beta (August 2009). Also set to change upon final release is support for both Mac and Linux, something that is meant to drop tomorrow.
Q3A was previously my only exposure to the Quake franchise. A friend at school convinced the IT technician it was a good idea to install it across the school network, and the beginning of lunch became something that somewhat resembled the opening of Black Friday as too many people rushed in to the available twenty PCs.
My experience with Quake Live is somewhat similar to that video, however without fear of being crushed or bullied by someone older than you. What does remain the same, is the eternal feeling of having my ass handed to me every time I fail miserably in front of every other player in the game. Any delusions of grandeur I once had in which I tell myself how good I am at online First Person Shooters are gone.
This aside Quake Live is still consistently fun, and incredibly addictive as you find yourself saying that you need just one more fifteen minutes of fragging. It’s something far too good to miss out on. The fact that it’s free also makes it something pointless to miss out on. It’s just a shame that their hand might be forced into making a paid option for the game but for the time being everyone should try it at least once.
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