Quake

aka: Quake 64, Quake Mobile, Quake: The Doomed Dimension
Moby ID: 374

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Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 89% (based on 28 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 204 ratings with 17 reviews)

Couldn't live up to the enormous hype.

The Good
Quake was a marvelous tech demo. The graphics were true 3D, and the multiplayer component was (apparently, I really don't know firsthand) revolutionary in its day, as one could easily hop on and find opponents through that direct TCP/IP thingie everyone was ooohhing and ahhhing over.

The Bad
The single player game just wasn't all that compelling after the intense, Mars-meets-Hell action of Doom and Doom II. Plus, Quake set a new low bar for storytelling--there is no story, period. I haven't really played multiplayer Quake, and the idea of trigger-happy FPS fragging online just hasn't ever appealled to me, so I can't bury or praise Quake on that score.

The graphics are not now, nor were they ever, as impressive as they were alleged to be. YES, it was true 3D and used polygons instead of sprites, but that doesn't mean it was pretty to look at. The bad guys tend to look polygonal, which just doesn't cut it for me; I'll take good-looking sprites over jagged blobs any day. Not to mention how utterly BROWN the whole thing is…ick!

Quake's claim to greatness has to be that it paved the way for later games that were both technically brilliant AND aesthetically pleasing. Sorry Mr. Romero, but I just don't think design was law in this case.



The Bottom Line
Quake was a fabulous tech demo, but only a decent game. A "classic" in its brief heyday, it's just "ok" now.

DOS · by PCGamer77 (3158) · 2002

3D engine for sale! 3D engine for sale! (oh yeah, there's a game here too)

The Good
The Quake Id Software intended to make was quite different to the Quake that actually got released. 1995-era gaming magazines were awash with hype about a fully 3D, fantasy-themed FPS with detailed lighting effects and morphable terrain and an RPG-style class system and everything but the kitchen sink.

Somewhere along the line id's development team must have realised that the hardware required for this sort of game did not exist yet. They ended up releasing a stripped-down tech demo that was only a shadow of what they had originally promised. It is completely 3D, but just about everything else was sacrificed to make it 3D.

Everywhere in Quake you see the signs of a game laboring under technological constraints. The levels are absolutely tiny, and mostly made up of cramped rooms and corridors (large outdoor areas like in Doom? Forget it.) The textures are bland and of low detail. The tradeoff for realistic lighting was that everything in the game is rendered in dull browns and grays. It's rare that you'll have three enemies on the screen at once. Five enemies is a gratuitous bloodbath.

Thematically the game is a continuation of Doom. The settings and plots are pretty much the same: you are a marine who is the last man standing on the site of an alien invasion. But rather than the Aliens setting of Doom, Quake is far more Gothic. Castles and dungeons are the rule here rather than space stations and moon bases. In fact, you could easily believe that this game was originally intended to be set in the Middle Ages.

The action is fast and lean. The monsters are weak but deal out massive damage, and since you don't have much ammo the game becomes a frenetic and tense reflex match. The game's realistic lighting works in its favor by giving monsters the ability to hide in shadows where you can't see them. The game's scariest moments come when you're walking down a well-lit corridor and suddenly the lights go out...and you can hear growls and snarls.

Quake's monsters are pretty cool and one of the best things that came with the game. There are zombies, werewolves, and flesh-eating fish, and lethal killing machines such as the Hell Knights and Vores. But pride of place is reserved for the Shambler, a hulking behemoth who can shoot lighting and absorb massive amounts of damage before dying; and can be regularly found on "Best Ever Monster" lists around the net.

The game's 3Dness makes it aesthetically incomparable to the 2.5D games of the day. Perspective is rendered correctly. There can be rooms on top of rooms. Your viewpoint can lean and rotate at any angle. You can look straight up at the sky. You even have the ability to swim underwater! These things gave the game the needed wow factor to become a hit, and just as well because that's all Quake has going for it.

The Bad
Like I mentioned before, the content side of the game was severely hamstrung so they could get it in 3D. Basically, everything about the game unrelated to technology sucks.

There is no story, and zero originality. Even though the FPS genre was only a few years Quake effectively stagnated it with boring levels, hardly any features, repetitive and derivative design, etc. This is the first game I can think of that was literally designed around its engine and graphical capabilities. Take away the 3D-ness, and Quake is worthless bargain bin material.

The levels themselves are so factory-produced and generic they might as well have been generated by a macro. The game over-uses the "monsters hiding in shadow" trick until it's not funny anymore (and the game has an annoying habit of spawning monsters behind you, the precursor of Doom 3). You'd think that with fully 3D terrain the door would be open for all sorts of cool levels, but for the most part Quake's levels are the same as Doom's levels: lots of hallways and staircases and the occasional elevator.

Weapon balance is way off, the hatchet is a worthless piece of crap and once you get the rocket launcher you're set for the whole game. And the game has a "weak, medium, strong" approach to weaponry, so that if you get a super shotgun your regular shotgun becomes useless and if you get a super nailgun your old nailgun becomes useless. The result? There are eight weapons in the game but you only ever use two or three of them. What's the point?

There's no originality, no attempt at a story, and nothing that advances the FPS genre at all. Any last chance of Quake being a good single-player game is drop-kicked in the nuts by a moronic final boss fight. I'm not one for hyperbole, but Quake has the lamest, most anti-climactic boss fight of any Id Software game (and that includes Commander Keen!). Shub Nigguruth is a giant blob that does not even move but just sits there doing nothing while you run around and kill a few monsters (like you've been doing all game) looking for a hidden switch that kills the boss and ends the game. And as a final insult, there isn't even an ending cutscene.

Although much can be said of the game's technology, Quake is not a pretty game. As mentioned before, the color palette is extremely limited and the whole game is brown and gray. The polygons are blocky and the monster animation is very choppy. Probably the best thing one can say about Quake's graphics is the distortion effects underwater, and the lighting. And although some would call Quake a masterpiece of Gothic horror, praising Quake for being dark and suspenseful is like praising a 1920s-era film for being sepia-toned and artsy. It only looks like that because of technological restrictions, and attempting to translate that into artistic genius on the part of the creators is nothing more than Emperor's New Clothes syndrome.

But wait! What about multiplayer? The game was a huge multiplayer hit over the internet, partly because it was so easy to set up and find opponents. But the game's rushed design can be seen here as well, as almost all the maps that come with the game are crap and full of bugs and imbalances (example: in one of the levels there is a 100% health powerup, a super nailgun and a quad damage right next to each other). Not to mention that Quake only started to become really popular after user mods had ironed out all the nuisances and issues, basically a continuation of Id's policy of "let the community fix our games for us". Hardly anyone plays Vanilla Quake.

The Bottom Line
There's a problem with engine games: they are only as good as the engine that powers them. As soon as the technology starts to become old, the game itself becomes obsolete. On the other hand, great gameplay never dies: look at how many people are playing Duke Nukem 3D after all these years. But Quake is dead armadillo. It was boring in its day and is even more so now.

DOS · by Maw (833) · 2007

Remarkable for its time

The Good
Quake may be an awesome first-person shooter that received praise from the gaming public, but things were very different in 1991, when id first promoted it in the first three Commander Keen games. It was to be called The Fight For Justice, a role-playing game where the player would control someone named Quake, who was supplied with a hammer that they could use against his enemies. People could be interacted with, and there would be many puzzles to solve. He would work for Justice, a secret organization whose purpose is to vanquish all the evil from the world.

This never got off the ground due to the fact that the technology they were using was outdated and they had to wait while they developed a new engine that was capable of delivering the result they wanted. In my opinion, it wouldn't make any sense for id not to cash in on their previous successes (Wolfenstein 3-D and Doom), both of them first-person shooters.

The player's role in the game is to stop something codenamed “Quake”, an evil entity using technology created by the government (known as Slipgates) to insert their own death squads into the 'human' dimension. To do this, the player must navigate from area to area, searching for the four runes that are required to enter Quake's dimension. Having said that, Quake shares many similarities with Doom. You have to search each level for the exit (in this case, a portal), collecting keycards to unlock certain doors, more often than not spawning enemies if you collect them. These enemies are just as stupid as they were before, battling each other out if a projectile meant for the player accidentally hits them.

By watching the running demos in the game, I found out at least two things: that the enemies that composed of 3D polygons that are well animated, and that the depicted environments have that Lovecraftian feel to them. There are four episodes in the game, and each of them is consistent in terms of structure. You start off in sci-fi military installations, but then you eventually fight your way through castles and dungeons, both of them having a medieval or fantasy theme. What I like about most of the levels is looking up at the animated skybox with the moving purple clouds.

The best thing about playing first-person shooters such as Quake is the exploration, and 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, you might discover a secret area you missed before if you spend a considerable amount of time in the level. Some areas are inaccessible without collecting keys or pushing/shooting a series of buttons that are sometimes hard to find. There are heaps of secrets in each level, and when I played a certain map more than once, I was able to discover the ones I missed.

Quake is more unique than any first-person shooter that I played so far. Besides using 3D polygons for the sprites and textures, you select the episode and difficulty not through menus, but by walking through portals that play a vital role in the game. Also, I like the way you have to find another way to defeat the two bosses in the game, using two different methods. Gameplay-aside, I believe that Quake was the first FPS that let you play the game at different resolutions, other than the vanilla one.

There are several enemies that you need to kill along the way. You first face human opponents equipped with shotguns and energy weapons, along with their “best friend”. But later on, you'll face tougher opponents like knights, grunts, scrags, and zombies (with those last three being my favorites). You have an arsenal of weapons you can choose from, and start with an axe and shotgun. In my opinion, nothing beats a good old axe, even if you spend a lot of time killing one of the tougher enemies.

One of the people who worked on the game was Trent Raznor, who happened to be the front-runner of Nine Inch Nails. id originally wanted no music in the game, but Raznor was unhappy with this. Later, he was granted permission to let the band write the music for the game. NIN's soundtrack gives the game atmosphere. Like a lot of games released at the time, the music is laid out on CD audio tracks, meaning that you must leave the CD in the drive in order to hear them.

The Bad
In Doom and its sequel, you can open doors and push switches by walking up to them an hitting a key, adding a touch of realism to the game. But in Quake, this feature does not exist, nor in any other first-person shooter that follows it.

As much as I like the idea of running the game at different resolutions, some of them make the game look distorted if you use odd resolutions such as 320x400 and 848x480. There are even more ones a lot higher up, but I found the performance to degrade quite badly, even if you run the game on a Pentium.

The Bottom Line
In conclusion, Quake is an excellent game from id Software, the creators of Doom and Wolfenstein 3-D. The game was innovative for its time, in the way the characters consist of 3-D polygons that are animated nicely. It also is unique in the way it is structured different to id's previous successes where the difficulty/episode is not selected within a menu, as well as the way the levels are structured. The music for the game is composed by Nice Inch Nails, and they have slapped their logo onto certain ammo crates to make sure you don't forget. Each of the soundtracks in the game is disturbingly good, consisting of ambient noises to heighten the atmosphere of each level. The bottom line: I would recommend Quake to anyone who enjoys playing first-person shooters, especially for the exploration.

DOS · by Katakis | カタキス (43092) · 2016

Great engine!! Great multiplayer code!!... Game? What game???

The Good
Quake was a technological wonder, after Doom id really had a hard act to follow technology-wise, yet they once again proved their programming prowess with Quake = the first fps with a true 3D engine.

And what an engine it was! After years of being stuck on the world of 2.5D games, Quake finally delivered true polygonal bliss. The end result was pretty much obvious: better sense of space and depth, smoother animation, use of effects like the portal or the cool underwater-distortion one, etc. etc. Quake also applied it's 3D-ness to such things as the player's Pov, which swayed and leaned around quite realistically. A feat that really made the game feel a lot different from the now static-looking 2.5D fpss; ditto the character models, which moved way smoother than sprites, and also came with the added bonus of being able to explode in little chunks of red meat, yes boys and girls, "gibs" were born with Quake.

The multiplayer area is also the other point were Quake broke the mold. As everyone knows by now, the game replaced all the hassle of multiplayer net-play with the now common server-client architecture, which was not only much more intuituive, but also much more reliable and fast, especially when you consider the setup prep-work that was usually involved with multiplayer gaming.

Also, being a metal fan I really enjoyed NIN's contribution to the game's soundtrack, tough it seems to be too depressing/experimental to most players for some reason. Still, if you don't like it, you can always pop in your own audio cd and let 'er rip while you get it on.

The Bad
What "didn't" I like about the game?? Well, there's no game to speak of!! :)). Seriously, Quake would begin id's trend of just forgetting about game design and instead providing the best technological wonders they could come up with. This is especially evidenced by the open architecture of Quake. It's set-up so you can customize it to your liking, ad mods to it, ad skins, textures, levels, sounds, etc etc. Heck, they even released the source code!

Id just figured "Why the hell bother designing the game when we just can release the technology?" It may be a reprehensible idea, but it's smart! Think about it, Quake off the box was a piece of shit. The game itself has even less story than Doom (and you thought that wasn't possible!!), the weapons are copies of Doom's (save for the Axe and the Lightning-throwing thingie) with new yet crappy 3D models (the rocket launcher is just a brown rod!!), the level of interaction was toned down to near-retarded levels with the removal of the use key in favor of a jump key, essentially trading off the ability to use things for the world's crappiest jump (primary reason for the discovery of the rocket-jump) result? You activate gigantic buttons by bumping into them... groan....

But wait! That's not all! The levels are dull techo-goth places with a heavy dose of the brown color (hmmm, crap comes to mind in more ways than one!!), populated by stupid traps (??WTF??) and seemingly randomly-placed enemies, which to be fair are the only cool things that come with the game. The single player campaign is a joke, with the only good moment being the fight against Chthon at the end of episode 1 and the initial joy of watching everything in 3D and all the Lovecraftian imagery. The multiplayer part saves the game, but then again the maps that came with the game were sorely lacking in just about every level.

...yet...

The Bottom Line
Quake sold Gazillions of copies!!! Why? Because it didn't matter whether it was good or not off the box!! You bought the game, and then turned it into whatever you wanted! And I'm not just talking about the level add-ons and stuff like that, I'm talking about serious reworkings, like Quake Rally and the like.

Quake is sort of like a piece of real estate, get it? It's what you put in there that eventually turns the game a worthy experience. It's a piece of remarkably well made technology, with enough of an open architecture to satisfy most pseudo-designers (though it would still require a high level of proficiency to do stuff like "real" level editing). That's what you pay, and that's what you get. Not a game, but a 3D-enginered, multiplayer-capable, piece of clay. This is good, REAL good. On the other hand it's pretty shameless in the sense that the developers simply washed their hands of most, if not all, creative content... hmm. That's bad, real bad...

In the end you'll have to ask yourself what do you really want. Back on those days Quake meant 3D and multiplayer. If you wanted that, you went for that. If you wanted say... good fps gameplay, you went for Duke3D (or even Quake add-ons like Scourge of Armaggon) and the like. You had to think before you bought. Of course, nowadays it's just completely stupid to play Quake. No reason to bother with old technology when you can have the new and upgraded version: Quake 3 Arena, even less of a game than this one, and destined to the same oblivion as soon as Quake 4, 5, 6, etc. get released.

DOS · by Zovni (10503) · 2002

Best deathmatch, hands down

The Good
This game is a legend, and anyone that even remotely loves online deathmatch, CTF, or other FPS type games should know what I'm talking about.

First of all, the graphics for the time period are simply amazing. I can remember running this game on a 4 meg Diamond Monster 3d card and it was blazing fast and quite simply beautiful. The sound and music are top notch as well, and Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails fame) takes credit for that.

Next, the level design is fantastic. Playing deathmatch and arena or other mods reveals just how well thought out the levels are. American McGee among others are responsible for very well planned environments. You can tell that this game wasn't just thrown together, and one can even imagine Id's offices a big mess with drawings and print outs in regards to level design posted all over the walls.

Furthermore, the game is fully customizable. Quake is either the first, or one of the first games to feature the use of the console in game (something that is now standard on all FPS games). With a little instruction one could enter commands into the console to alter the settings of the game in real time. There was so much versatility and control given to the user, that you could even manipulate the way your online connection functions (like eliminating delta from the tcp/ip function with commands like cl_nodelta 1), what information is given to the player, which models are drawn on the screen and which aren't, the list is exhaustive and goes on and on. The level of customization afforded to the end user was so powerful that Quake could run on just about any machine, and not only that but look and play entirely different on different PC's.

The multiplayer is unbelievably fast. I used to ping 16 with an ISDN connection, and had a friend on 56k that could ping 90. Yes, with some in game tweaking ultra low pings were possible. Furthermore, you could be in a big deathmatch, rockets flying all over the place and 6 or 7 people on your screen with the settings maxed out, and never have your ping move or your framerate drop, all while playing on a p133 with 64mb RAM and a 4meg video card. Phenomenal!

The deathmatch modes are the real meat an potatoes here. I've yet to find any DM type FPS games that are as fast or as hardcore as this game. There isn't much in the way of fancy items or powerups save for some armor, extra health, and occasional quad damage or invulnerability. This game requires raw skill, precision aiming, and knowledge of map layouts all of which take months or even years to perfect.

There are lots of user created maps and add-ons. Clan Arena and Rocket Arena, along with QuakeWorld were my favorite mods, but they also had Team Fortress and other ambitious mods. Now that the game is open source, the sky is the limit.

The Bad
The single player game is weak and mostly worthless. I had first played in single player mode and this made me quit the game for a couple of months until I started hearing from everyone about how untouchable the multiplayer was.

Learning console commands might be discouraging to some, but then again knowledge of their function is not a requirement for play. On the other hand, to have any chance of success during serious competition a working knowledge of the commands is a must, and a .cfg file must be tested and tweaked ad naseum in order to achieve one's full potential. This can be good or bad depending on your disposition.

Some complained that the colors were drab and got old. Lots of shades of brown and gray throughout the levels.

The Bottom Line
Quake is the single best DM game hands down, even today. Even though it was released in 1996, people are still playing it regularly, although the online population is only a fraction of the size it used to be. I played the game from 1996 to 2004 when I finally retired, and there were still big clans, ladders, competitions, and public and private servers available. The speed of the game, multiplayer code, meat and potatoes deathmatch, and customizing options have made this game one I'll never forget.

DOS · by D Michael (222) · 2007

It's not a Doom-killer, but its QUAKE

The Good
At first of course what we saw in Quake was the impressive graphics - a fully 3D world with dynamic lighting and such. Quake's graphics was a major step in technology of computer gaming, probably as large as Doom's step in the history of FPS games.

The sound was also impressive - the weapons sounded so powerful that it almost hurt your ears when you were listening to that sound too much, the monsters also sounded creepy, mighty and hostile, music was also great but it didn't fit the atmosphere exactly like it was supposed to however, but it was again a good entrance of something like "very atmospheric and creepy sh*t in the background, which is not MIDI".

And of course the most important thing in the game - the gameplay. Quake introduced a very great single player campaign - atmospheric, thanks to great graphical technology, decent audio, but mostly it was the gameplay itself - as already told the monsters sounded very powerful as well as the weapons - some of these were very original and to this day have influenced lots of game developers. Some weapons, like The Nailgun and the Lightning Gun, are legends in the making, while some monsters like Ogres, Shamblers will lie in our memories forever as one of the most original, creepy and coolest monsters we saw in a video game.

But there was one thing which differed Quake from any other game of that time - online multiplayer. For the first time, we were able to compete in deathmatch with not only our friends our buddies by job, but with actual strangers from around the world, long story short, it was a great experience.

The Bad
It's hard to say that there is some flaws in the game, but there could be a few. The most known flaw in a lot of modern first person shooters is the repetitive level design - which happened in Quake a lot actually, but we can't help it since this game was originally supposed to be a RPG with medieval themes. Then again, the developers added something modern to this game too, like the first levels of each episodes, which where more like futuristic military bases, and some enemies were also modern-like.

The Bottom Line
Quake is a very original game, which lots of developers tried to "kill" with their so called "Quake killers" in the late 90's. So this already tells that this is a very good game. A game worth buying even nowadays, the main reason is the multiplayer.

DOS · by Medicine Man (328) · 2009

A gritty, mud-hued shooter with terrifying monsters

The Good
In early 1996, Duke Nukem captured gamers' attention with a rivetingly humourous one-up of DOOM, but by summer id had regained their position atop the PC gaming world. Quake boasts the first graphics engine capable of rendering not only the game world in true 3D, but also monsters, items, and players.

Aside from the technical considerations, Quake stands out as a top-to-bottom solid shooter. Weapons are varied and satisfying, from your basic shotgun and automatic nailgun, to a double-barreled shotgun and quad-firing nailgun, to your explosive arsenal of a grenade launcher and rocket launcher. All these weapons lay into enemies with a satisfying feel and sound, but the grenade launcher stands out as a really fun weapon. The simple look of the weapon, the sound of grenades clanking off the floor, the primitive pixelated explosions, and of course the chunked body parts all make it one of the most satisfying weapons of all time.

Monsters are another stand-out feature. Your basic zombies fling wads of rotting flesh at you, werewolves come at you with horrifying speed, samurai knights cut you to ribbons with a devastating broadsword, and the Shambler is a truly horrific Yeti-beast that can zap you with lightning bolts but prefers to deal with you personally with his claws.

The general tone and atmosphere of Quake is a third stand-out feature. Although the world is rendered in drab earthy hues, there are occasional lava pits to brighten things up. Levels are really well done, and when you finish one it's a great relief. Generally the tension will build as you explore a new level, monsters and puzzles become trickier as you progress, and towards the end there will be some terrific showdown with one or more tough enemies. The end bosses of each of the three chapters are memorable, starting with a Shambler and ending with a gigantic Lovecraft-inspired tentacle beast called Shub-Niggurath.

The Bad
There isn't a lot in Quake to criticize. The color scheme is somewhat drab, but varied lighting keeps everything looking interesting.

The Bottom Line
Quake is a landmark game, the first to really bring a 3D world to life in a believable way. All the elements of a good FPS come together, from smooth rendering to escalating challenges to sparse, effective sound effects to excellent weapons and the resulting gore that they produce. A fine title from id, and in my mind the best of the series.

DOS · by Chris Wright (85) · 2010

Awesome atmosphere.

The Good
When Quake came out in 1996, it's technology was simply amazing. 100 percent true 3d in a fast action game was something never accomplished before Quake, so you can imagine the impact it had.

The gameplay was very much like Doom's, except there were some more bits and pieces incorporated into the levels (for example, hidden shootable buttons that were mostly located in dark areas) to add a little puzzle aspect to them. The levels were large and nicely designed, however the textures looked a little ugly when you where in close proximity to them. The soundtrack, which was contributed by Nine Inch Nails (Trent Reznor), was very atmospheric and scary, it contributed a lot to the overall atmosphere of the game (you need to get the CD-ROM release to get it, it is not included in the downloadable version sold by id -- it's a must have!).

The multiplayer was simply astounding when this came out. It was also the first id fps to support internet play out-of-the-box (Doom did not originally support this because the internet was not much used in 1993).

The Bad
There aren't much things not to like about Quake, since there's not that much to it. However, every game has it's faults (well, I'm pretty sure about that anyway), so here are Quake's few.

First of all, the colors. This is a matter of taste of course, but there have been many complaints by gamers in the past about the 'brown' look of the game (lack of variation in color). Look at the screenshots to see what I mean.

Second, little replay value. It's still fun the second (or third) time, but the 'scare' factor will be gone for the most part.

Third, the end game is just bizarre. It sucks, one of the worst endings ever.

Also, some of the levels were plain stupid. But only a handful, and I personally think the good far outweighs the bad in this case.

The Bottom Line
Quake is a great game if you like the kind of first person shooter that doesn't go into too much detail about 'why', 'where', or 'who'. I've still got it installed on my P90 to this day and I get back to it time by time. Quake remains enjoyable even after ten years of aging.

DOS · by PimPamPet (91) · 2006

Not quite what it was supposed to be

The Good
This game has about the greatest 3D graphics you can get without 3D acceleration, on a 486. On modern computers you can set the resolution quite high and enjoy the edgy monsters running smoothly in the atmospheric interiors.

This game also has one of the best soundtracks I've seen in a PC game. I'm not talking about that boring Nince-Inch Nails stuff, I'm talking about the fact that you can play this with any music CD in the drive (my personal favorite for this game is Larry & the Lefthanded's Quantum Rider, but playing Quake with Mike Flowers Pops playing in the background can give you a novel perspective on things!), which is nothing remarkable today, but this was the first game I played that had a CD soundtrack, and didn't need the game CD in the drive in order to run.

The Bad
While, technically, Quake is far better than Doom, I never could get into it in the same way. The levels are well designed, the monsters are multitudinous, and the guns kill, but the feeling just isn't there. Now if they had opted for a more original approach, as in Duke Nukem 3D, they might have made a classic, but Quake is too obviously just "Doom 3D", and I'd rather play Doom than Quake nowadays.

Oh, yeah, Quake was (and still seems to be) a very popular multiplayer game on the internet. I don't like that. I tried playing over the 'net and these kids who couldn't even spell their names right kept beating the pants off me. I hate death-matches! Put a tax on internet gaming, that's what I always say... <grumble, grumble> and give me my pants back!

The Bottom Line
Play this before you play Doom, if possible. Once you have completed Doom, you have no reason whatsoever to play this on your own. If you like death-matches and you have a dated machine, Quake is as good as the next FP3DSEU, I suppose. Buy Duke3D instead, if you can find it!

DOS · by Late (77) · 2001

A completely underrated yet revolutionary game.

The Good
My God, John Carmack - what more is there to say? While completely underrated (for some reason), this game was simply revolutionary at the time. Unlike Doom it came with a completely, 100% true 3D engine with gouraud-shaded textures and it ran DAMN FAST on any Pentium and adequately on an old 486.

This game completely revolutionized the genre: it was the first to come out-of-the-box with TCP/IP support for internet play (not through TEN or other such services) -- if you had the bandwidth to spare you could simply set up a Quake server and get it on! It was also the first to use the now-common server/client architecture (push the Tilde key and you'll see what I mean) and the first one which doesn't require a seperate module (COMMIT) for multiplayer play.

And most importantly, this game is damn challenging and fun in single player and multiplayer alike!

The Bad
It looks a bit on the brownish side, but we'll let that one pass. The sound effects are a bit annoying too.



The Bottom Line
A wonderful, underrated classic which didn't get the attention it deserved.

DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4539) · 2000

It's okay...but overrated...

The Good
Quake was the big thing from the people at id Software who brought you Doom, a great, landmark FPS...and Quake was obviously a huge leap in the graphics department, but there was a downside...more on that later. One of the enemies, the Shambler, was awesome and very memorable, and the lightning gun and grenade launcher were cool too.

Oh, and by the way, gibs made their debut in Quake, too :)

The Bad
It was supposed to be a GAME?!

Okay, but seriously, the game itself was just plain BORING, and more of a technology demo than anything else.  Yes, the graphics were all "true 3d", "completely polygons", but "how" are you showing off your graphics by making everything a crappy brown shade?  Seriously, from far way, its hard to tell most of the enemies apart from each other, or even apart from the background!  And what were they thinking when they designed that oh-so-lame rocket launcher???

Don't get me wrong, Quake isn't actually a bad game, its multiplayer was a huge advancement. But overall, it was mediocre...especially, in my opinion, when compared to its competitor, Duke Nukem 3d.

The Bottom Line
Quake deserves to be mentioned in gaming history because of the advancements it made to first person shooters everywhere, but if you're just a gamer looking to have fun, I'd recommend playing the sequel, Quake 2. THAT is the great game that THIS one should have been.

DOS · by Mr. Me (28) · 2003

All the other reviews are rubbish

The Good
Where Doom was in fact a technological step backwards (Ultima Underworld had a far superior engine a year previously) Quake was in every sense state of the art. One of the first truly 3D games engines, it was certainly by far and away the best looking thing at the time. A combination of great level design, fantastic music and Lovecraft-esque setting created the scariest atmosphere I'd met in a computer game. The out-of-the-box internet gameplay and free ability to create mods of the basic engine were better executed than had ever been before, perhaps due to id software has its roots in the shareware movement. The fact they have released the source code since is a nice nod to the independent game development community. But above all? The sheer playability.

The Bad
The downsides? Having to put up with people whining about the same old stuff when you say you like Quake. (It's too brown... no story... too much gore... don't like shooting games... Doom is better...) SHUT UP. The only real downside? It was such a success we now have to put up with endless inferior imitations.

The Bottom Line
It's easy in a genre that has advanced so fast to look back on the older titles with vague disgust rather than the admiration they deserve. Quake was a revolutionary game, and still is a fantastically fun one.

DOS · by rar (2) · 2004

I'm Quaking In My Boots...

The Good
The 90’s were the golden age of FPS. The earlier days of the decade gave us Doom, and Wolfenstein. Midway through the decade, Duke Nukem 3D, Blood, and Hexen, were our dark masters. However, 1996, ID Software would release a game that would usher in a new era of FPS’. That game was Quake.

In Quake, you are a soldier working for a team of scientists that are researching dimensional portals, when they accidentally stumble on the haunted realms of Quake. Now the horrific dimensions are going to invade the Earth Realm. It is up to you to stop them. The plot is pretty light, there are no cut scenes, or any thing like that. But the story is rather dark, and supposedly inspired by H. P. Lovecraft.

There are 4 terror filed realms of Quake. Each with multiple levels. In the levels you fight monsters collect keys, find secrets, and eventually find the rune of the realm you are in. There is an array of weapons at your disposal. From an Axe, to Shotguns, and my all time favorite, the Nail Gun.

Monsters seemingly inspired by the nightmares of madmen, also fill levels. Each has a particular weakness, and best weapon to take down. Finding the weakness is another story. Boss fights are rare, but always impressive.

For the time the graphics of Quake were amazing. It was the first true 3D FPS. Levels are dark, and foreboding, and the monsters are truly scary. Nice lighting effects abound as well. If you can get Quake to run with even an older 3D card it will look much better almost like a new game!

The sound really shines in Quake. Both the music and sound effects were done by Nine Inch Nails. The music itself is more ambient, than in traditional FPS’. The sound effects are creepy, to say the least. Each monster has a distinct sound, so you will come to dread what is around the next corner. Weapon sounds are very good as well. Try playing the game with surround sound. Or in the dark with headphones on. You’ll swear that you can hear things with the headphones that you could not hear with out them.

The Bad
Quake is not an easy game. So not for those not looking for a challenge. But otherwise not a bad thing.

The game of course is dated, it’s been 10 years after all.

Getting Quake to run on newer machines is a challenge.

The Bottom Line
This is one of the best FPS and a landmark, not only in it’s genre but for games in general. If you have the means play it. Or if it has been awhile play it again.

DOS · by MasterMegid (723) · 2006

No plot...all blood

The Good
Whenever I need to release stress and/or anger I have 2 options: throwing my chair against the wall or playing Quake. Since I've been spending a whole budget in chairs lately :) I guess I'll stick to the second option...Just pump the volume to the max, put on God mode, Quad damage and all weapons to begin blasting away at those monsters and...Voila! a couple of minutes later I'm more relaxed (Although I don't know if this is normal in a person!) I mean, there's nothing like gibbing a shambler armed only with a two-barrelled shotgun with the excellent soundtrack (courtesy of Trent Reznor) roaring trough the speakers. Quake's also got a lot of atmosphere, the levels are very well designed and the occasional creepy sounds (which you can't never tell for sure where they're coming from) really help to get you "inside" the game. The truly 3D graphics and monster animations are really stunning (Just look closely at the movements of the zombies, for example) I can understand why this game is a milestone in the FPS genre and why it became so famous.

The Bad
Absolutely no plot (unless you call the txt file with the "monsters-who-came-from-another-dimension" excuse for story a plot) and...NO CUTSCENES??!? I mean...this is a 1996 game, guys! We gamers had witnessed quite a few amazing things by then as far as animations and cutscenes go! The whole story unfolds through text displaying on your screen (remember DOOM?). These two topics could have been looked over if this game hadn't been so over-hyped and highly anticipated, though.

The Bottom Line
-"Hey, remind me again why I'm shooting these monsters?" -"Who cares?...It's fun as hell!" One of the best things about Quake is that you can either play it for a short while (10-15 min) or became sucked into its universe without realizing that you've been playing for 2 hours and still have lots of fun. It may not be the best FPS, but it's one of the greatest.

DOS · by n-n (50) · 2001

The FPS proliferation begins...

The Good
I will admit that I played Doom for hours and hours. (Memories of a 300+ frag deathmatch come to mind. -shudder-) When I heard about Quake, I downloaded the demo, and away we went. The weapons were imaginative (who knew we would see incarnations of these for the next few years?), the baddies were ugly/scary/grotesque and fun to gib. What more could you ask for?

The Bad
As much as I loved the true 3D engine, A little more color might have been nice. Yes, the darker colors added to the gloomy atmosphere, but it did get to be somewhat annoying after a few hours. And the sound? We'll just leave that alone. I played this game with my CD player going in the background...

The Bottom Line
This was the next step in the FPS genre. A genre that has brought us a lot blood (on screen), sweat (trying to get away from your buddy with the nail gun), and tears (have you played some of these clones?). If you still play Doom, this one will appeal to you as well.

DOS · by Narf! (132) · 2000

To be honest, i found this to be sub-Wolfenstein, but still great

The Good
Despite my one line summary, don't get me wrong, this game is great. When the shareware was released I had it loaded on and blasted away. I loved it. The gloomy atmosphere, the great bad guys (that wacko with a chainsaw, great idea, also those mad flying greenstuff spewing wierdos, top), the great level designs. I particularly liked one of the early levels where you spent a lot of time in the water gibbing the hell out of the skeletons.

The Bad
When i got the full release i was dissapointed. As usual when i spend so long on the demo, i don't bother playing the full game. I enjoyed Wolfenstein more because although Quake has great badguys, nothing can beat killing Nazi scum. A glaring ommision from Quake's arsenal is the chainsaw, the most fun and violent of all of Doom's weapon

The Bottom Line
A great first-person shooter. Excellent follow up to Doom. id could have really done no better at the time.

DOS · by Julian McKenzie (160) · 2000

The next step in the FPS evolutionary process

The Good
Quake literally revolutionized almost every aspect of the FPS genre apart from storytelling and level design. The 3D engine was not simply the first of its kind, it was also the smoothest and fastest for many years to come. It was also one of the most modifiable, giving rise to an endless surge of modifications. It was the first to feature gravity variables, thus opening the portal of physics to videogames.

The game itself was fast and atmospheric at the same time. The rusty, brown colour palette might not appeal to everyone, however it gave the game a distinctive look and oppressive feel. The music by the Nine Inch Nails was equally dark and industrial sounding and fit well with the theme. It was obvious id was trying to leave behind Doom's bright colours in favour of something darker and more subliminal.

Id also simplified the interface somewhat by introducing touch sensitive buttons and walls instead of colour coded keys and toggled switches. The point was to eliminate all the pointless search-button mashing while strafing with the face to the wall, a common practice for veteran Doom players looking for elusive secrets. The real secret of Quake was that it removed most obstacles between action, atmosphere and the player, thus providing an almost exhilarating experience while blowing enemies to bloody chunks, wading through murky water and trying to avoid the traps.

And multiplayer. The only game that could really stop gamers from blasting themselves for endless hours in Doom Deathmatches was Quake. We owe the existence of Capture the Flag, Team Deathmatch and class deathmatch variations to the huge community that the game amassed. However, Quake's own Deathmatch mode was a complete experience into itself and is enjoyable even today.

The Bad
Level design was good, but not quite on par with Doom's masterful levels. Still, it was far from "boring" or repetitive and offered some truly memorable moments. Quake is not "perfect" is the same way that no classic game is: however its strengths far outweigh its shortcomings.

The Bottom Line
Purity of form.

Quake had no story because, much like Doom or Duke Nukem 3d, it did not need one. The fun it offered was pure: when you are really thirsty nothing compares to pure crystal water and there is no replacement for that. It took Epic many years to learn this lesson and reach the peak that UT 2004 has. In effect, the Golden Rule that id set with Doom and Quake is that an FPS needs focus in order to be truly enjoyable. Thus it either has to offer the raw thrill of action that Quake epitomizes or the cinematic experience that Half-Life pursued. Either unhindered, non-stop blasting fun or realism and the restrictions which it imposes. The middle ground does not really work here and the pinnacle of pure action is truly the legacy of Quake.

DOS · by Silverblade (1382) · 2005

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Patrick Bregger, Scaryfun, Joakim Kihlman, Big John WV, Tim Janssen, Apogee IV, beetle120, jean-louis, Wizo, Havoc Crow, Alsy, Cantillon, Jeanne.