Quake is one the most popular first-person shooters ever to addict hapless gamers. This free plug-in from Quake's developer, id Software, lets you play the online multiplayer version of Quake, Quake Live, using Microsoft Internet Explorer version 7 or greater. To play you need only register for a free account at the Quake Live Web site.
As with all online versions of sophisticated video games, you really need a broadband Internet connection as well as a reasonably powerful computer, enough RAM, and, most importantly, good graphics capabilities. You can still play if you just squeak by in system requirements, but your experience may be a little slow and frustrating. The Quake Live plug-in downloads and installs easily via a standard Windows installer. You don't need to register or even visit the Quake Live Web site to download it, but you do need to sign up to play. The game site is in beta and makes extensive use of Java scripts, which it warns you about when you first visit. If your browser isn't up to snuff, you may need to update a few things like Java before you can make full use of the site. If you haven't played Quake, it's an offworld bug-hunt in which you get to blow things away and, occasionally, up. 'Nuff said.
Online gaming is big fun without the full cost and commitment of a complete game package--all the more so when it's a top-class multiplayer shoot-'em-up that's totally free.