#313 Quake

Posted: 30th July 2015 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , ,

444th played so far

Quake1cover

Genre: First-Person Shooter
Platform: PC
Year of Release: 1996
Developer: id Software
Publisher: GT Interactive

There were a couple of major steps during the development of the FPS genre that happened, it seems, in fairly quick succession. Doom was the notable one we already covered – the first to really go 3D – but Quake brought in its own thing: nearly everything uses 3D models, rather than the sprites used for monsters and pick-ups in earlier games.

I know how special this was from experiencing it first hand, playing a copy at a friend’s soon after its release, and how amazing it looked. I’m not sure we really realised the model difference at the time – our knowledge might not have been sophisticated enough to understand what was going on.

Our Thoughts

Quake lays out its philosophy before the game even starts. Its difficulty selection is a normal level, and while the easier difficulties are easily reached, the hard level has some lava in front to warn you and nightmare is only accessible by swimming through a tunnel, nicely hidden and making even starting the game a challenge.

The game then leads in its first act to a level that, as you’d expect, introduces the concepts quickly by tying them into a few puzzles. There are a few fairly easy to find secret areas, signposted by areas to jump to and travel towards. That does also feel like the downside of the game. While the level design is good and solid, with plenty of places to explore and secrets to find. It’s done well, but it isn’t that different from what we saw in Doom or Duke Nukem 3D, focused on getting to the end of the level and finding secrets, scoring you on how well you do that. Hiding the game is based on pressing switches, finding keys and finding the right path. There’s little plot or advancement.

The game, then, mostly improves on graphics and sound. The fully modeled graphics work a lot better and despite the relative simplicity compared to what we get now, works well and is surprisingly efficient to make it look good. The areas feel a lot more real than earlier games, and that’s worth it.

Final Thoughts

Quake is a game that, at this point, just is. Compared to normal design, it’s not as good, but at the same time it’s great at the things it’s trying to do. It’s not a lack of ambition – this game pushed what was possible. It just left me a bit cold.

At the same time, the multiplayer, which we didn’t try, is meant to be just as good, so take that as you will.

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