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    Quake 3: Team Arena

     

    Genre: First Person Shooter

    Multiplayer: Yes (LAN, TCP/IP)

    Developer: id Software

    Publisher: Activision

    Date: 02-06-01

    Reviewer: Tim ďHyperĒ Monahan

    Minimum System Requirements:

     

    Microsoftģ Windowsģ 95/98/ME/2000/NT4(SP3+) OS

    Full Version of Quake 3 Arena for Windows

    Intelģ Pentiumģ II 300 MHz processor or††††

    AMDģ 350 MHz K6-3ģ Processor

    64 MB RAM

    16 MB video card with full OpenGLģ support

    400 MB of uncompressed hard drive space (plus 100 MB additional for Windows swap file)

    Quad-speed CD-ROM drive (600 k/sec sustained transfer rate)

    100% DirectX 3.0 or higher compatible sound card

    100% Microsoft-compatible mouse and driver

     

    Introduction:

    Iím sure that you have all heard of the Quake series. Since 1996, millions of gamers have been battling it out for the top of the scoreboard. However, with id softwares latest offering, Quake 3: Team Arena, they have decided to focus more on team play, rather then plain old DM style play. One gripe however, is that Activision have decided to charge for a game which many feel should have been a free update, like the UT add ons.

     

    Quake 3: Arena was released well over a year ago now, and it was a hit. It delivered amazing visuals, sounds and gameplay. But does itís add on, Team Arena, live up to itís name? Youíll have to read on to find out!

     

    Gameplay:

    The gameplay in Team Arena is pretty much the same as Quake 3: Arenaís. id has included four new styles of game modes this time around. They are:

     

    Classic CTF: Your teamís objective is to capture a flag located in the enemy teamís base and return it to yours.

     

    One Flag CTF: Similar to Classic CTF, but there is only one flag, which is located in a central room. Instead of returning it to your own base, you return it to the enemyís base instead.

     

    Overload: In Overload, each teamís base has a skull-adorned obelisk. Your teamís objective is to destroy the other teamís obelisk.

     

    Harvester: Whenever a player is fragged, a skull appears near a skull generator in the middle of the map. Similar to One Flag CTF, you have to grab as many of the enemy teamís skulls as possible and take them back to the enemy teamís base. If you get fragged while carrying the skulls, you lose them all.

     

    In my opinion these new gameplay modes are very interesting and bring life back into Quake 3: Arena. Along with the new gameplay modes, thereís many new team play maps. There is eight new team maps, four new tourney maps, four redesigned maps from Quake 3: Arena, and three outdoors maps. All are very interesting and range in sizes. Along with the new gameplay modes, there are three new weapons! There is a proximity mine launcher and the nail gun and chain gun make a return. These weapons add little to how the game plays though, and the chain gun runs out of ammo way to fast for it to have much effect.

     

    Whether everyone in the server youíre playing with actually works as a team or treats it like FFA is a different matter however. Team Arena doesnít actually promote teamwork... although playing as a team can help you to achieve your object quicker or more affectively, it really comes down to the players. I personally think Team Arena would be interesting for clan war situations, as thatís where you work as a team and not individually.

     

    Team Arena ran fine over the Internet, and it was extremely easy to find or set up a server in Team Arena. Lag is always unavoidable, however in Team Arena it was fine most of the time on my cable modem. Team Arena has the standard CD key verification, which only needs to be entered once during the install.

     

    Graphics:

    Team Arena sports the same graphics engine as Quake 3, which although is aging, is still pretty on the eyes. Unfortunately Team Arena seems to run much slower then Quake 3 does, and itís quite noticeable. On my P3 600mhz system with a Geforce2 Pro 64mb I noticed a nasty drop in frames on full detail in resolutions from 1024x748 and up. The new set-up menu is very well designed however, and is easy to navigate. There is also a new HUD (heads up display) in Team Arena, which contains a lot more info then the one in Quake 3: Arena.

     

    One of the first things I noticed when I was setting up my character was the new models in Team Arena. To be honest they look boring and sad. There are only two new character models, with a handful of skins, and they are nothing in comparison to the Quake 3: Arena models. There are much better user-created models available on the Internet then the ones that comes with Team Arena.

     

    Sound:

    Another low point for Team Arena is the audio. The effects sound decent, but the vocals are of low quality and sound distorted. The in game voice taunts are pretty disappointing as well - itís also hard to understand what theyíre saying sometimes. On a good point though, Team Arena includes a new Doppler effect on the larger projectiles like rockets, which adds some credibility to an overall poor sound work. Support for A3D is included.

     

    Conclusion:

    Besides the flaws in several areas of Team Arena, itís still a lot of fun to play, which is what counts most importantly. Itís a good add on for Quake 3: Arena, and the new game modes and maps bring more out of Quake 3: Arena. If youíre really into team play games, then give Team Arena a go definitely, however if youíre not really into them, itís not really worth the money when then thereís plenty of mods to download for Quake 3 for free.

     

    Overall rating: 7/10

    Thanks to Firingsquad for the screenshots.

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