I was in such a hurry to get my frag on last night that I didn't bother to read the terms of agreement for participating in the Quake Live beta. So, I'm not sure if I agreed to a confidentially agreement or not, but I'm going to be a rebel and post some brief (and positive, ID, so don't cut me off, please) thoughts on the beta version of this free-to-play shooter.
First off, I've never beta tested a game before. I've signed up dozens of times for dozens of games, but never got a reply back from any studio/publisher. I don't know if I can put into words the feeling when I read the e-mail asking me - me - to beta test Quake Live, but it was like being asked to sit at the cool kids' table at lunch.
I'm new at the whole beta test thing, but I can't imagine this game has many bugs left to work out. The game is extraordinarily stable and runs like a dream - it looks almost exactly like Quake 3 and runs beautifully on my 2 and 1/2 year-old PC with the settings and resolution cranked as I high as they will go. And remember, this is going through a web browser.
Sign-up and installation took around ten minutes, including a separate sign-up specifically for the beta test. Configuring system settings and finding servers is all done through your internet browser, which works much better than I imagined, and the actual game can be ran in a window or fullscreen. I've only played it for an hour, but the game hasn't crashed or even hung up once.
The gameplay is pure Quake 3 - with much the same look, many of the same character models, and all the weapons that you remember from that game. How much you'll like Quake Live will depend on how much you liked Quake 3. It's not as deep as Call of Duty 4 or Team Fortress 2, but it's fast (I forgot just how fast), furious, and damn fun.
That being said, I'm going back to the beta now and hang out with the cool kids.
And you're not invited, loser.