Rocket Arena 3
|a game by||Rocket Arena Team|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 1 vote|
|Rate this game:|
Go to a half-decent pub on a Friday night and you'll witness one of the oldest and most popular rituals being played out. Clustered around a pool table you'll find a group of people eagerly waiting their turn to challenge the champion in a one-on-one elimination match. If you win, the satisfaction is twofold. First off, you get to stay on the table and challenge the next wannabe. Second, and more importantly, you get the satisfaction of knocking your opponent off the table and down to the bottom of the list of challengers. It's simple stuff, winner stays on, but it's a winning formula and one that's repeated in the ever-popular Rocket Arena, now available for Quake III.
In essence, RA is pure one-on-one deathmatching. Take two fighters, put them in a purpose-built arena, give them all the usual Quake III weapons and full ammo to start off, and then see who's left standing at the end. There are no pick-ups and no power-ups - what you're given at the start is what you've got until you kill or are killed yourself. The winner stays on for the next round and the loser joins the bottom of the pile of challengers/spectators and waits for his turn to come round again.
Simple stuff, but highly effective. For one you know that when you're knocked out you're going to have to wait to get back on. And that's no fun. Two, you know that a load of other people are watching your pathetic demise, which makes losing a doubly bitter pill to swallow. The simplicity of the mod also means that whatever your knowledge base, you can just jump straight in and play without running the risk of getting flamed or abused for not playing the game 'properly'. This is bolstered by an interface that makes finding active servers as easy as switching on your PC.
The RA3 download is a whacking 60Mb (it will be on our next cover CD), this is because the custom maps have been created specifically for the mod. Almost without exception these feel like they've been created by RA veterans and consist of small one-on-one arenas and larger team-based affairs (these follow the basic rules of one-on-one play).
Another bonus is the addition of a built-in MP3 player. There's a few banging dance tracks included by default but you can drop your own in and frag to your own sounds. It's hardly a major selling point, but it's a nice touch and indicative of the level of professionalism that's evident across the board.
At the end of the day, Rocket Arena 3 is just Quake III. The difference is, death has a consequence this time (get to the back of the line, schmucko) and without any pick-ups the normally frenetic Quake III is even faster and more reliant on reflexes and quick thinking. Top stuff indeed.