Quake is a 1996 FPS from iD software, legendary developers of Wolfenstein 3D and Doom. It was one of the first PC titles to offer a fully 3D world instead of the 2.5D graphics which were popular with FPS games at that time. During the development of this game there was a lot of internal strife at iD software (leading to John Romero being fired, and going on to develop Daikatana), which can be seen when playing this game.
Story Introduction and Premise
Story has, until recently, never been a trademark of iD games, but in this game it was especially an afterthought. Quake was originally to be an RPG based on a Thor-type character, but lead programmer John Carmack was making slow progress on the engine and already behind schedule, they decided to scrap this premise and use all the assets they developed at the time to make an FPS instead. They threw in a few paragraphs into the manual after development to provide "backstory"
The basic plot revolves around the government experimenting with portal technology (sound familiar?) and a mysterious entity from an alternate dimension code-named "Quake" sending in death squads from its own portal system to test humankinds defense capabilities. The player, the sole surviving member of a counter-strike team, must venture into alternate worlds to hunt down Quakes forces.
And here is the selling point of this game. Quake is a fantastic old-school FPS. The guns are loud, the enemies are freaky. Level design is interesting, you could be in a futuristic base one level, then a gothic castle the next. The main colour you'll see in this game is brown, but this does add to a dark, alien atmosphere the levels bring forward. The last episode has some interesting and large levels, although there is a significant difficulty spike for that episode compared to the others, and you may get quite frustrated on one or two levels (my major gripe with the game)
The move to a fully 3D engine allowed iD to do some interesting gameplay elements, levels can now contain deadly traps, wind tunnels that can suck you to other sections of the level, the ability to swim underwater, and in one level, low gravity.
The game may feel a little slower than Doom, as you won't see massive hordes of beasts on screen like in that game, but the monsters you do face are pretty imaginative, and quite the challenge, from magic spewing medievel knights to laser gun wielding shock troops. level and moster design has a bit of H.P Lovecraft, most evident in the names of two of the games bosses, "Chton" and "Shub-Niggurath"
Back in it's day, the multiplayer in this game was legendary, setting a standard that others immediately tried to beat. one of the most popular multiplayer mods "Team Fortress" eventually became its own series when Valve bought it. compared to todays titles, Quake multiplayer is pretty simplistic, but the map design and the speed of it all makes for great fun, not sure how many people play online still, though.
Quake, along with the Metroid series, helped quickstart the Speedrunning community, utilizing several tricks of the engine (this game invented and popularized the "Rocket Jump") the game was completed on hardest difficulty at an amazing 11:29 minutes. at 100% completion, it was beaten in 48 minutes. For people who don't have ninja reflexes, it will take a lot longer to complete.
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