Quake is one of the shooters. Part of id’s holy trinity alongside Wolfenstein and DOOM, Quake is the newest of the bunch and, depending on who you ask, the best. This newest delivers the experience you remember, with a whole lot of added value. This is quite the bundle, packing in five campaigns – including both Machine Games’ 2016 campaign, as well as a brand new one – and the game’s legendary multiplayer mode. While the servers aren’t terribly populous, time will tell if that changes. Since the game still gets regular play across the globe, it might simply be down to a new avenue of play not being necessary.
Mechanically, the game still offers a compelling experience, with satisfying gunplay and movement in maze-like environments. Quake takes the formula the previous shooters established for level design and makes them less opaquely obtuse: you don’t have to spend hours clicking on every random bit of wall to find secrets, you just need the wherewithal to look in the corners the game isn’t trying to pull your eyes towards. It results in a sort of best of both worlds situation, as the game features the design principle of both contemporary and early FPS, making for an experience that is still great after all these years. It’s especially interesting to play the campaigns developed by Machine Games, as it’s immediately obvious just how much more there is to them. Credit id with crafting a game with such a decadent toolset that Machine Games can craft campaigns for a game that launched over 20 years ago, and still have them feel like a part of the same experience.
Enemies are visually grotesque, and their blinding-rage aggression makes for an experience that, even if you’ve played previously, is a challenging experience. You have to make the most of all your weapons, although the classic strategy of “use your shotgun as often as possible” remains viable. Ditto for the rocket launcher, the weapon most closely associated with the game.