Remarkable for its time
After the success of Doom
, id's next major project would be based on the same gameplay mechanics but introduce new aspects of technology that was state-of-the-art at the time. The first mention of this game came from the instructions in the first three Commander Keen
games, where it was referred to as The Fight For Justice
and that it was an upcoming RPG. Fortunately, id decided to cash in on their previous successes like Doom
and Wolfenstein 3D
. It was a FPS called Quake
The government has experimented with teleportation technology, coming up with something called a Slipgate. An enemy known as “Quake” decides to take advantage of this technology, compromising the human connection with their own teleportation system and using it to insert death squads into the 'human' dimension. The player controls Ranger who is sent into the portal to put an end to Quake's plans.
Firstly, what I like about the game is the structure. Unlike earlier games where a menu allows you to select the episode followed by the difficulty, Quake
allows you to walk through portals. First, you walk into the portal allowing you to select the difficulty, then the episode. If you go through the wrong portals, you can always go back through the portal behind you and make your selection again.
There are four episodes with six or seven regular levels each. Each episode introduces new enemies, many of them taking quite a pounding to destroy. If you complete an episode, you'll obtain a rune which is needed to complete the game. The enemies look different to the ones that were present in Doom
. That's because id designed them, as well as the environment, in polygons, allowing them to add more character animations, more realistic lighting, and include simulated physics. Although the animations are a bit choppy, I was too busy killing the enemies to care about this.
Speaking of enemies, my favorite ones include the usual Grunts, Scrags, and Zombies; these three display some unusual behavior. The zombies look like they are saluting you just before they throw their own blood at you. Grunts say “Die” if you injure them, and Scrags say “No” when they are also under attack. There are a variety of weapons that you can use including shotguns, nailguns, and launchers. The most effective one I believe is the Thunderbolt. With it, most of the enemies can be wiped out with one hit and the Shamblers are easier to deal with.
A lot of the levels have you exploring castles and fortresses, indicating that the environments have that medieval feel to it; but it also carries satanic imagery - demons crucified on walls, evil mosaic drawings, etc.
The best thing about playing first-person shooters is the exploration, and Quake
is no exception. I would rather spend at least 30 minutes. exploring every inch of a level than just run through it and complete it in five minutes. Besides, anyone who does it properly you might discover a secret area you missed before. Some areas are inaccessible without collecting keys or pushing a series of buttons.
There are only two bosses in the game (Chthon and Shub-Niggurath), but I like the way the player has to do other things besides shooting at them. Again, this is about exploration. You have to check whether there are any buttons you need to push; and if there isn't any, try focusing on something that you can use to defeat it.
At the time of Quake
's release, developers created CD-audio tracks to be played during the game, and this game is no different. At the time, I assumed that there were just tracks with some lyrics on them, but I'm glad that this isn't the case. Quake
's CD-audio, created by Nine Inch Nails, help heighten the atmosphere as you walk around the levels, and they blend in with the game's setting perfectly.
I own the Windows version of the game, and I would recommend this version to anyone who is considering buying the game. What I like about the Windows version is that it features multiple resolutions. If you choose any resolution higher than 320x200, then the graphics become much clearer.
And for those that like to complete the last episode without completing the rest, just remember this: the game keeps track of how many runes you have collected; and if you are missing any of the four, you don't get to destroy the final boss.
In my version, each rune that I collected just disappeared when I ended up warping to a secret level, making the game uncompletable. Could be a possible glitch in the Windows version.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, Quake
is a nice game from id Software, the creators of Doom
and Wolfenstein 3D. It has an unique structure where the difficulty/episode is not selected within a menu. There are four episodes with six or seven levels each. Sure, the aim of each level is run around, shooting enemies, and reach the exit. However, smart people would explore each level fully and discover some secret areas. Both the enemies and the environment are animated nicely. There are some nice weapons in the game, such as the Thunderbolt. Sound-wise, the CD-Audio tracks are disturbingly good, heightening the atmosphere to the game. So, if you enjoyed Doom
, you might want to try this one.