Quake 3 Test

Reviewed by NextBillGates

Written 8/8/99

First off, I want to tell you all that this is just a test. It is not a beta, or even an alpha, and it certainly isn't the final product.

The requirements have not yet been defined, but I reccomend 64 MB of RAM, a PII 266, and a decent 3D card, preferably TNT2. Quake 3 test ("Q3Test") does NOT run without a 3D card. If you don't have one, too bad.

On to the real review. Q3Test is an online only game. For single player, there will be computer controlled deathmatch opponents ("bots"), that you can take on in the full version of the game. It's basically like Mortal Kombat, except it's in the first person perspective. The bots available for Q3Test, to put it bluntly, SUCK!.

The experience.

Even in it's test stage, Quake 3: Arena ("Q3A") is the smoothest online game I've ever played. That's right. It's smoother than Doom, Quake, Starcraft, and any other commercial game that has an online multiplayer option. I have a 56k modem, and lag is few and for between, even with all the graphics options turned on. Since the majority of online users still use analog modem technology, expect the full version of Q3A to be the most enjoyable and lag free experience the world has to offer.

Experience = 9.5 (It does lag a bit, and the cable modem d00ds still have an advantage.)


I have a Celeron 366 with 128 MB of RAM and a TNT. This computer isn't up to date, but it certainly isn't a slouch, either. I can run Q3Test at 800x600x32 and keep it above 30 fps. This performance doesn't seem impressive, until you see the game in action.

Q3A has some pretty sweet architecture. Q3Test is amazing, but still suffers from a bit of blandness. One of the Quake series' drawbacks is it's lack of color. Quake 1 will most probably be the brownest game you'll ever play. With the exception of the architecture, Q3Test isn't something you'll be looking at for long, which brings me to my next paragraph.

Graphics = 8.5


You won't have time to gawk at the layout of the level, because this game is so smooth, if you blink, you might miss something. The character animation is superb, although on the lower connection speeds it is choppy at times.

The inclusion of jump pads (pads that allow you to jump 4x as high) is nice. Unlike the previous Quake games, Q3A is 3D. If you don't want to die, you have to look up, down, and all around. Q3Test level 2 is a nice example of that. Once again, it is very smooth.

Gameplay = 9.0


The Quake series never had extremely good sound, and Q3Test is no exception. The sound distorts at times, and when your shot hits another person, it sounds like a sound effect in a cartoon. The final version should have the option to play CDs, but I haven't found that option in Q3Test.

Sound 4.3

Play control

Controls can be customized, but for some reason, joystick support has not yet been implemented. Q3Test is more responsive than most games, but on slower connections, it'll take a few milliseconds for Q3Test to respond to a button you pushed. While this may seem bad, it is by far the most responsive online game out there for 56k users.

Play Control = 8.0


There's nothing truly new, but it does reintroduce the plasma gun from Doom. There also is a grappling hook that you can throw on a wall and, well, you know...

My only complaint is the speed of the rockets. It'll take a second for a rocket to get from one side of the room the other. WTF is up with that?! These things are being propelled by liquid nitrogen/oxygen. Shouldn't they move a bit faster?

Weapons = 6.8

Fun Factor

This is more of an opinion that's up to you, but I find Q3Test to be a blast. It's smooth, it has nice graphics, and it's popular, so you'll never have trouble finding a server full of people. Quake 1's multiplayer was it's only redeeming feature. Quake 2's multiplayer was very nice. Quake 3's multiplayer is simply amazing.

Fun Factor = 10.0

Replay value.

What can I say? It's multiplayer, so there'll never be an identical play session.

Replay Value = 10.0

Total Score = 8.3

Quake doesn't appeal to everyone, so either you love it or you hate it. Q3Test is free, so you'd be a fool not to try it if your system meets the requirements.

For more information on Q3A, go to http://www.quake3arena.com.

While it hasn't been confirmed, Q3A might see the light of day on the DC. Also, dual processors is supported in Q3Test, but it doesn't work too well just yet. Q3A will have multi-processor support in the final version.

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