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Review by: Brian Pipa
Published: October 19, 1997
Hi. My name is Brian Pipa and I’m a Quake-aholic. My Quake directory and its sub-directories now take up 500 MB of my precious hard-drive space, and that’s just the stuff I’ve kept. I spend at least an hour a day playing Quake and/or its derivatives. I’ve tried almost every add-on that’s ever come out for the game. None of them are as good as Malice.
Malice is the latest Quake TC (Total Conversion) from the boys at Quantum Axcess, the same guys who brought us Shrak. Malice is much more than a Quake add-on; it really is a whole new game. Every single aspect of Quake has been totally changed — there is a new color palette, new textures, a new player model, new enemies, new weapons, new sounds, and a new soundtrack. There are plenty of Quake TCs and PCs (Partial Conversions) floating around the Internet (and I’ve tried many of them), but you won’t find a Quake conversion on the net or in stores that can match Malice.
Unlike Quake, Malice actually has a decent story behind it. You are Damage, a hired hitman working for Colonel Bossman, and each of the levels in the game represents a different mission that must be accomplished. In one mission you must steal a CD with secret plans. In others, there might be something you have to destroy, or someone you must kill. Malice definitely gives you some sort of purpose in the levels; you feel like you have a goal other than shooting everything that moves.
The first thing you’ll notice in Malice is the color pallete. There are shades of green, blue, red, and even orange used throughout. Gone are the days of only seeing the world in hues of muddy brown. There are blue-tinged metal walls, red carpets in offices, orange submarines tucked away underwater, and even green grass outside.
Now take a look at the textures used in the levels…no recycled Quake textures there. You’ll find rusty metal, marble, carpet, grass, sheet metal, A/C vents, (what looks like) linoleum, even granite; the variety is amazing. The level designs are so innovative, going from one level to the next, and sometimes one room to the next, you never know what you’ll find. Some interesting things I found — a spiral staircase; a conveyor belt that you must ride to another room; a forklift that you must activate; a room with beds, lamps, and nightstands; a big submarine you can board (there are mini-subs, too); various sized teleporters; and lots more. The levels are simply huge, and it takes a while just to get familiar with their layouts. The player also has to remember that there are many destructible items, and any one of them might be the key (figuratively) to any given level. There are nineteen different solo levels and seven deathmatch maps.
The weapons at your disposal are quite varied. Your default weapon is a trusty .44 — a 10-shot, unlimited ammo pistol (no more axe). Many of the weapons, including the .44, require you to reload them. This is done with a simple press of a key or button. At first, it’s hard to get used to, but once you start playing, it becomes second nature. I found myself cycling through all of my weapons and reloading before I entered any new rooms. Better safe than sorry. All of the weapons make a distinctive “click” when they need reloading and this can be heard by others while playing in deathmatches. It’s funny to be up against someone in a deathmatch and hear the clicking of their weapon needing reloading — when you hear that sound, let them have it! This can also be a way to lure people to you…hmmm…click your pistol, wait for someone to fall for it, then frag them with a missile…I’ll have to try that sometime.
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