Quake Live Free, (Let’s You) Die Hard On Steam Today

Quake Live launches on Steam later today. At the time of writing, it’s fewer than 12 hours until the free-to-play variation of Quake 3 makes its way onto the service, after four years running via its own site. Bethesda have released a lovely ‘launch’ trailer to mark the occasion, which acts as a fine reminder of everything that’s great about the game.

I used to watch Quake 3 trick videos as a lad and was constantly frustrated that their balletic chicanery was always scored by a soundtrack of death metal. I’m glad that Bethesda’s video editor went the other way and chose to highlight the graceful loveliness of Quake 3’s movement with something more gentle.

My actual experiences playing Quake 3 were very different again from the video above. I played for hundreds of hours and could rocket jump adequately, but never possessed the mixture of situational awareness, timing and reflexes required to be, you know, good at it. I’d mainly practice railgun shots on The Longest Yard, or run giddily around the pillars on The Very End Of You with a 1v1 friend, til one of us became disoriented and fell into the void. It was great.

It might be even more great now that it’s on Steam, and after the quality-of-life features like loadouts and auto-jumping which were added at the end of last month. It always felt like Quake Live hadn’t had the audience size it deserved, so maybe this is the point where more people pick it up and give it a try.


  1. Mungrul says:

    ‘course, if you want to set up your own servers with custom maps and mods, you can still buy Quake 3 Arena on Steam.
    That and you still get gibs in vanilla Q3.

  2. honuk says:

    well now that it’s on a service with 600 million other games, I’m sure it’s bound to find a wider audience.

  3. Frank says:

    Why did this take so long? Bethsoft and Valve haven’t had problems putting other games on Steam…

    • BooleanBob says:

      Quake Live has been through a few iterations, the earlier of which pre-date Steam’s free to play initiative. It might seem like a no brainer today, but it wasn’t an option at the time.

      Even if they were launching for the first time today, Bethimax might have decided to going their own way would allow them to maximise their takings on the game. For whatever reason, it seems like they now think the game will bring greater profits on Steam.

      The benefits they probably see are in exposure and hassle-free installation; you need to get a lot of customers through the door If you want to make money from micro-transactions, as something like 90% or more of players will never part with a dime. If Valve are willing to push the game through their in-client and on-site advertising, it will probably turn out to be a very handsome earner, not to mention a great game.

  4. kororas says:

    poor rapha

    • Faxanadu says:

      Yeah who is this Rapha guy, he keeps dying all the time, man he must suck at Quake. :D (jk rapha is a god)

      THE NEW ANNOUNCER VOICE SUCKS, are you kidding me? The old one was an ABSOLUTE CLASSIC and they replace it with a new one (sacrilege alone) that’s BLAND and quiet and dull. How dare they. How dare they?!

  5. sabrage says:

    You know, considering Alec just criticized Lets Get Cracking for missing the apostrophe, I would think you wouldn’t make the opposite mistake in something as important as a title.

  6. Rizlar says:

    New Best Headline Ever.

  7. KDR_11k says:

    Did they add those idiotic loadouts yet?

    • OAKu says:

      Loadout’s were added on 9/11 for FFA and other less serious modes. There are plenty of servers that use the legacy ruleset.

      • tormos says:

        The REAL 9/11, IMO

        • tormos says:

          although actually I am of a generation that cares little for Quake and a subsubculture that cares even less for its modern day descendants, so I suppose that the real 9/11 can go back to your choice of 2001 (Americans) or 1973 (Chileans, American leftists)

          • tormos says:

            or 9/11 1857 (Anti-Mormons)
            1997 (opponents of the devolved parliament in Scotland)
            or 1847 (opponents of the song “Oh! Susannah!)

  8. Film11 says:

    Good lord, why did they replace the classic voices? The new ones sound… lame, really.

    • Flaringo says:

      im gonna miss quake-announcer-guy complimenting me by saying “Impressive!” every time i got a few consecutive rail shots :( it won’t be the same anymore. if it’s not him saying it, it doesnt hold any real meaning to me.

  9. Radiant says:

    Ah… when games were fast.
    *Smokes pipe*
    *Fires up hexcells*