No other question has been echoed more often recently then, “When is Action Quake 3 going to be released?” To my knowledge, there is still no word on the future of a true AQ3. In the words of Ace12GA, “Well, right now, we are not letting anything out of the bag. We are going to wait a bit longer yet. We are going to be working on our next big action project once AHL is done, but what that is, I can’t tell you.” Huh, well that is nice to know. But it looks as if the next project that will be attempted is Action Unreal Tournament. UT, you are asking yourself? Yeah, UT. The only other FPS which is going to give the Quake 3 engine a run for its money as Game of the Year. Although this project is still in the planning stages, there are others which have decided to take on the challenge of being the next great “ACTION” mod.
In my opinion, there can only ever be one true Action Quake. Like most successful movies, the sequel is usually a letdown to some degree. I don’t consider Action Half-Life a sequel to Action Quake 2 because it was created using a completely different game engine, yielding more complex characters, weapons, maps and game play. The only real sequel would be Action Quake 3. Since that is not in the future and no details are available, I will not get into, “What if…” scenarios. There are other mod makers who have decided to use the Quake 3 engine in an attempt to create an “Action” mod similar to Action Quake 2.
The first group is from Germany and calls their mod Cops Q3, lead by Woodoo and Lacerus. This mod seems to still be in the planning stages, as the web site and information available gives us very little to go on except a ripped Action Quake 2 console screen. After trying to decipher some of the threads (in German using Babelfish) on the forum, I would have to consider this mod to be a long shot to succeed Action Quake 2.
The next group which has entered the ring recently is calling their mod, Urban Terror (don’t call it UT for short), lead by Bot Killer and is based around the Quake 3 engine. This mod is showing more promise, as they have some screen shots of characters, weapons and maps to tempt us with. This mod seems to be progressing, “…[we are] more than half way [finished]. I don’t want to be blunt about this, but I think we are one of the fastest moving realism mods, but it is really tough, I wake up…work on mod…go to sleep, and don’t do anything else….it really sucks, but I am devoted to getting this together,” says Bot Killer. Keep close tabs on its progress.
Finally, we come to The A-Team and their upcoming mod, which seemingly will be Action Unreal Tournament. Oddjob already has his feelers out, “…currently looking for a modeler for an upcoming Action project. Should have good working knowledge of 3d Studio Max and other modeling packages a plus. Strong texture artist a big fat huge major plus…” This thread, found on the Polycount web site along with the emergence of the Action Unreal Tournament web site gives all indications that they will skip the Quake 3 engine and take on the project using the new and improved Unreal engine. From the looks of web site, this mod too, is still in the planning stages as there is relatively no information available.
What does all this mean to you, the gamer? Not a whole helluvalot, except that you get to play more Action Quake 2. Call me a homer or old school or biased, but why give up on a mod which has showed so much damn promise and involvement from outside to keep it alive? It already has deeply entrench roots in a strong community who is not willing to see it die. I know many of the original gamers and creators have moved on to be successful in other mods. I must confess, someday I will be posting a message saying I am closing the doors to the AQMD and redesigning The 6th Floor, but that will not be anytime soon.
All these new mods will effectively use the more advanced gaming engines, drawing on the eye candy aspects, while recreating virtually any environment that can be imagined, giving players new and exciting outlets. I am not saying that any the mods will fail, I am just saying, remember where this entire “Action” theme for mods began. Like those who came before me, I too, will some day leave the Action Quake 2 scene and have only a memory. I am sure I speak for many when I say, “I just don’t understand why we will not see Action Quake 3 anytime soon?” I guess this question goes unanswered and becomes one of the big mysteries of our time, ranking up there with, “Who really shot JFK?” If any A-Team members cares to comment, I am willing to listen. Long live Action Quake 2.