this? An expansion pack for the greatest deathmatch FPS ever made?!
As Homer would say, "WOOHOO!". I'm always excited to see games from
ID, because all the games they've made are kickass. Ever since Quake
3 debuted about a zillion years ago (Exaggerating aren't we? -Ed.),
some people compared it to another FPS which came out around the same
time, Unreal Tournament. The lack of team maps really upset quite
a few players, and they decided to invest their money in UT since
it had a superior array of game types and team maps. It's a good thing
that the people at ID realized that there's a large amount of people
interested in teamplay rather then the pure tournaments and deathmatches
that are the signature of the Quake series. Hence we have Quake 3:
Team Arena, an expansion pack dedicated to give quake players a little
more of what UT brought to FPSs. As I've said before in other reviews,
more of the same doesn't hurt. Well let's take a look at what TA has
to offer, shall we…
this IS an expansion pack, you cannot run it separately and
thus you must have the original Quake 3 installed to play. TA also
comes with the latest point release 1.27g (which isn't all that great)
and automatically overwrites your old point release upon installation.
The first thing you'll notice when you enter the game is the totally
redesigned interface. It looks much much better then the one currently
used by Quake 3. The interface of TA sports a futuristic look with
lots of blue and white. I really liked the fact that when you're choosing
a map to play, a little video displays each one in a little box to
give you a little 3D glimpse of what it's like.
the things that really caught my eye when I entered the game was that
my fps (frames per second) drastically dropped. I'm one of those speed
freaks that loves high frame counts over beautiful graphics, but with
TA I kind of decided, "what the hell". My frames dropped from the
125-180 FPS that I would normally get in Quake 3, to about 35-68 in
TA. But I didn't mind because time this around, they really improved
the maps and the architecture. In other words, everything looks amazing;
this is how Quake 3 should have looked to begin with. The additions
like the 3 new guns and the new skins are quite better then the ones
in Quake 3, even if not by much. However, I had a heck of a time using
the chaingun. It reminded me of the movie Predator where Jesse Ventura
uses one of them and totally destroys an acre or so of a forested
region. As for the nailgun, it brought back memories and looks better
than ever when you fire it. I wasn't quite impressed with the proximity
gun; I'm really impatient with the more tactical weaponry though.
in TA is actually pretty damn good. I was kind of surprised when I
first played it and fired the chaingun at a foe. They've added this
cool sound effect so that when you shoot someone who's wearing armor;
you can hear the 'clinks' of bullets hitting steel. When you play
team mode, you're going to get a lot of messages from your team and
they've really beefed up the voices to the point where it gets kind
of annoying, but what the hell.
in TA is exactly the same as Quake 3. However, TA has some cool new
features like the return of power-ups! (YAY!). For example Scout,
Guard, Doubler, Ammo-Regen, Kamikaze and Invulnerability. If you've
ever played Quake 2, you'll instantly recognize what these power ups
do. Also, there are 3 new game types: One Flag, Overload and Harvester.
You get 15+ maps to work with, which is pretty good for an expansion.
Also, when you install TA, you won't need to configure your buttons
or graphic settings, it's all carried on from Quake 3. But you'll
need to change your sensitivity again (a pain in the ass).
as I love 1 on 1 matches for Quake 3, I really liked TA and I think
that if you really love Quake 3, then you'll fork over an extra $50
or whatever (i think it depends how obsessed you are with the game.
-Ed.). It's got everything an expansion should have with the
addition of polished graphics and interface. So if you can't wait
to get your grubby little paws on the next installment of Quake, you'll
surely want to get this.