Once upon a time, I had the demo of Quake 3 Arena. It only had like, 4 maps and 3 characters, but that did not stop me from playing it daily for YEARS. I am talking every morning before going to work or school. It was an addiction really. But I was doing something naughty though: I was playing using a dial-up modem.
For those who are too young to ever have had a modem, back in the day you had to get internet through the phone line, and the maximum speed was 56kb a second. Yeah, that slow. So whenever I entered a a server to play Quake 3, the game would freeze for like a full minute, then it would play fine for maybe 30 seconds, then freeze again. Oh, and it did not just happen to me, but to everyone else on the server as well.
People used to get mad and spew comments, and of course I was often booted off the server by the host. When I would check my ping time during these freezes, it would be like 99.999999 .
So why did I keep playing Quake 3? Because it was too hard to resist. Eventually I would own the full version (many years later) that would allow all the mods a, maps and models that my heart desired. Unfortunately the engine’s freedom to be modded also opened the floodgates to cheaters. Lots of people would be flying around in spectator mode (I guess?) and they could shoot you, but you could not shoot them. Of course, they would also change skins and all sorts of weird stuff.
The History Of Quake 3 Arena
Quake 3 Arena is a tournament-style first-person shooter. Basically it is a bunch of people in a building with crazy weapons and the goal is to kill more people than anything. That is it in a nutshell. It is fast-paced, and along with power-ups to balance the scale, the game is fun and exciting.
There is a problem though: It was released the same year as another game called Unreal Tournament. What kind of game is that, you ask? EXACTLY THE SAME CONCEPT. The timing of both games was uncanny. More than that though, reviewers were favoring Unreal Tournament over Quake 3.
That is not to say that Quake 3 did not have its advantages. While UT had better artificial intelligence, Quake 3 had the advantage of realistically lit environments using inverse square root. In Quake 3, you could ride a rocket’s blast to help you get to high places. The rail gun, essentially a laser that could knock someone off a cliff, had to be shot accurately but was incredibly effective. You could also both duck and jump, which was essential for surviving during on-line battles.
Compared to today, the graphics may not be super-stellar but the gameplay still holds up just fine. When I eventually purchased the full version, it came as a three-pack (affiliate link) that included the first 3 Quake games.