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Author's Opinion

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Thursday, 08 October 2009 17:02

Linux users: frag your online enemies without installing an application!

This afternoon after I got home from work, I fragged my online enemies! What makes this remarkable is that I use Ubuntu Linux, and as everyone know gaming doesn't work on Linux (tongue-in-cheek comment there). What is even more amazing is that I didn't install an application to do this.

So how is this magic possible? Welcome to QuakeLive.com, a browser based version of Quake.

I haven't ever really got into gaming for two main reasons. Firstly, I have a low specc'ed old laptop which barely runs 3D graphics (ATI Radeon Xpress 200M graphics card). And secondly, I really don't have the time to devote to learning a new game and getting good at it.

Whilst this is not an advertisement for QuakeLive and id Software, I am really quite happy about the fact that it works on Linux, even if the FAQs don't reflect it. It is still a Beta product, so I hope they fix the website before it goes "gold".

Whilst you don't need to install a full blown application, there is a browser plug-in to install. That's because QuakeLive runs purely in the browser, be it Firefox or IE. You also need to create an account, which is free.

The other thing I really liked about QuakeLive is the training session you get before you go online with other real people. In the past when I have installed games such as Nexuiz, Warsow and others, I got so badly beaten up the first time I went online and joined a server, that I gave up on it. It just wasn't fun.

With QuakeLive a character shows you around and then you get a few minutes of one-on-one fighting to get used to it. This is just what I have been after! Once this is complete you are given a kind of skill level ranking, which indicates to others where you are up to.

After getting a bit of confidence up, you can go online. You are presented with a large list of servers catering to varying skill levels and locations. I chose to join a Sydney based server which indicated that most of the others on it were novices. Whilst I still got battered, I was able to hold up my end of the bargain and had a great time!

Once again my old laptop let me down a bit, and I had to change the quality settings down pretty low to get a decent response. The sound was also a bit choppy, but I am doing this on a wireless network, so that might have had some effect. Not being a hardcore gamer, those changes didn't really matter to me and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

All in all, I was very happy with this new service and will continue to use it. Coming home and spending half and hour or so running around in a virtual world fragging characters is just what I need after a long day in the office! With QuakeLive, id Software has made the installation, introduction and usage so easy that anyone can now call themselves a "gamer".


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