Quake Live: Free to play, ad supported
Why Quake Live isn’t a free game: because there’s a $1,500 gaming computer sitting on the desk.
- Free to play and the advertisements are not intrusive.
- It runs or will run on almost any PC.*
- Quake Live is quick and simple to get started with. The game itself downloads while players play a practice match against the computer.
- The social and community features are well done. It’s easy to track friends and join them in matches.
- The achievements system is well done, adds challenges, and contributes to replay value.
- Tons of maps and several game types also keep replay value high.
- Match-making based on skill level helps to keep a level playing field.
- Finding a match that interests a player and offers the game type they want is dead simple. One of the best mergers of a server browser/match making system that I’ve ever seen.
- It claims to be web browser-based, but requires an installer that runs outside of the web browser. **
- The game does not seem to cope well with latency. Any little bump in latency or lag will result in a deteriorated play experience.
- Game-play is twitch-based and fast. This limits the game to a niche audience.
- The text output onto the UI is tough to read and follow.
- The graphics are dated and special effects are lacking.
Quake Live significantly lowers the barrier for entry into the FPS gaming genre and as a game that is meant to be played in a web browser, it’s good. For those players lacking an up to date gaming rig, Quake Live is a golden opportunity. For those players with an up to date rig, like me, Quake Live feels dated. I have always believed in quality of game play over eye candy, but when I can pick up games like Team Fortress 2 or Unreal Tournament III for $10-$20, Quake Live loses ground. However, free is free and Quake Live delivers exactly as it has promised and offers a FREE escape for a few minutes of FPS fun. For that, I give it two thumbs up. So, go give it a try!
*as of this writing, only a Windows installer is available, but they are working on Linux and MAC versions.
**the installer installs a plug-in based on the web browser being used. For me, it was Firefox, which normally can install plug-ins without the need to download an installer and regardless of what operating system I am using at the time.