Quake 3: Team Arena
Are you wondering wether Team Arena is worth its money ? Well, let me tell you this then : Team Arena is what Quake 3:Arena should have been from the start !
I was a bit disappointed when Q3A came out since I didn’t really like it. For me, being a huge Quake-fan, it was really weird having to admit that Unreal Tournament was alot better than the latest Quake incarnation made by ID Software.
ID Software, however, seem to have looked around at the competition, and improved Q3A in many ways with the Team Arena add-on.
Team Arena is still a multiplayer game, although you can also play it single player.
There are 4 game modes out of which you can choose : Capture the Flag, One Flag CTF, Overload and Harvester.
Capture the Flag is in many ways the same as it was in Q3A, but ID Software re-invented the Q3A maps so that the gameplay is alot better. Also the new weapons improve the game alot, but I’ll get to the weapons later.
One Flag CTF is the same as CTF, but with 1 difference : There’s a third (white) flag, and you need to capture it and bring it to the enemy’s base (where his flag is located) to score a cap.
Harvester is one of the best game modes in TA. Every time someone dies, a skull is thrown out of the skull generator, and the goal is to capture that skull and bring it to the opponent’s base to score a point. It’s quite similar to CTF, but enough difference to make it an enjoyable variation.
The last new game mode is Overload. Here you need to destroy the skull portion of the opponent’s obelisk and I can assure you that that isn’t an easy goal since the skull constantly regenerates at a rate of 15 hit points a second. Be sure to have enough firepower to shoot the skull, and enough backup to protect you from enemy fire.
Next to new game modes, there are also 12 new models in place.
The two new individual models (which you can play against in Tourney mode – duel) are Pi and Fritzkrieg.
Personally I don’t find Pi to be so extraordinary, but Fritzkrieg on the other hand is very impressive. He’s an ex-member of the German army from World War 2 who’s been put back together as some kind of compilation of flesh and bones. He makes me think back to the days of Wolfenstein3D
Next to the new individual models, there are also several team (clan) models, divided into 4 races : Humans, Undead, B’Rakku and Aidami.
The clans themselves are divided between the Pagans, Crusaders, Strogg, Intruders and The Fallen. Each of them having members from different races.
In the game itself, several new medals have been introduced : Assist (when the player participates actively in a capture being made), Defence (when you kill an opponent that’s near your base) and Capture (when you make a cap, destroy the enemy obelisk or make a capture of a skull in Harvester-mode).
The new weapons defenitely have been inspired by other games.
The nailgun has a low accuracy but has high damage (kinda like the Super Shotgun of Quake 2) and the nails tend to bounce back from walls like the flack cannon or ripper in Unreal Tournament. A very nice weapon indeed
The Prox Launcher is nice for defense. It shoots of mines that explode when someone comes near it (wether it’s you or an enemy, so be careful).
The Chaingun is back, and it’s more powerful than ever. In Quake 2, the chaingun was the most powerful weapon if you could handle it correctly, but it wasn’t considered very good amongst most less-skilled players. In Team Arena however, the chaingun has taken its place as the most powerful weapon of all with its burning rate of bullets tearing everything apart that comes in its way.
An add-on withour power-ups is not a finished add-on, and the guys from ID Software have done their best to make Team Arena the greatest addition to a quake game yet.
Ammo-regen regenerates the ammo you’ve used until your weapon is back to full load. Also it increases your fire rate so if you’re a good aimer, you should be able to kill enemies faster.
Doubler is a kind of quad damage that boosts the amount of damage when you hit an adversary. Combined with the Quad or invulnerability, this will make you a very dangerous opponent.
Guard increases your health up to 200 (like the megahealth) and keeps regenerating your health to that level.
Scout is the latest power-up, and can be seen as the Quake 2 Lithium mod’s haste rune. It increases your firing rate and movement speed.
New carried items are Kamikaze and Invulnerability.
Kamikaze will kill you when you detonate it, but it will also kill everyone that’s cought in its shockwave. It’s like an atom bomb that explodes.
Invulnerability is not like it’s in the other Quake games : a sphere will be created around you and you’ll be invulnerable for all weapons (except prox mines) but you won’t be able to move outside the sphere.
Enough talk about new items and weapons. Team Arena has more than that.
Also new to Quake 3 in this add-on are the Vortex Portals and the viewing panels.
The portals act like some kind of wormholes ; When stepping through a vortex portal, you’ll be going through a wormhole, which is very well-created, and be teleported to another part of the arena.
On the other hand, the viewing panels will show you another part of the arena, so if you’ve lost track of your opponent, you’ll have an easy way of checking his whereabouts.
And if that isn’t enough new stuff for a game, ID Software has re-created the whole menu system.
Menu’s are now much more overseeable, and if you want to start up Quake 3:Arena, you can easily do it from within Team Arena.
Also the gameplay itself is incredible. TA plays like a Ferrari on steroids. You’ll keep coming back for more.
In conclusion I can just say this : The only sad thing about Team Arena is that you need to buy Quake 3:Arena because TA is a game on itself. Well done ID Software, and you defenitely deserve the highest score we’ve EVER given a game yet.