|“||In a desperate war for Earth's survival against an unrelenting alien enemy, the only way to defeat them is to become one of them. Armed with advanced weaponry and vehicles and aided by an elite squad of marines, you take the battle to the heart of the Strogg home planet and become Earth's only hope for victory.||”|
—id Software overview
Quake 4 is the fourth installment of id Software's Quake series, developed by Raven Software and published on October 18, 2005 for PC, Xbox 360 and Mac. It continues the storyline depicted in Quake 2.
|“||In the mid-21st century, a barbaric alien race called the Strogg launched a massive invasion on Earth. While the invasion was originally believed to be an attempt to strip the planet of its natural resources, humans soon discovered the Strogg are only after one thing: the human remains of those they kill. Through a horrific process, the limbs and flesh of the fallen are fused with metal and machinery to create the monstrosities that are the alien Strogg.
The Strogg battled the human race for years on Earth, but as resources became depleted, Earth mounted a counter-assault on the Strogg homeworld. The first assault force was launched from the fleet and encountered massive resistance - most of the drop-ships were destroyed by the Strogg homeworld's massive defense weapon known as "The Big Gun". However, one surviving Marine broke through and was able to destroy The Big Gun and ultimately defeat the Strogg leader, the Makron. However, the war did not end there.
The Strogg proved to be extremely resilient and as the war continued to rage, the Strogg regrouped and constructed a new and more powerful Makron. You are Matthew Kane, a member of the elite Rhino Squad and part of the next massive invasion that spans across the entire Stroggos planet. Equipped with hi-tech weapons and mobile vehicles, and teamed with a top Marine squadron, you soon realize this war is far from over. In fact, your worst nightmare is soon realized when you discover to defeat the Strogg, you must become one of them.
—Xbox 360 manual
Quake IV takes place during the Second Invasion of Stroggos. After the Strogg planetary defense systems have been disabled and the Makron has been killed by a lone survivor of the first invasion, humanity now leads a massive onslaught on the Strogg homeworld.
The main objective of Quake IV, which is revealed over the course of the game, is the destruction of the Nexus, a facility believed by Human commanders to be essential for communication between all Strogg units, giving them a tremendous advantage over invaders. Its termination would send the Strogg forces into disarray, possibly even permanently crippling their ability to make war, making their ultimate, final and irrevocable downfall near certain.
Act 1: Gaining a Foothold
The player takes the role of Corporal Matthew Kane, a newcomer to the elite Rhino Squad, and the only survivor of the Strogg assault on Space Station Armstrong. While being deployed onto Stroggos surface, Rhino's Dropship is hit by a Strogg missile and crash lands near an air defense installation. As his squadmates hurry to move out, Kane passes out from the shock of the impact.
After regaining consciousness, Kane gets orders to rejoin his teammates. As he regroups with Sgt. Bidwell, he is tasked with aiding other Marines in disabling a Strogg hangar whose fighters keep the humans from advancing. When the fighter launch bays are destroyed, Kane regroups with his squad leader, Lt. Scott Voss, and helps him taking over a Strogg Air Defense Cannon, which is first used to destroy a locked blast door for the Marines and then permanently disabled by Rhino Squad's demolitions expert, Cpl. Rhodes. Kane then follows the other Marines and helps clearing out a landing zone for the USS Hannibal, the Mobile Command Center (MCC) for the assault. After the Hannibal has landed, Kane enters the massive cruiser.
Act 2: Operation Advantage
On the Hannibal, Kane joins his squadmates in the Rhino Briefing Room. There, he and his squad receive a new objective: Rhino Squad is to partake in a mission called Operation: Advantage with the goal of firing an EMP bomb in an important installation called the Tetranode, which is essential for communication among Strogg soldiers.
Kane gears up and joins a truck and is brought to his truck convoy that is heading for the Tetranode. He takes the role of a gunner on one of the trucks, destroying enemies on the way and protecting Cpl. Rhodes while he is defusing a Strogg minefield. When the convoy reaches a Perimeter Defense Station, he helps taking out its weapons so that the convoy can pass through. Now, Kane has to enter the Station in order to shut down a defense grid that blocks the convoy's advance. After doing so, Kane finds that his convoy has already left for the Tetranode and joins them via a Hovertank that was left behind for him.
As soon as Kane rejoins his convoy, he helps Rhino's Technician Pvt. Strauss to disable several security measures so that the truck with the EMP can enter the facility and be placed directly under the Tetranode itself. Shortly before firing however, a Harvester suddenly attacks, killing Sgt. Bidwell and destroying the EMP. As Rhino's orders are to destroy the Tetranode at all costs, Kane now has to disable the Tetranode's cooling system in order to cause a meltdown of the facility. When reaching the control system for the coolant pumps, he is captured by a new Makron and passes out.
Act 3: Kane of the Strogg
When he awakes again, Kane finds himself in a Stroggification facility where he is violently converted into a Strogg. Luckily, the facility is stormed by Rhino Squad shortly before the Neurocyte, the chip suppressing the free will of all Strogg units, can be activated. Kane then is freed by his squadmates, even though he soon gets cut off from them again. After being rejoined with Lt. Voss for a short time, Kane has to watch his squad leader getting kidnapped by a Tactical and fights his way out of the facility. He then takes a Walker and passes through several Stroyent-related Strogg installations, where he sabotages two key components of Stroyent creation. At the end of a Waste Processing Facility, Kane has to fight the Stroggified remains of Voss before finally reaching a Dropship to take him back to the Hannibal.
Act 4: Operation Last Hope
Back aboard the MCC, Kane receives a thorough body-examination to ensure that he is not under Strogg control. After getting a thumbs-up, Kane is briefed for Operation: Last Hope, a direct attack on the Nexus and its core systems. Kane leaves the Hannibal via a Drop Pod that directly brings him into the Data Storage Tower. Here, Kane has to open a hangar for reinforcements, reactivate the power supply and re-enable the tower's connection to the Nexus. After that is done, Kane meets his fellow Marine Alejandro Cortez, Rhino Squad's sharpshooter, at a Strogg Tram station where prepares a Tram that takes the two Marines to the next tower, where Kane reactivates the Data Processing systems. At the third tower, Kane has to fight a massive Strogg creature, the Network Guardian (that had already caused havoc among the Marines on the two other towers), before re-establishing to the last remaining connection to the Nexus.
Act 5: Confrontation
Now, Kane takes a Strogg teleporter that directly transports him into the Nexus Core, the installation built around the most important Strogg device. Kane fights his way deep down into the facility, closely watched by the Makron. Eventually, he reaches the room that houses the Nexus and finally defeats the Makron before destroying the Nexus, a large organic brain, sending the Strogg forces into disarray.
The multiplayer section of the game is very barebones. The game shipped with a total of 14 maps and 5 gametypes. Later patches and packs extended the amount of maps to 45 and 6 gametypes.
- Deathmatch: It's the classic free-for-all, most frags win gametype.
|“||The ultimate goal of this classic game mode is to frag anything that moves. Don’t let your guard down, and remember — everyone is your opponent. The player with the most kills wins.||”|
—Xbox 360 manual
- Team Deathmatch: Same as above, but players are divided in teams.
|“||Upon joining a Team DM game, you will be assigned to a team: Marine or Strogg. The team with the highest number of frags wins.||”|
—Xbox 360 manual
- Tournament: An "arcade mode" deathmatch, two players fight, the rest spectate, winner stays, loser goes spectator.
|“||Players battle one-on-one in a single-elimination tournament tree, with the winner of each battle moving on to the next round to fight another winner, until the last two fight it out. Each battle in each round happens at the same time, and when a battle is finished, the players can spectate in the other battles’ arenas.||”|
—Xbox 360 manual
- Capture The Flag: Two teams, Marines and Strogg, each with a base, and a "flag" of sorts inside of it. The objective is to steal the enemy flag, bring it to their own base, and touch the own flag in order to score.
|“||Divided up into two teams, Strogg and Marines must attempt to capture each other’s flag from the opposite end of the arena. Each player spawns near their own flag. To score, a team must take the opposing team’s flag, bring it back to their own base and touch it to their flag—provided the enemy hasn’t stolen it!||”|
—Xbox 360 manual
- Arena CTF: Same as CTF, but with the addition of the Runes.
|“||This maintains the premise of CTF, but adds a power-up system. These power-ups last until the player dies, and will not respawn while owned by a player. (...) Additionally, standard power-ups stack on top of these power-ups. For example, a player with Doubler and Quad Damage does massive damage, a player with Guard and Regeneration heals very quickly and a player with Scout and Haste moves very, very fast.||”|
—Xbox 360 manual
- DeadZone: Introduced in version 1.3.0, players combat for the control of artifacts and a zone in a map.
|“||DeadZone is a brand new team-based multiplayer gametype. Players fight over a limited number of DeadZone artifacts, then race to maintain control of a central scoring zone designated by a scrolling white border. Teams can accumulate points when one or more player from their team is in the DeadZone carrying an artifact. If each team has one or more players in the DeadZone with an artifact at the same time, neither team will gain any points during this stalemate situation. When an artifact is depleted, it returns to its initial spawn location and is available for pick-up. If a player is killed while carrying an artifact, it drops in that location and is again available. The first team to reach the scoring limit wins.||”|
—Version 1.3.0 release notes
Quake 4 received positive to generally favorable reaction for the PC version of the game, with game databases Metacritic and MobyGames giving the game aggregate review scores of 81/100 and 79/100, respectively. Websites and magazines such as IGN and UGO praised its single-player campaign, graphics and Hollywood voice-acting, but complained that its multiplayer was too much like Quake III's. GameSpot gave Quake 4 an 8.0 and it also said: "The single-player is great fun, but the uninspired multiplayer leaves a lot to be desired." PC Magazine gave Quake 4 a good review for both singleplayer and multiplayer gameplay.
The original 2005 Xbox 360 version of the game fared slightly worse with critics when it was released but still received generally positive reviews, scoring 75/100 on Metacritic, and 72/100 on MobyGames averaged scores. Electronic Gaming Monthly gave a mixed rating to the Xbox 360 port, claiming that the single-player campaign was not creative enough to competing with other games such as Half-Life 2 and that the game ran poorly on the 360.
IGN scored Quake 4 8.1/10 saying "Quake 4 is one of those games that will appeal to console gamers who haven't owned a PC for years. The single-player campaign is varied and pretty interesting, getting better after you're Stroggified. The enemies go from dumb and running right at you to diverse and more interesting in the second half of the game, and there are a few cool boss fights worth your while. The gory graphics and excellent lighting are well done and they'll appeal to many gamer looking for a fast, shiny game to just let loose on." GameSpot gave it a worse rating than the PC version: 6.6. They also wrote, "There's a good game in Quake 4, but it's buried under several layers of highly disappointing graphical performance issues." X-Play gave the Xbox 360 version a 3/5 and the PC version a 4/5.
The Xbox 360 version of Quake 4 was released at the launch of the Xbox 360 and is Xbox Live compatible. There have been major issues with framerates for the console adaptation, earning it the award for Most Aggravating Frame Rate/Best Slideshow in the GameSpot.com Best and Worst of 2005 list.
In addition, the Xbox 360 port of Quake 4 has very long load times and Xbox Live glitches that result in problematic multiplayer experiences, as documented by game review sites as well as on Activision's support pages for the Xbox 360 version. This version was initially priced the same as the PC Special Edition DVD and features the same content. Unlike the PC version, however, as of November 2008 the original 2005 Xbox 360 version has not received any patches to fix its numerous problems.
Aspyr Media published and released Quake 4 for Mac OS X on 5 April 2006, initially only for PowerPC based Macs, but then later as a universal binary compatible with both Power-PC and x86-based Macs.
id Software continued its tradition of supporting Linux, with Timothee Besset of id releasing a Linux version of the Quake 4 binary executable. The game can be downloaded for free from id's servers, though it requires a licensed copy of Quake 4 for Windows or Mac in order to run. The Linux installer was made available two days after the release of the game itself.
- Main article: Cheats and Console Commands
- The Xbox 360 version of Quake IV also includes Quake II to play, and even includes some basic achievements, albeit worth zero Gamerscore, as well as online multiplayer emulation via system link.
- Like other Quake games, in Multiplayer, your weapon will not have to reload. But in Single player, you have to, and this is the first time that the players and NPCs have reloading animations, instead of just picking ammunition lying around.
- Special power ups are available in Multiplayer only, unlike the older Quake games.
- In February 2018, Character artist Vitaliy Naymushin, formerly of Ritual Entertainment showed artwork for a cancelled Quake 4 Expansion Pack titled "Awakening".
- Multiplayer Demo - Play a few maps from the only Quake game few people play online! Link
- Patch - This patch upgrades your version of Quake IV, no matter how old it is. 1.4.2 patch for Windows 1.4.2 patch for Mac and 1.4.3 which is only available in Steam that who ever purchased.