Released in December 1999, Quake III Arena was developed by id Software and features no standard single player mode – instead this is replaced by a player-vs-computer one-on-one series of matches across different functional, minimalist arenas.
Upon release, the eschewing of a traditional First Person Shooter (FPS) story-based mission in favour of multiplayer madness was met with confusion and bewilderment by many - but id Software had correctly gauged the market, and the success of the earlier Quake multiplayer modes proved to be the blueprint for the unique selling point of Quake III Arena.
Expansions were soon available in the shape of player modifications and an official expansion came in December 2000 with the release of Quake III Team Arena.
Gameplay follows the standard mouse plus keyboard pattern for FPS, and as usual with such games can be customized. A joystick option is also available for owners of control pads.
Graphics and Sound
Graphically, Quake III Arena takes advantage of the 3D graphics technology that was becoming available around the time of its release, creating a set of arenas that fulfil the role of being 3 dimensional and engaging. Textures and detail are minimal in order for the game engine to run at full pelt on the PCs available in 1999 – on modern PCs the game naturally runs fine with the graphics settings on maximum.
The soundtrack is a great improvement on the earlier Quake games, with music and sound effects enhancing the atmosphere of the duelling, one-on-one arenas in both open and enclosed spaces.
Limited Single Player Mode
The single player mode is a thrilling if slightly limited affair, which involves hunting down the computer-controlled opponent and delivering several blows via whatever weapons are available in order to kill or “Frag” them, removing the opponent from the round. After 10 Frags, the player moves onto the next arena and opponent, lending the single player mode of Quake III Arena a feeling of a martial arts game.
Quake III Arena in action
Remarkable Multiplayer Mode
Quake III Arena comes alive in multiplayer mode, and despite the game being 9 years old there remain countless servers across the internet hosting games.
Each of these servers has different rules and requirements, and on most cheating is strictly discouraged – however there are arenas online that allow players to approach the game in whatever manner they choose.
Multiplayer mode doesn’t have to rely on remote internet servers however – Quake III Arena was a popular choice among LAN party enthusiasts following its release.
Gameplay in multiplayer mode brings a new degree of the frenetic running and shooting first seen in the previous Quake games. Whether in team mode, deathmatch or Capture the Flag (CTF), trust no one and always aim your sights at the opponent. Most of all, it’s fun - and isn’t that how gaming is supposed to be?
Beyond the Arena
The multiplayer mode of Quake III Arena has been utilised in real world videogame competitions such as the Electronic Sports World Cup and naturally QuakeCon, the free convention held annually where gamers from across the world can take part in massive multiplayer competitions and even conferences if they’re too tired to play.
Further information on Quake III Arena, setting up a LAN party and QuakeCon can be found below: