Quarantine(EU)

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Quarantine US Front.jpg

Overview

  • Full Name: Quarantine
  • Code:
  • Type: First-person shooter, Racing, Vehicular combat
  • Developer: Imagexcel
  • Publisher: GameTek
  • Language: English
  • Release Date: 94
  • Region: EU
  • Barcode:
  • Local Title:
  • Rarity: 1
  • Notes: Was there a European release? Was it the same as the NA?

Summary

Quarantine is a 1994 racing/first-person shooter video game for the 3DO, created by Imagexcel and published by GameTek. In the game the player drives a taxicab through a apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction city, picking up customers and killing enemies. Due to the gratuitous violence the game was controversial at the time of release.

Background history

The success of Doom by id Software in 1993 led to many other companies attempting to follow Doom's success. Most ended up making unsuccessful doom clones. Quarantine was one of the few games that successfully exploited the features of Doom with its own texture mapped stages, semi-open world maps, and vehicular combat gameplay. The game was later continued with the sequel, Quarantine II: Road Warrior, which largely kept the original gameplay, but introduced a more mission and story-driven gameplay.

Plot

KEMO city was known for the manufacture of hovercars, meeting the country's demands for transportation until 2022. Over time, however, the crime rate had risen so far that the economy collapsed and the city descended into disorder. Criminals roamed the streets in armored hovercars, terrorizing the citizens without fear of retribution. In 2029, OmniCorp promised city officials that it could clean up KEMO and return it to normal. The offer was accepted, and the corporation began the construction of a massive wall around the city under the guise of a "defensive measure". The wall was completed three years later, and the only exit sealed shut, turning KEMO into a massive prison city for all inside, criminal or otherwise. The outraged population reacted violently, and the city degenerated.

Ten years later OmniCorp decided to test the behavior altering chemical Hydergine 344 on the population of KEMO. This chemical was supposed to pacify the citizens and distributed through the city's water supply. Unfortunately, OmniCorp failed to predict the chemical's reaction to stagnant water, resulting in massive brain damage and insanity in the many citizens. More than half the population became crazed killers overnight.

Drake Edgewater, a 21st-century cab driver and one of the lucky few unaffected by the spreading virus, is desperate to escape the city alive. Driving his '52 Checker hovercab armed with an assortment of vehicle-mounted weaponry, he delivers passengers and packages for what money he can make to upgrade his vehicle and escape.

Gameplay

The primary gameplay loop of Quarantine consists of using a weapon-equipped taxi to pick up passengers, deliver packages, and defeat enemies. In between missions, the player replenishes the taxi's ammunition and armor by visiting service stations, marked on the player's map. Missions send the player through Kemo City's various districts. Progression from one zone to the next is blocked by password-protected gates until the player has completed enough story missions to advance.

Quarantine required a rather powerful system when it was released. One of the original ads in magazines for the game used the slogan "If you've got the ram, we've got the pedestrians."

Quarantine, long before Grand Theft Auto III and other similar games, employed the drive-by shooting tactic of using the Uzi to shoot out from the side windows.

Soundtrack

The CD version features tracks from Australian alternative bands.

  1. You Am I – Berlin Chair (2:42)
  2. The Fauves – The Driver Is You (3:38)
  3. Custard – The Wahooti Fandango (3:00)
  4. Smudge – Ingrown (3:13)
  5. Godstar – Lie Down Forever (3:26)
  6. Screamfeeder – Snail Trail (2:49)
  7. The Daisygrinders – Uranium Watch (3:47)
  8. Underground Lovers – Weak Will (5:29)
  9. The Hellmenn – Whirlwind (4:17)
  10. Crow – Yellow Beam (5:00)
  11. Sidewinder – Now You Know (4:51)

Other Versions

An exact MS-DOS port was also released. The PlayStation and Sega Saturn versions were released in Japan exclusively, under the names Hard Rock Cab and Death Throttle, respectively. They are mostly the same as the original PC version, but while they had enhanced floor and building texturing, they suffer from slowdown and pixelation. The essential textscreen information is translated to Japanese, though most text remains in English and the live action video is neither dubbed nor subtitled. Additionally, the PlayStation version features green blood censorship.

Reception

Reviewing the 3DO version, the four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly:Issue 70 were divided. They all concurred that the driving controls are subpar, but while three of them opined that Quarantine would appeal to a niche audience (one predicted it "may be a cult hit") with its soundtrack and strange, tongue-in-cheek humor, the fourth simply declared it "Too warped for me". EGM gave it a rating of 5.75 out of 10

Sequel

A sequel, Quarantine II: Road Warrior, was released in 1995 for DOS.

Media

Pictures here