Quake Arena Arcade Review

Like most long-time hardcore gamers, I cut my online FPS teeth on Quake, and so I welcomed this year’s Quake III Arena revival. I don’t game on the PC much these days, though, because I don’t have a computer, so I’ve been waiting on the Xbox Live port rather than dominating asses on the free-to-play Quake Live. That XBLA port has now arrived, and it’s called Quake Arena Arcade, and I have played it.

While the game has a sorta new name, it’s still the same as always. It’s in HD, but since we always remember games looking much prettier than they actually did, Quake Arena Arcade will look pretty much exactly like you remember Quake III. It also plays the same; it’s as fast and furious as it always was. It’s the full package, too, as it comes with 42 maps, including twelve new, exclusive ones. It feels like and authentic, old school Quake experience, and in that way Pi Studios ultimately accomplished what they set out to do.

Quake Arena Arcade (XBox360 [Reviewed])
Developer: Pi Studios/Id Software
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Release Date: December 15, 2010
MSRP: $15.00

While the game does handle the way you expect it to, that’s not always a good thing. There is a steep learning curve here simply because it’s much more difficult to play with a gamepad than it is with a keyboard and mouse. The game is fast, and so it’s harder to be precise with your shots. If you’ve never played a PC Quake game and have instead spent most of your time with online FPSs on consoles, you’re gonna be in for a shock at just how fast this thing is.

For those not familiar with Quake III, know this: it’s entirely geared toward multiplayer. Yes, there is a single-player “campaign,” but that’s just a series of one-on-one battles with AI opponents, and you can also play matches offline with bots.

It’s good that you can do that, because the community as of right now is nonexistent, and you can’t use bots in online matches. Given that the game just came out less than a week ago, you would expect the community to be at its peak right now, but heaven help us if that’s the case. Matchmaking is extremely efficient, but that’s because almost nobody seems to be playing it. You might not find even a single game going on depending on what time of day it is, and if you do find a game I hope you wanna play deathmatch.

Quake Arena Arcade allows for up to 16 players in a match, but so far the most I’ve had in one game is eight, and we’ve usually had even fewer than that. Thankfully, the game has smaller maps to accomodate smaller crowds, but the game is at it’s best when you’ve got a s–tload of people playing on the larger maps.

It’s impossible for me to render judgment on this game, then, because I don’t feel like I ever got the full experience with it. While I believe the game would achieve greatness were there a thriving community for it, I never got to find out because the community seemed to be made up of me and maybe ten other people. How can I rate a game I am unable to fully appreciate? I feel like I should warn folks away from purchasing it due to the lack of any sort of community, but that’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. How about this: if you want to buy Quake Arena Arcade, make sure you’ve got a couple bros who will also buy it. Otherwise, it probably won’t be worth your $15.


  • It’s a perfectly faithful Quake III port
  • Thank f–k for bots


  • Nobody is playing it


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