My first ever online gaming experience was round my cousin’s house in Scotland playing Quake II
on this 3DFX Voodoo 2-based rig. I was utterly besotted by the immense feeling of satisfaction felt when killing another player that was in a totally different part of the world. I loved the thought of another geek from a different country sitting in front of his CRT monitor shouting ‘OMG WTF HAX?!!’.
Whenever I used to visit my cousin’s house we'd pretend to go to bed - so as to avoid getting a hard time from my Aunt or Uncle - and then silently creep our way towards the PC, fire it up and play Quake II
multiplayer till the small hours of the morning with nothing but Iron Bru and adrenaline to keep us going. How he managed to maintain his masterfully Jedi-like aim with a Railgun even when pumped full of caffeine, I’ll never know.
A few weeks ago a conversation about Quake
multiplayer stirred up feelings of nostalgia so I downloaded it on my Steam account. I was mightily disappointed to find that there were no games going on and so I sulkily fired up Left 4 Dead
to get my FPS kicks instead.
Imagine how happy I was to find just a few weeks later that you can now play Quake
for free in your browser!! Okay so it’s Quake III
and not Quake II
but it’s still got that feeling of awesome old-school FPS goodness.
Even though the service is still in beta I’ve not had any hiccups with it thus far. After signing up and downloading the plug-in you are pitted against a bot in a ten minute match to determine your skill level. This data is then used to ensure that when you jump into a game on Quake Live
it’s against players with a comparable skill level to yourself.
You can play deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the flag, or duels and you can play against bots or with other players online. There are around 35 maps and over 50 character models to choose from. Because it’s an old game it’s super easy to run. My work PC is a shuttle with an ATI X1800 Pro and 3GHz Pentium D CPU and the framerates are always silky smooth. You can play in a window in your browser or in full screen. I hope some of you enjoy www.quakelive.com
as much as I have.