If you're reading this then you obviously have read the Hundreds of other Reviews across the net or in magazines. So why you ask yourself are you reading one more, obviously you either have not got the game yet because you only believe us (highly unlikely) or you are just seeing what we say, just a few weeks after it was released.
Well as with Unreal Tournament (UT) the aim of the game is to kill (frag) your opponent/s more times than then frag you. Easy you say, well no, its not, in fact if you have just started playing this game, no matter how good you are on others you will get fragged more times than you expect.
The game, like Quake II (Q2) is real easy to control and like Q2, Q3:A will be loved by millions, played by billions and soon enough there will be a little country somewhere called 'Quake 3: The Real Arena' where your only requirement for citizenship is a good PC, a fast Modem and a copy of Quake 3: Arena.
This game was not meant for Single player, it does have a single player ability, but the whole aim of the game is to play online, now single player offers you to fight bots. Nice little computer controlled opponents that can be as hard as hell or as crap as you next door neighbour bob, after a couple of cans of his favourite beverage.
The array of weapons in the game has changed a bit from Quake I and II, no longer is the lightning gun the hardest weapon in the game, nor is the rocket as slow to fire as it used to be. While Quake 3 stays with the same weapons, the style to use them has not. As usual the Rocket Launcher is the favourite weapon, good fire rate, blast area and general popularity serves it well, the lightning gun and rail gun are next up with good fire rates too and the ability to deal massive damage if you can hit your opponent.
Online opponents, well if you pick a nice server you can have a real good game, you need to find players who are about as good as you with a few better players in there. It's no good playing against the worst or you will never improve, (that's why I need to practice).
The controls are your everyday recommended ones, well if you play it enough you will have you own controls but we all know the standard WASD keys for moving around and the mouse to turn. The rest (fire, jump, duck and weapon keys) are all up to your preference. As with all 3D action Shooters, the controls are completely definable and damn good too, because the number of odd keys I have seen being used totally baffles me.
Internet connection was never a problem with most online game I play, Q3:A was another I got online with no problems. There were times when connect got lost and I had to restart, but experiencing these problems is just a part of playing online so I put that down to a very small dodgy bit of code and not a major flaw.
The game Graphics are very good, second only to UT's graphics. UT's GFX engine handles graphics well and with id's Q3Engine the introduction of Curved surfaces fares it well, they are just not practical with todays online connections. Even with LAN play I have seen the game being downgraded to the point where the textures are at their lowest quality and curved surfaces are turned off, just to get high speeds around 100 fps, but if you can get that kind of speed can't you just turn stuff back on and let it run at 50fps, isn't that good enough!!!. Well I suppose not :o]
The games models are also one of its better points, realistic movement, nice clear modelling really makes the models fit in with the arena graphics, no matter what style they are in. The amount of blood that comes out of them is just amazing, and when you die you get to see a load spurt out over the floor, just to add that cool effect.
The sound in the game is really good too in some aspects, it is really let down in others. The gun sounds just don't give you the feel that they are worth using, some real bad firing sounds really let down the other in game player and arena sounds you can hear, but overall the sounds are good.
Quake 3, one hell of a good game, looks damn pretty when you slap all the features on and plays like a demon. Test your skills vs. those bots and see how you do online, theres only 1 way to improve on a game like this, but I can't tell what it is!