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Painkeep 2.6 released

Famous Quake modification comes into fruition

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Although they seem to average only one big mod per game, Team Evolve have a reputation for quality. Best known of course for their historical Quake modification Painkeep, the company diversified with the second game in Id's series, opting to develop a single player adventure, Zaero, which met with critical acclaim from the online press. For Quake III though, Evolve decided to head back to their roots, and with Painkeep Arena, they've created a first-rate multiplayer modification. Unlike most popular multiplayer mods, PKA is free-for-all deathmatch with a single objective; kill everyone. For gamers who have sought refuge in Counter-Strike after a rocky ride with Quake III, it'll be nice to shoot footsteps for once instead of trying to identify them. The idea in Painkeep is to kill your opponents, but it wouldn't be much of a modification if it didn't let you do that elaborately. The great thing about Painkeep though, is not so much the killing, but the methods for doing so. Apart from Quake's Rocket Launcher, Shotgun and Railgun, players are endowed with crowd pleasers like the Explosive Shotgun, the Chain Lightning Gun (great in a firefight - shoot one guy and the lightning bounces from him to the next guy and so on), a Quake-like Nailgun (with the added bonus being that the nails stick in walls and burn you if you touch them), not to mention the Airfist. This one's great. It fires out a blast of compressed air, which punches an enemy in the face and body, throwing them across rooms or, if you please, propelling you into the air like a rocket jump. Amongst numerous other items, players also receive a glorified grappling hook, the Dragon Tongue. The Tongue can latch onto walls, ceilings and other surfaces, or at a pinch a powerup located on a far off ledge. It's great for getting into hard to reach cubby holes for camping, and particularly useful if you're low on health and being pursued by someone with an explosive shotgun. Another part of your armoury that perhaps doesn't get as much attention are the handheld items. You deploy them by cycling through your inventory and choosing the right tool, then "using" them in the right spot. They can be messy - things like the Gravity Well, which forms a miniature black hole that sucks in and vaporises anybody and anything in the immediate vicinity, or the bear traps, which cause untold pain if you happen to step in them. There are a number of new levels to play around in too, which is great; some where the emphasis is on large open areas for Tarzan-like Dragon Tonguing, and some more claustrophobic levels suited to mad airfisting. At the moment Painkeep Arena is still in a state of development, but Team Evolve have just unveiled the new 2.6 Release version, which (weighing in at 90Mb or so) can be downloaded from one of the locations below (you may have to rename the file '' to 'pkarenax.exe' to get it working though):

Team Anarchy



Painkeep Arena is terrific fun, and it might just get those Quake III player stats back up to a tenth of Half-Life's. We'll certainly be playing.

Source - Team Evolve

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