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USA Forum Game 2/14/04
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About: Generations Arena

One of the greatest qualities of games like QuakeIIIArena is their open-ended architecture that lets anyone with sufficient coding and artistic talent add on to and expand the game. These modifications, or "mods," can take a game above and beyond its original gameplay.

Generations Arena is a class-based modification. The warriors of Quake3 are divided into five classes, or generations. Each class has their own strengths and weaknesses, such as running speed, weaponry, armor, and physics. Players select one class and fight against other players, who may be using totally different classes.

Generations Arena, at first glance, appears to be a typical class-based mod. But the similarities end at choosing a "class". While every gun is unique to every class, the other generations may have a similar weapon that works better or worse in certain situations. Ranger's Rocket Launcher may outperform Grunt's in almost every category, but his Super Nailgun is no match for Grunt's massive Chaingun.

Every generation spawns with only its basic weaponry; often no more than a pistol, small machinegun, or simple shotgun. To get to the big guns, players must do what they've done since the beginning of deathmatch: hunt them down. The weapons in the arenas alter themselves to fit their user's preferences; where Grunt sees his beloved HyperBlaster, Doom sees a freshly loaded Plasma Rifle. Of course, if Sarge gets there first, he'll likely grab his trusty Napalm Launcher to start up a barbecue. If Doom manages to defeat Sarge, he'll pry his Plasma Rifle from Sarge's dead grasp.

Even the powerups in the Arena have changed due to the generation gap. Invisibility, for example, is now a hotly contested item. Arena Gladiators such as Visor gain a Predator-style cloaking; Grunt and the Strogg Troopers become mere shadows of their former selves. Ranger's Slipgaters pull a Ring-Of-Shadows disappearing act, leaving behind only a pair of floating eyeballs. Doom Warriors pull some real shadow fragging, becoming nothing more than a Blur. Sarge and the rest of the Earth Soldiers try for total invisibility, but tend to flicker back into existence every few seconds.

There also exist some new powerups. The Bezerker provides a super-adrenaline rush, restoring a player's health to full, and giving them amazing strength. Doom's mighty left hook, Sarge's knife slash, and Ranger's axe to grind become fearsome tools when they go Bezerk. The new Pentagram gives players 30 seconds of total invulnerability; however, Doom players watch their entire screen invert, turning the world into a negative reality.

With all the options for each generation, players inevitably ask which generation is the best. Thankfully, in Generations Arena, the answer is a resounding "ALL of them." Each class has their own strengths and weaknesses, both by themselves and against other classes. While a generation fighting against itself provides a fight as close as possible to the classic gameplay that generation is known for, each generation can defeat each other generation, simply by selecting a correct fighting style and strategy.

With over 40 different weapons, five unique generations, near-infinite combat possibilities, full skin and multiple model support for each generation (in an upcoming release), support for all modes of play from DM to CTF, and arenas that will remind you of your first deathmatch, only better than ever, Generations Arena is quite simply a mod that has to be played to be experienced.

The history of Generations Arena

Generations is a game concept that has spanned games, spanned engines, spanned teams, and spanned FPS fans' collective consciousness. The initial concept was simple, yet elegant: unite the greatest first-person shooters of all time, to settle the score once and for all as to what game was best.

The idea first came to light with Quake2:Generations. Q2Gen brought B.J. Blazcowicz from Wolfenstein-3D, the space marine from Doom, the unknown hero from Quake, and Pt. Bitterman from QuakeII under one roof. Players could select any of the characters, and battle either in single-player maps from any of the games (with their original monsters), or in deathmatch in any game's fighting arenas, against other players using their own favorite character.

The possibilities abounded: playing Wolfenstein-3D in all of Q2's technical prowess. Running through single-player Quake as the Q2 marine, or the Doom guy. Taking a rail to a shambler, or a lightning gun to the infamous Cyberdemon. Chasing other players with a chainsaw, a flamethrower, dual gatling guns, a nailgun, or one of two different BFGs.

Q2Gen released two major versions, the latter of which contained all four classes. However, shortly after release, the team contacted id Software about the mod. The news was not comforting. Q2Generations was, as it stood, illegal. The team had converted models, sounds, levels, and graphics from Wolf3D, Doom, and Quake over to the Q2 engine. These conversions were not allowed, since they were technically theft of id's intellectual property.

The team faced two options: replace all the illegal material in the game, or end the project. The Q2Gen team decided to close its doors soon after, and release the source to the public.

However, Generations the idea lived on. A new team picked up the Q2Gen source and dedicated themselves to making a legal version of Q2Gen. The result was Some Old Games, which went through several successful releases. Fans looking for some of Q2Gen's original charm should peruse the SOG site.

One year after Q2:Generations closed its doors, WireHead Studios announced its successor to the Generations legacy, Generations Arena. After a year of legal research and inquiry, WireHead was certain it had developed a mod design that would fufill all of the fun of Q2:Generations, while remaining completely legal.

Part of the fun of Generations was the ability to use so many weapons, but the real joy lay in the characters. It just isn't the same, WireHead surmised, unless it's Doom holding that chainsaw; unless the Q2 Grunt is holding that BFG10K, unless the Quake space Ranger is spamming nails. Fortunately, all those characters already lived in one game... Quake III Arena.

And so, WireHead Studios is proud to present Generations Arena. GenArena hopes to bring the Q3A characters back to more familiar battles. From chainguns blazing at "Return To The Edge" to chainsaws revved at "UAC Hanger Revisited," GenArena hopes to relive your favorite FPS moments... all in one place, and better than ever before.

Five Generations have been formed. The line has been drawn. Whose Side Are You On?