What is Quake?
First released in June 1996, Quake is the first in a hugely successful series of first person shooters released by Id Software.
Combining what are now typical FPS elements with traditional RPG elements (such as the collection of keys to open doors), Quake gained much popularity owing to its internet multiplayer mode which allowed players to connect to a server – either a dedicated machine or a player’s PC – that hosted the multiplayer session. It was this multiplayer version that popularised Deathmatch “every man for himself” competitions in videogames while also facilitating one-on-one and team games. Third party Mods took this a step further with the Team Fortress add-on which first appeared for Quake a few months after the game’s release in 1996.
The game begins in the first of many hellish, gothic structures, each populated by a mix of standard footsoldiers and demonic bosses with weapons grafted onto their arms. Setting out with a single-barrelled shotgun, players can quickly pickup a nailgun and a double-barrelled shotgun within the first level.
Finding the nailgun and other weapons and bonuses can be found via Quake’s liberal sprinkling of secret areas. These areas can also provide shortcuts and various armour, as well as extra ammo and health.
Later weapons include the Super Nailgun, the Grenade Launcher, the devastating Rocket Launcher, and the big favourite, the Thunderbolt.
Playing Quake is a unique experience – it possesses a dark, brooding atmosphere similar to that of Doom and Doom II but with the more polished finish that comes with enhanced development. Some users may find the game so dark that the brightness needs to be altered – an alternative solution would be to turn the lights down and close the blinds.
Quake is scary, and this due as much to the pace, rendering and overbearingly oppressive atmosphere as it is to the pace and placing of the characters.
As is typical with PC FPS games, control of the player character (the eponymous Quake) is most effective via keyboard and mouse. If you’re used to the now-traditional WASD + mouse combination, you’ll need to make some changes via the games in-built keymapper which allows the player to choose which keyboard and mouse buttons fulfil which function. Alternatively, Quake can be played via gamepad.
Modern PC games allow the player to use the mouse to “look” – sadly this function is disabled in Quake, but can be activated to make things much more straightforward. Depending on which version of Quake you are playing add the following line to Autoexec.cfg or Config.cfg in your Quake installation directory:
(In game, you can also switch between standard “mouse looking” or Inverse mouse control.)
It’s also worth adding a crosshair , especially for beginners. This can be done by amending the following line in the Autoexec.cfg or Config.cfg in your Quake installation directory:
Quake remains a hugely popular and playable game, with fans across the world. Over ten years since the game’s original release, Player Mods continue to be enjoyed, and new maps are still made available, with some estimates putting the total of maps available for single player and multiplayer missions at around 3000.
The versatility of the Quake game in engine in supporting endless Mods and maps is testament to the solid design and realisation of the game. Playing and completing the original missions is rewarding in itself; any player who throws themselves into modding and custom maps will fall in love with Quake, probably forever.