The Quake Live Trailer

If there’s one area within gaming that I’m genuinely inclined to be unreasonable to the point irrationality, it’s in the FPS deathmatch games – the Quake III / UT axis. For me Quake III was almost the only game worth playing. Quakeworld was a little too fast, UT too fat and feature-obese, and so on. Quake III was minimalist wonder, and what Id started was finished by the modders who worked on things like OSP, Threewave, and Rocket Arena 3. It’s that last bit that has me the most concerned about Quake Live: Id made a fine game, but it was their community that completed it and honed it to the point of perfection. The browser-based system seems to make that community contribution rather more complex, as everything will have to be mediated by Id.

Nevertheless I am rather excited about Quake Live because it will, at least, give us scope to dust off the old beast and play railguns-‘n’-rockets once again. I don’t suppose I’ll ever recapture the hungry vitality of running a Quake III clan, or playing daily capture-the-flag pickup games with the European hardcore, but it is at least a taste of where gaming might go: works of gaming genius, free in a browser.

The question is: will Battlefield Heroes wipe the floor with Quake Live’s ultra-hardcore skill-neediness? I think it just might.


  1. Turin Turambar says:

    I think the auto-matchmaking could help to lower the ultra-hardcore skillz needed in the game. Newbies will play with newbies, and hardcore players will play with others hardcore players.

    At least, it’s my hope.

  2. Guido says:

    I doubt that Battlefield Heroes will have the depth to have me hooked, but I just might be wrong – after all, I thought the same thing about TF2, and I have nowhere reached the skill cap there even with over 50 hours played (oh, and my first network FPS was Doom II back in the day).

    Nevertheless, and despite being more an UT guy than a Quake guy, Quake Live definitely catches my fancy; I can barely wait.

  3. MetalCircus says:

    Quake in a web browser? Surely that’s some kind of crazyness? Not that i’m complaining ;)

  4. Spiny says:

    Looks like it includes team area :) This added some nice touches to Q3, shame nobody except me bought it…

  5. Nick Halme says:

    More of a UT man myself, but I’ll take it.

  6. Freelancepolice says:


    wait, no one bought q3? what?

  7. Jim Rossignol says:

    No one bought Team Arena.

  8. Crispy says:

    I really don’t think BFH will drag any hardcore gamers away from Quake Live, they’re totally opposite ends of the spectrum. In one you can buy more experience, in the other you have to earn every point you get.

    It’s more likely that BFH will provide for the gamers who don’t get into Quake-DM-in-a-browser.

  9. rocketeer says:

    No wonder no one bought Team Arena. It was a ripoff of several already available mods, plus some maps.

    Epic (at that time they cared about us) was releasing pack after pack of totally free goodness, and id comes and wants to charge for TA?. Yeah, I didn’t pay.

  10. itsallcrap says:

    UT too fat and feature-obese

    Feature obese?! That’s a hell of a criticism.

    You don’t *have* to play the other modes, you know…

  11. teo says:

    I don’t think BF:Heroes will do better than QuakeLive. Quake is a much simpler game that’s probably going to be much easier to get into and thus attract more people. Its gameplay is unmatched to this day!

  12. Senethro says:

    Isn’t Heroes currently a third person shooter with no option of first?

    (also warsow)

  13. Lorc says:

    You don’t have to play them all, but the more modes there are, the less people there are playing your favourite with you (ever tried finding a game of assault or domination online?). And the more types of play the design has to cater too, the less perfectly it caters to any given one.

    Besides, it’s not just a matter of modes. UT had no few weapons, fire modes, maps, powerups and even game features that were basically chaff. It was wider in scope than Q3, but consequently flabbier too.

    UT was a great game – but quake 3 was more focussed, and while it catered to fewer tastes, it did what it chose to do better.

    (Team arena was still a joke though. Whether it was objectively worth the money or not, nobody was ever going to pay for a featureset we’d learned to expect from a free mod.)

  14. Masterdog says:

    I think BFH will beat Q3 in terms of popularity (tho I’m looking forward to playing both). Can’t think of an online FPS game recently that has been pure deathmatch (except UT3, and that’s not particularly popular), whereas we’ve had Battlefield, TF2, ETQW building up and training an audience for the team- and role-based games.
    OTOH, maybe people are ready to appreciate a good straight deathmatch game again after a few years of teamplay. It’ll be interesting to find out, but tbh I mainly came here to say that Quakeworld was the best.

  15. itsallcrap says:

    quake 3 was more focussed, and while it catered to fewer tastes, it did what it chose to do better.

    Yeah, I played Q3 a lot too, but ultimately it was too fun-obese.

    I far prefer stacking matchboxes, in which you’re not overwhelmed by a barrage of surplus entertaining events.

  16. muscrat says:

    mind me asking… where the hell is the gore? Quake without gibs looks… odd.

  17. Lorc says:

    I apologise if I offended you.

  18. Simon says:

    I think once this game is released, it may not live up to its expectations (like with everything), and we’ll see a huge repopulation of real Q3 servers

  19. sbs says:

    muscrat: Serves me well, because otherwise it most-probably would be banned in Germany just like Quake 3 was.
    The ban doesn’t keep anyone from playing it, but as far as I know, Gaming event and LAN tournament organizers had some kind of trouble with that, because the only way they could have had some tourneys was to have a designated 18 area and card people.

    By the way Jim, you should have an invite for the beta, check your spam\junk folder from around July 10th.

  20. Jim Rossignol says:

    I am playing the beta, but that’s for another post :)

  21. slang says:

    Back then, Activision tried to lift the “ban” (it’s actually more like an AO rating) with a goreless version but it didn’t work.
    Q3 is blacklisted in Germany in whatever version. Which of course doesn’t mean shit after all because nobody really cares as long as the servers are not on German territory:-)

  22. sbs says:

    Yeah, “ban” was too harshly put. It’s just that it’s kinda hard to explain and I do not know the equivalent in the UK or US.
    It’s basically a ban from store shelf, so you can only buy under the counter, yada yada yada. Whatever.
    It’s funny that the blood-and gib-less version got the same treatment, though.

    Anyway, I even doubt they cba to rate some free online game.

  23. -=D=- says:

    its the rebith of the and MPlayer days
    Remember HEAT.NET’s modo “Play Free, Play Now”

  24. Alec Meer says:

    Bah. I’ve applied to the beta with at least five different email addresses now, all to no avail. NOBODY LOVES ME.

  25. Mo says:

    I feel your pain Alec … three email addresses here. :(

  26. Erlam says:

    “No one bought Team Arena.”

    And with good reason, haha.

  27. Nahual says:

    I liked how they described Quake 3 in the GFW podcast, something along the lines of:
    “When you join an old UT or CS server, if you’re a good FPS player in general, you can take care of yourself, when you join a Quake server, the people that still play it are savants, it’s not even a difference between good or great players, they are one with the game”

    And i totally agree. Playing Quake 3 hardcore is the closest thing there is in gaming to being “in the zone”. Now, i think im too old to get back to the level i used to have, but i certainly can’t wait to give the old girl another spin.

  28. Jonny Robson says:


    Does anybody happen to have a spare beta invite for Quake Live at all? I would be muchos grateful! My email address is on my blog. Ta!

  29. Nate says:

    I don’t think I’ll ever be as good at any game as I was at Q3. There was that experience of leaving a rocket for a player that you hadn’t seen in 30 seconds and being rewarded with that understated “clink” that meant damage had been dealt….

    For me, that experience was actually diluted with mods and new levels. The joy, when it came, lay in mastering a level, not in learning a new one.

    That said, I’m a little disappointed in this. It looks exactly like Q3. The big innovation is apparently that it’s free and that installation is streamlined. Is that enough for a decade-old game to compete? I guess we’ll see.

  30. Jonny Robson says:

    I think it will work really well. You’re basically giving easy “pick up and play” access to one of the most finely tuned shooters of all time to everyone. It’s certainly gonna be popular.

  31. Bob says:

    A decade old game with excellent gameplay is still a game with excellent gameplay. Graphics are secondary to good gameplay. Hell, Quake 1 (or quakeworld) is still a good game even if you play it at 320×240 256 colours on a pentium 1.

  32. Nate says:

    Well of course I agree with you. I fire up old games all the time. I even play vs Q3 bots every once in a while. But sales and usage stats disagree. If Q3 is such an excellent game that it’s still a competitor with modern games, then why is it no longer selling? And is “free” a big enough offset to whatever the reason is?

  33. Al3xand3r says:

    Most people will always look for new things… No matter how grand a video game, or a show on TV is, interest will wither for most and developers and channels will have to come up with something new to catch their attention.

    Perhaps after all this time it’s about time for a comeback, but perhaps with all the other DM games we’ve had through the years, it’s not time yet.

  34. Inglorion says:

    Battlefield will win, because most people are noobs.

  35. gregor-ino says:

    The big deciding factor will be whether they’ve captured the smooth gameplay of Q3. Sure, it’s got the looks, but if it lacks the balanced motion and weapon mechanics of Q3, it may not make big waves.

  36. Nestor says:

    for clarification: the stats system/buddy system/rankings/server browser, etc, are all in browser. The actual game is a windows executable (spawned from the browser) just like any decent videogame. JC is quoted as saying that they barely had to touch any of the original Q3 codebase except in a few sparse areas, so the original fast-paced Q3 feel will be preserved. The maps, 30 of them, are all touched up originals from Q3A & Team Arena, all the old favorites.

  37. Joinn says:

    Just when you think you’ve got over your addiction, they pull you back in.

    I don’t think I’ll go back to playing, losing one job because of staying up late all night, every night, to play Quake 3 is enough. I think I spent almost 4 years of constant playing, with only brief timeouts for Half-Life and such games

  38. Ocho-Bits! says:

    Any Idea when they will give out more invitations? I’m sick of spamming multiple addresses into the website.

    If anyone is willing to invite me, I’ll be very happy!

    Ochobitios [@] Gmail [.] Com

  39. Spook* says:

    QuakeLive invite Pleaski’s
    fpsgamer (AT)

  40. ChopstiX says:

    someone PLEASE send me an invite

    itstommytran AT sbcglobal DOT net

  41. Tei says:

    IMHO, Quake3 killed the genre. With the perfection come no evolution.

  42. Darrell says:

    Id has been repackaging the same three games for too long now, I have a hard time getting excited about yet another version of Quake. Maybe Rage will be pretty good, but my hopes aren’t high. IMHO, Valve has a much better and more exciting catalogue and they’ve earned my trust as a consumer. I haven’t been excited about an id product *since* Q3.