October was already set to be a good month for gaming, but it has just moved up a notch with the news that Quake 4 has gone gold, and will hit stores on Tuesday 18th October Stateside. UK quakers will have to wait until the traditional Friday release, the 21st.
Here is the press release:
id Software, Raven Software and Activision, Inc. have confirmed Earth's invasion of Stroggos with the announcement that QUAKE 4 PC has entered manufacturing and will begin shipping to retail stores nationwide on Tuesday, October 18. The long awaited sequel to QUAKE II, QUAKE 4 enlists gamers in the role of Matthew Kane, a member of the Earth Defense Force's legendary Rhino Squad, to penetrate deep into the heart of the Strogg war machine and engage in a series of heroic missions to destroy the barbaric alien race.
"On October 18, QUAKE is dialing it up to 4.0 on the Richter Scale with this new chapter in Earth's war against the Strogg," said Todd Hollenshead, CEO, id Software. "Fusing an epic war-story driven single player campaign, and fast-paced QUAKE III Arena inspired multiplayer, QUAKE 4 delivers a gaming experience fans will be raving about for years."
Developed by Raven Software and executive produced by id Software, QUAKE 4 begins only moments after the events of QUAKE II, with the Earth's fleet launching a massive offensive to the planet Stroggos. As Matthew Kane, an elite member of Rhino Squad, gamers invade the alien stronghold, fighting alone, along side other Marines, and in mechanized walkers and hover tanks as they encounter the Strogg and their disturbing amalgamations of man and machine. Built on id Software's revolutionary DOOM 3 technology, QUAKE 4 also features fast-paced multiplayer competition modeled after the speed style and feel of QUAKE III Arena.
While many gamers are excited about the game, others are asking tough questions. Was the decision to outsource development to Raven Software a mistake? While id Software has been in the engine licensing business for a decade now, the Doom and Quake franchises have always been in-house productions, so will the first non-id Quake game feel any different? Raven certainly has a great pedigree, having produced top titles such as Soldier of Fortune, Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force, Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy, even stretching all the way back to the Heretic and Hexen games. They definitely have enough experience to avoid making a turkey.
Yet more question marks hover over the graphics technology: Quake games have always pushed the boundaries of 3D graphics, yet Quake 4 uses the Doom 3 engine. Ignoring that this is one of the most impressive 3D engines doing the rounds these days, some gamers hated the 'plastic' look it had, and aren't likely to warm to it any further in Quake 4. We will have to wait to see if there are any extra bells or whistles worth talking about.
Of course, in the past, we all had the opportunity to judge a Quake game by the famous QxTest pre-release demos used to iron out bugs, test performance and gameplay feel. Except this time around, id Software reportedly deemed a Test 'unnecessary'. With Vivendi's shadow shooter, F.E.A.R.
being released the same day, one has to question the wisdom of forcing gamers to wait until day of release before they can find out if it's any good.
For now, we will just have to make do with some screenshots. Here are a couple of monster moneyshots, and a pair of the 'Quake 3 Arena inspired' multiplayer mode.