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Introduction and new features
Title : Quake 3 : Team Arena
Developer : iD Software
#Price : 20.00
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It's finally here. After delay upon delay... not to mention the fact that it was released on the 15th December in the USA...curse Activision...we have Quake III: Team Arena. Very nice it is too. Quake III: Arena was never touted as a team game. Its TDM and CTF modes seem tacky and tagged on; Unreal Tournament, Tribes, Team Fortress Classic and Counter-Strike all have much more developed teamplay modes. Team Arena aims to correct this, complete Q3A perhaps? So how does it stand up?

First Impressions

The first thing I noticed upon running Team Arena was the very nice GUI - certainly an improvement on Quake III's offering. The server browser is much better too - faster, and it remembers the list from your last refresh (WOW!). No more going into the game to add a server to favourites either. Obviously it can't compare to the likes of Gamespy for functionality, but for speed and ease of use, it's perfectly fine for just jumping into a game. Tops.

What does Team Arena include?

Team Arena introduces three new gametypes:
  • One-flag CTF: One white flag in the middle of the map, take it and capture it in the enemy team's base. If the carrier is fragged, the flag is dropped and stays there until someone picks it up. A simple concept, and probably my favourite gametype.

  • Harvester: When enemies are fragged, their skulls are generated near the skull generator in the centre of the map. The object of the game is to take the enemy skulls and capture them in the skull receptacle in the enemy base for a capture point. If you walk over a friendly skull it will simply remove it from play.

  • Overload: There are two obelisks, one in each team's base. The objective is to destroy the enemy team's obelisk for a team point. One person isn't likely to be able to destroy it since it can take a lot of damage, and regenerates constantly.
  • Plus there's standard CTF of course, and, oddly, Tournament.

    Team Arena also has Team powerups, kind of like QWCTF runes or Q2CTF tech powerups, except that they are in or near each team's base, and can only be picked up by members of each team. You keep them until you die.

    Scout: Gives you twice the movement speed, and double fire rate, but you cant wear armour while using one. Perfect for offense - cap runs, doing lots of damage to the skull in Overload or "harvesting" skulls.

    Guard: Boosts it's users health and armour to 200, and regenerates health. Normal health level and armour levels raised from 100 to 200. Good for both offense and defense in both CTF modes and Harvester. Best for defense in Overload. People with Guard are very hard to kill.

    Doubler: Weapons do double damage. Mostly good for defense, but also well suited for attacking the obelisk in Overload. Good for taking out people with Guard.

    Ammo Regen: Regenerates ammo, and increases fire rate slightly. Perhaps the least exciting of the powerups, but critical for rail snipers or chaingun defenders... or for attacking the Overload obelisk.

    Generic, single-use powerups, which activate just like the medkit or personal teleport:

    Kamikaze: When activated, kills its user and creates a powerful explosion which kills everyone in its wake, ally or enemy. Moreover, if someone holding a kamikaze is fragged, but not gibbed, 5 seconds after their death the kamikaze will detonate. People with a kamikaze have skulls rotating around them, kind of an early warning indicator.

    Invulnerability: This powerup encircles it's user in a purple sphere, which is mostly impenetrable. While invulnerable, a player cannot move, but can pivot and fire. A living turret, if you will. The powerup only lasts for a short time. I say mostly impenetrable because if you happen to have a prox mine handy they go straight through the shield and gib the "invulnerable" player out from the inside, leaving a splattered mess on the ground. Tee hee hee.

    Team Arena introduces 3 new weapons to the fold, perfectly suited for team games I might add.

    Proximity mine launcher: Spews mines that stick to any surface that detonate when an enemy gets close to them, or after a period of time. Good for defending entrances to bases and flag rooms etc. They can be destroyed by rockets so any good offensive team won't be too troubled by them. Perfect in combination with the Ammo Regen powerup.

    Nailgun: Quite different from the QuakeWorld equivalent; more like a souped-up, non-instant shotgun. Hard to hit dodging targets with, but lethal at close range. Can do well over 100 damage per shot if all the nails hit their target. Good for clearing rooms and use in enclosed areas, but next to useless in wide open spaces.

    Chaingun: Just like the Quake 2 one...rapid-firing, painful - only even more rapid-firing and painful. The problem with this is that without stocking up on ammo you are unlikely to make a kill with it, and even with full ammo, it will run out within a few seconds of sustained fire. Ammo regen isn't terribly useful here as you will use the ammo up far more quickly than it will regenerate, and it only restocks up to half capacity anyway.