Quake launched in 1996 and was a massive critical and commercial darling. id Software’s latest landmark FPS romp, it advanced its graphics significantly over 1993’s legendary Doom.
With its advanced 3D engine (at least for 1996), you couldn’t bloody move for this thing in 1996. Worshipped by PC gamers, envied by console owners, it was an instant classic and we look back fondly now whilst drooling like idiots.
Boom, Shakka Lakka, Boom Boom in Quake
Despite its name being oh so very close to Quack (which would have been miles better), the Quake series was established from the first title.
It offered a mind-bending mixture of cutting-edge special effects, sound, and FPS gameplay. Really, it was all over the place in 1996. No one would shut up about it.
It’s primitive by modern standards, of course, cutting out the more sweeping (although, often tedious) narratives that are shoehorned into many modern first-person shooters.
But in Quake, you take control of a geezer called Ranger. You’re sent out to a portal to stop “the enemy” in a place code-named Quake.
The government’s experimentation with teleportation majiggers has gone wrong, leading to death squads being sent to the human dimension to wipe out humanity. Holy cow!
In time-honoured FPS action, you’re charged with running around and annihilating absolutely everything you come across. With big guns!
Now, this is still a great FPS game. A classic of its genre and another era-defining game from the geniuses at id. They really got a knack for this genre and mastered it like few others.
Quake was revolutionary in its expansive level design. But the graphics blew people away, too, with the lighting effects being of particular note.
Like never before, games suddenly seemed to be springing into life.
But alongside the fancy graphics, gamers were bowled over by the sound of the game. The original Quake really was a landmark deal with its sense of atmospherics, immersing gamers into the action with all sorts of noises.
And this was a few years before Half-Life and Goldeneye 007 (on the N64) upped the genre further still, but the bare bones big gun blasting action remains a popular type of FPS to this day. Stripped down and no gubbins holding it back.
You can see it in the likes of the brilliant Dusk (2018), which is a hybrid of Doom, Half-Life, and Quake. Yes, that makes it very ruddy good.
But our closing thoughts on Quake—hell yeah! Great fun retro FPS that stands the test of time. Which is really a tribute to its clever level design and sense of oomph, with great fun weapons, much intensity, and you can get it for like £2 these days as well. Bargain.
Quack Games Now… Sorry, Modern Quake Games
Really, why hasn’t some indie developer done a spoof version called Quack?! Missing out on a golden opportunity to get sued, there!
Anyway, id Software is still very much with us. But Bethesda’s parent company, ZeniMax Media, took over them in 2009.
And it still works on many of its famous franchises, it’s just Bethesda publishes out the finished product. But, yes, id did reboot the Doom franchise and was responsible for the outstanding DOOM Eternal (2020).
The Quake series is still in full flow, too.
Quake Champions just launched in August 2022 and was well received, although it is an arena shooter. That means it’s an online multiplayer deathmatch type deal. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you like that then good for you.
After the first Quake, there was Quake II in 1997. It received positive reviews, but was id’s first FPS not to redefine the genre.
id decided on Quake III Arena in 1999 (the first deathmatch game for the series), but Quake 4 did follow in 2005. Again, it met with decent reviews. But it launched a year after the gut-wrenching genius of Valve’s Half-Life 2.
And the Best FPS Developer baton had passed on to Valve.
Which isn’t to undermine id’s incredible achievements any, as we most say it went some way to almost claiming that baton back in 2020 with DOOM Eternal. Seriously, that game is phenomenal.
So, id… if you fancy doing that overhaul with a new Quake game, we’d be more than happy about it. A thank you very much.
I played Quake II when it came out – for me it was yet another game that drove my hardware purchases. This was back in the day when a 3d video card came separately from the 2d variety and 4mB of VRAM was more than anybody would ever need.
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Yeah, as a kid I just had a SNES in 1996. Our family didn’t get a PC until 1998 and I don’t think that one could have run Quake!
Much easier these days, I have it on my Switch. Landmark stuff in 1996. It was just difficult for a lot of people to access. Glad PC gaming is a bit more accessible now.