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Quake 4 Review

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Looks like a hundred million bucks, but the multiplayer levels have shrunk.

★★★★★

Although Quake is best known for multiplayer carnage – its brutal action once the scourge of offices across the land, with staff lunch breaks regularly overrunning in favour of networked frag-fests – the game’s fourth instalment is more focused on solitary bloodshed.

Almost an afterthought in previous Quakes, the single-player adventure now features a twisting plot, mission-based levels and explosive set-pieces that make for a compelling and immersive experience, the demonic action brought to life by Hollywood-style production values and slick graphics that make the brutish Strogg seem more menacing than ever.

But while the one-player game isn't perfect – the intelligence of your enemies pales in comparison to recent gun-toters such as F.E.A.R. and Far Cry, and the action feels restricted and linear alongside other modern blasters – the multiplayer mode is Quake 4’s biggest letdown, the paltry selection of cramped, unimaginative battle arenas failing to offer the
opportunities for unbridled mayhem that made its predecessors undisputed genre classics.

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