Given how good the Doom reboots have been, I wasn’t really prepared for what it would be like to just play the original Quake again.
Don’t get me wrong: I’ve always loved Quake. It’s one of those foundational games that changed the industry around it. Even the byproducts of its fans, like the original Reaper Bot, would go on to affect the industry in their own way (most directly through a later rival to the Quake series, Unreal Tournament).
But despite Quakeworld — which was the optimised version released for online play after Quake‘s release — never going away, most people I knew loved almost every other game iD touched. There were people who loved DOOM, DOOM 2 and their respective modding communities more. Some of my friends preferred the Quake 2 campaign and its style of movement. And there’s few multiplayer experiences that have come even close to surpassing the brilliance of proper Quake 3 capture the flag matches. The speed, the coordination, the community-made maps — that really had everything, even if you were stuck in division two.
Something that caught me off guard, and mostly just because the last few years have been filled with retro shooters like Ultrakill and Amid Evil, was the delay in jumping.
I’d forgotten that you couldn’t just fly around the map, bouncing repeatedly for fun. And that was never a thing in Quake; it’s just one of those things where more recent experiences take precedence in your brain, and you automatically start to think that’s how things used to be.
And it’s not like Quake‘s jumping is slow — this is the game where everyone learnt to circle strafe, strafe jump and rocket jump. It just takes a bit more consideration, and there’s a little less leniency for things like, say, spamming mousewheel.
I’d also forgotten — despite having Alexandra’s excellent tips — just how shit some of the original Quake weapons were. I swear the original nail gun is an absolute trap. You grab it and think, finally, excellent, an upgrade from the original shotgun. No. Bad brain. The base nailgun is awful, has always been awful. Shotguns, rockets, grenade launchers, or super nailgun, but never the base nailgun.
Still, the Quake remaster did two things for me. It’s gotten me really keen for SiN Reloaded, another upcoming remake from Night Dive that’s supposedly due out this year but will probably get bumped to early 2022 like everything else.
Secondly: Quake still deserves a proper reboot. Romero was right about Quake. There’s something about that Gothic-era design that still stands tall and proud over the rest of the Quake franchise, even if many iD developers at the time didn’t agree.
What did you think of the Quake remaster?