Quake III: Arena Mods
The Quake deathmatch is timeless, but sometimes you want something different. Thanks to the large mod-making community, new mods enhance your game or change gameplay rules completely. These are some mods you'll want to try.
Quake III Mods
Quake III is all about speed, so you'd think slowing things down would hurt its gameplay. Not if you're using Aqualung, which turns any map into an underwater realm and lets you swim your way to victory or sink to the bottom in defeat. We had to rethink all our normal tactics and relearn each level, as threats came from above and below as often as they came from the sides. We were also forced to refine our aim because when weapons kick in Aqualung, they thrust you backward according to their power. It takes a lot of finesse with the movement keys or a wall at your back to keep a target centered.
Aqualung changes more than the game's physics; it also adds some cool graphical touches to each level. Torches and other lights take on a blue cast, and the entire view in front of you expands and contracts slightly to add to the underwater feel. Weapon fire leaves a trail of bubbles in its wake, and in a heated battle, the sum of the effects makes for some amazing sights. Aqualung is a simple concept done to perfection and is well worth the small download.
Creator: The FreakBall Arena Team
Quake meets basketball in this
If this mod gets the attention it deserves, FreakBall may replace your need to play Quake and basketball as two separate pastimes. A ball launcher is mixed in with the normal assortment of weapons, and you must use it to move a hyperactive ball into your opponent's goal. It's all very simple until the enemy starts shooting at you.
Your ball launcher must be equipped to scoop up the ball, and if you switch to a weapon, the ball drops. This makes your teammates extremely important because they are the only ones who can cover your defenseless butt as you dash madly toward the goal. With practice you can pass the ball to teammates, and it's a skill you'll have to master to play FreakBall's secondary mode, which eliminates all weapons from the game and reduces the speed of the ball carrier.
Everything incorporated into this mod just makes sense. You can score by throwing the ball into the goal, but you get more points if you take the tougher approach and run it in. When you do manage to score, a short song plays, and you can revel in your victory for a few seconds before a new ball is spawned in the center of the arena. Nobody can take damage during these few seconds, which gives everyone a chance to get into position for the next run.
For obvious reasons, you can't play FreakBall on a typical map, but there are six arenas in the beta download, many of which include hard-to-reach areas that have freakgates. Passing through a freakgate grants you either a quad damage or haste power-up. More power-ups will be implemented in future versions, and it's important to keep enemies as far away from the freakgates as possible so they don't gain an overwhelming advantage. We can't wait to see what else this mod-making team has in store for us once the final version is released.
Creator: Darrell Bircsak
Tag! You're it!
Freeze Tag proves that the most basic mods are often the most gratifying. The premise here is simple: If you find yourself on the wrong end of someone else's gun, you freeze in place instead of dying. You can then roam around in spectator mode as usual, but if one of your teammates stands next to your frozen "corpse" for three seconds, you get to hop back in your body, and the game goes on. The only way to win the game is to freeze everyone on the opposing team.
It's amazing how a small change in the rules can provide you with so many new strategic options. Frozen players can be used as bait, but savvy teams can "sacrifice" one of their teammates to set up clever counterambushes. The fact that you can unfreeze teammates has the added side effect of encouraging you to work in pairs. Having someone else around at all times reduces the chances that any single opponent will be able to freeze both of you, and it also gives enemies less time to prepare traps when they do manage to freeze someone. Freeze Tag is difficult to master for anyone entrenched in the typical lone-wolf method of combat, but if you can scare up a partner to practice with regularly, Freeze Tag can provide an endless amount of enjoyment.
Adding voice communication to your game of Quake was never easier.
Using voice communications software like Roger Wilco with Quake III is great for all the low-ping players out there with the bandwidth to handle it, but what's a 56kbps-modem user to do? We recommend downloading Q3A Radio, which adds extensive communication features to the game. Even though it takes some coordination to get your entire team equipped, the benefits are well worth it. Instead of throwing easily ignored text messages up on the screen, Q3A Radio triggers prerecorded audio messages that are fully customizable. It's easy to install, doesn't hog system resources (or require any extra bandwidth), and can turn a good team into a great team by letting it better coordinate its actions. And it doesn't tie up your phone line like conference calling with your clan does.
Quake Fu offers some interesting features and crazy gameplay enhancements that change the nature of a standard deathmatch. It injects a little realism into the game: Weapons have weight, and you must have empty inventory slots to carry them around. All the ammo you have is shown on your body, so you can always tell what your opponents have down to their last rocket launcher round. The latest beta we looked at also incorporated a basic class system based on the standard player models included in the game. Orbb (the strange eyeball with legs) can run up walls. Bigger players move slowly but get more hit points, and they can carry more stuff. It adds an entirely new dimension to gameplay.
Quake Fu takes a little getting used to. You have to crouch to scoop up weapons, and the first time you run out of ammo and don't have anywhere to stow your empty weapon is bound to be frustrating, but after a few hours of playing, normal deathmatches seemed a little dull and generic. Best of all, Hentai managed to pack all these new features into a download that is well under 2MB.
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