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Quake leaps into next generation

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One of the top sci-fi shooters, Quake, is getting a new lease of life as a next-generation console game. It was one of the titles announced for Microsoft's Xbox 360 during last week's E3 games expo in Los Angeles.

The game promises to be an ultra-violent experience, judging by the demonstration shown behind closed doors at the show.

The date has not been set for the release of Quake 4 yet, which is also being made for the PC.

Quake is one of those games that fans speak of with awe. The first one in the series was published for the PC in 1996.

Since then, Quake and its two sequels, Quake 2 and the multi-player Quake 3: Arena, have sold more than four million copies.

The latest version picks up the story where 1997's Quake 2 left off, with the Earth facing a threat from an alien race called the Stroggs.

It is an important title for Microsoft, strengthening the line-up of games for its Xbox 360.

But it is not clear if the game will be ready in time for the console's launch in November.

No demonstrations of the next-generation version were shown at E3. Instead fans were offered a sneak peek at the first few levels of the PC version of the game.

The title is being made with the software behind last year's Doom 3 game - and it shows.

The sequences shown at E3 bore a striking resemblance to Doom 3, with parts of the environment seemingly identical.

But it took the horror of Doom a step further, with a grisly sequence showing the mutilation of characters in the game.

The graphical representation of violence, together with convincing sounds of blades cutting through flesh and bone, sent a chill down the spine.

The explicit nature of the scene was unsettling and bordering on the tasteless. <editor note: woohooo!>

How these images will come across in the Xbox 360 version is not yet known.

But the next generation of consoles promise high-definition images and cinematic quality visuals.

Quake 4 is being developed by US Raven Software and will be published by Activision.


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