Quake III Arena

Sega is bringing id Software's latest first-person shooter from the PC to the Dreamcast. Will PC users be ready for the flood of gamepad gamers?

Quake III Arena is, arguably, id Software's finest masterpiece. The PC game honed the art of deathmatch to a sharp, sharp point. Now, Sega hopes that the magic will translate over to the Dreamcast.

Quake III Arena is focused strictly on multiplayer matches. Yes, you can play by yourself against a bevy of bots, but the meat of the game is found online. With Sega's constantly increasing focus on Internet play, Quake III Arena makes a perfect match for the system.

Graphically, the game doesn't shine quite as brightly as the original version. Surfaces that appeared smooth and curved on the PC look a little blocky and jagged, and the textures aren't quite as colorful. The gameplay, however, is quite good. The game plays decently with the Dreamcast pad, using the four buttons to move around, and the analog pad to look in all directions. The shoulder buttons are used for jumping and firing your weapon. But Quake III Arena is also the first console first-person shooter that allows you to play the game exactly how it was designed to be experienced: with a mouse and keyboard.

Will the 56k modem be sufficient to battle online? If you're playing against other Dreamcast owners, then yes, it will probably work just fine. But consider the fact that the Dreamcast version of the game will be able to play against PC owners. Unless your skills are very finely developed, someone sitting on a T1 line will absolutely crush you on your modem connection - especially if you're stuck with the less-than-perfect Dreamcast pad for control.

Along with existing PC levels, the game will feature Dreamcast-specific levels. Also, a few DC-specific modes will likely be included with the final product.

Written By

Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.

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