A Flashlight on a Gun? What a concept.
Quake 4 may remind you of another famous Id Software game, ever heard of Doom 3? Well Quake 4 uses the Doom 3 engine so it looks a lot similar to the latest addition to that legendary franchise. The graphics are pretty much exaclty the same. I had to keep some of the settings low so I don't know what it would look like on a top of the line system, but I bet it would look fantastic since it looked very good on my system. The only thing you'd notice is some pixelation when you're looking at something extremely close up. I played Quake 4 on a Dell Inspiron laptop with an Intel Dual Core 1.6ghz processor, 256MB Radeon X1400 Mobility video card and 1GB of RAM. You play as Kane, a soldier in the Rhino Squad. You are continually given orders to complete differnet objectives to meet in each level. Sometimes you even have the help of other marines which is great in tight spots. There is even a medic and a tech specialist that can heal your health and armor, respectively. Generally the NPCs can hold their own but they can die pretty quick if you just stand there and let them do all the work. There are a few escort missions but these aren't a problem. There are 10 different guns in the game, pistol w/unlimited ammo, machine gun, shotgun, hyperblaster, grenade launcher, nailgun, rocket launcher, rail gun, lightning gun and the dark matter gun. The one major improvement on Doom 3 is that the pistol and the machine gun both have flashlights built into the guns. So you don't have to put your gun down and bring out a flashlight like you did in Doom 3. This is an extremely welcomed change. I can understand why they did that in Doom 3 cause they were trying to add to the horror atmosphere but it got annoying real quick. Quake is more of a straight up fps action game. There isn't much atmosphere to it. Sure I've jumped now and then from a Strogg jumping at you from around the corner but you don't get that eerie feeling you did in Doom. Quake doesn't have that excellent ambient background music and the superb lighting effects. But you bought the game to kill stuff right?
The AI in the game is pretty good. The enemies will use cover, some will shoot grenades at you to get you to come out of hiding, some charge at you and some just have homing missles/bullets to get you. You definitely have to be moving around constantly. You can't just charge in and expect to come out alive, becuase you will die, a lot. The most difficult time I had with the AI was one room where you have to fight 8 of the strongest type of Strogg in the game all in a row with only a few small health packs lying around. That took me almost an hour to get past. It got a little frustrating but a welcome challenge. One of my only complaints with the single player game is that the end bosses are a cakewalk compared to the room with 8 enemies that I just mentioned. I beat them on the second try and only took a few minutes instead of the 1 hour it took to take down a bunch of normal enemies.
I did not play the multiplayer so I dont' know what that's like but I've heard that it's a bit of a disappointment. As far as replay value goes, I didn't find any other then playing through the game again on a different difficulty or just playing the multiplayer.