The Quake series always had a bit of an identity crisis. Id Software bickered like children on whether the first game should be a fantasy game or a sci-fi shooter, eventually going for the latter with some sword-wielding enemies and DOOM-like weapons dumped on top. Meanwhile, its sequel, Quake II, was in no way related to its predecessor. Regardless, they still scored rave reviews, and rightly so. They raised the bar for first-person shooters, after all.
Enter Quake III Arena, a multiplayer-centric first-person shooter from 1999. This one is still being played in gaming tournaments to this very day. It’s a satisfying old-school romp, despite how lightweight it is.
Quake III Arena’s weapons and items are pretty run-of-the-mill, but are still fun to use.
In Quake III Arena, the greatest warriors and fighters across time and space have been transported to another dimension, known as Arena Eternal, to battle one another for the amusement of a mysterious species. Its campaign mode is nothing more than seven chapters made up of deathmatches with pre-set score limits, enemies and maps, and playing them may feel a bit monotonous for some players. Other game modes like team deathmatch, capture the flag and tournament mode (which is basically DM, but only two people at a time can duel) can be played in custom matches. Honestly, none of it is anything too mind-blowing or innovative. It just gets the job done.
In the arena, you’ll be battling robots, cyberpunks, soldiers, demons, and more – some characters are just reskins of one another with minor alterations. A few familiar faces from previous id Software titles make an appearance, too. It would’ve been nice to have character stats to add a bit of variety, but otherwise everything is kept fair and equal in this quick-paced shooter.
Quake III Arena runs silky-smooth and