Game Name: Quake
Media: 1 CD-ROM
Publisher(s): SEGA
Developer(s): Lobotomy Software / id
Genre(s): First Person Shooter
Release Date: August 1997
Region: PAL

Lobotomy Toiletid are credited with the creation of the first person shooter genre, despite being popularised by Doom, id’s first first person shooter was Wolfenshein 3D. Whilst causing controversy by included Nazis, Wolfenstein helped to revolutionise gaming by immersing the player in a 3D world that could be navigated easily while providing challenging and varied enemies.

Doom raised the bar by adding complex environments, varied weapons and a huge variety of monsters. Doom also started the online gaming revolution by adding multiplayer deathmatches where 8 players are pitted against each other. From the off it’s clearly obvious that id have once again raised the bar with Quake, building on Doom, id have dramatically improved detail, immersion, control, sound and that essential fear-factor.

Quake gameplay screenshotThe campaign is split into four individual episodes which consist of eight levels each. The aim of the game is quite simple, make it to the exit of each stage and survive players explore these highly complex stages confronted by a great range of terrifying monsters which are really well designed and present a feeling of dread.

Stages are well designed with secret areas which may be missed in the first play through, many of these are accessed by completing puzzles, jumping into the water at the start of stage 4 will unlock the ‘Nightmare’ skill level, another hidden area unlocks a ‘low gravity’ level. At the beginning of each stage, players are presented with 3 pathways; easy, medium, and hard, there is a set of three pathways with easy, medium, and hard skill levels.

Quake screenshot sega saturnThe game’s graphical style is extremely gothic, dull tones of brown and grey come alive with bright orange and yellow flashes of gunfire and explosions that light up whole corridoors. The enemy soldiers and monsters that inhabit the interior and exterior landscapes are well animated, well detailed and provide gory results to gunfire.

Enemies tend to leap out at you and really catch you at the most tense moments of the game rather than fall back on tactics and stealth. Overall, despite being detailed the game has a distinct grainy look which sets it aside from the smoother, colourful titles available on the Saturn.

Sound is also one of Quake’s outstanding features. There’s a great variety to the sounds of the environments, weapons, explosions and enemies. The combination of these really does add to the sense of immersion which is very rarely found in videogames. On top of this is the soundtrack, provided by Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, which really does suit the game’s gothic style and often frantic pace of the game.

Quake Screenshot in game

id once again raise the bar for an increasingly popular genre, the combination of fast-paced gameplay, terrifying graphics and immersive sound provide a truly essential gaming experience.

If there’s one criticism that can be levelled at Quake, it would be the lack of multiplayer. Online deathmatches are one of the defining aspects of the game which have enabled it to become a cult classic with thousands, if not millions taking part in online fragfests. Despite this, Quake is an unforgettable and essential single player experience that is a milestone in the evolution of gaming.

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