De eerste review van Quake III Arena is op het net gekwakt door Stomped. Het verhaal is erg uitgebreid (12 pages) en geeft je meteen een goed beeld van de laatste build van Q3A. Hieronder vast een gedeelte voor je:
The graphics in Quake 3 are nothing less than stunning. They are better than any first person shooter on the market without exception. Sometimes they make you want to stop and stare in awe at the beauty. The curved surfaces really do add to the game's atmosphere and give it a more natural feel. Various shader and mirror effects are small but nice touches in the levels. 32-bit graphics is a must for the person that cares how the game looks. Players will miss out on a lot of the details in 16-bit color unfortunately. As nice as the graphics are, they only show a glimmer of the potential for the Quake III graphics engine. Deathmatch needs to be high framerate and fast paced so id could not take it to the max but some other games I've seen using the Quake III engine will make jaws drop.
Along these lines, id realizes there is a wide variety of machines that are the target audience. The minimum is a Pentium 233MHz. Even these lowly machines can get a decent game from Quake III Arena because of the different graphics options settings in the menu. There are Normal, High Quality, Fast, and Fastest settings to cover any type of machine. People with slower machines may not be able to see all the pretty effects but they can still have fun fragging with their friends. On the advanced tech side, the game supports SMP (Dual CPUs) under Windows NT to allow the power users to get better performance. There are also nice new features such as stencil buffer shadows and lens flare effects.