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Quake Mobile E3 2005 Hands-on

"We get an exclusive hands-on with the biggest mobile game ever made."

Id Software's Quake is responsible for a lot of paradigm shifts. It was the game that popularized mouse-look in first-person shooters; it was many gamers' first online multiplayer experience; and it was the first game to feature an original score composed by an industrial artist. Now, it's the first mobile game to replicate a three-dimensional PC experience almost flawlessly. As you might expect, the game's large size will keep it from mass-market availability, at least for a while. Quake Mobile is set to launch with an as-yet-unannounced Korean handset in June, and (in the US) on an unannounced ATI-powered handset thereafter.

We played Quake Mobile on a test unit, and we're happy to report a consistent frame rate of 25 frames per second at a resolution of 640x480 pixels. Before you complain that a silky-smooth 60fps wasn't achieved, know that this game is very playable and it shows no signs of slowdown. Quake's frenetic pace is intact, thanks in part to none other than John Carmack, who personally approved Bear Naked Productions' code.

Sadly, Trent Reznor's epic score hasn't been included, due to file-size constraints. Sound effects were present and accounted for, however. In our brief hands-on time with the game, we were able to fire a shotgun, a super shotgun, and a super nailgun. The inability to strafe was troubling, but it's worth noting that main Quake users never used mouse-look (or strafing) at all.

Most agree that Quake's real area of innovation is its multiplayer support, which paved the way for all future FPS titles. Quake Mobile will allow users to compete via any and all available means, including over GPRS or EVDO networks--the latter of which is generally fast enough to play PC multiplayer games. You'll also be able to enjoy any single- or multiplayer mods, simply by dropping their .pak files into the Quake Mobile folder of your smartphone. This makes Quake Mobile the first mobile game for which you can write your own mod.

Quake Mobile is one of the most technically impressive mobile games we've seen to date, and it is simply an excellent port of one of the most beloved games of all time. We couldn't be more excited.

Posted on May 18, 2005



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