Doom was good, but Quake – for me – was where id Software really broke the First-Person Shooter mould, with a game far ahead of anything else at the time – even their own games.
What made Quake so special back then was the engine upgrade. The Quake Engine used proper perspective. You could look up and down (you can in Doom, but it looks crap) – and, most importantly, you could “freelook” with the mouse. Opening the way for proper WSAD and mouse controls – a standard that persists to this day. That all started with Quake.
Quake also opened-up network (and online) multiplayer for First-Person Shooters, although it was Quake II that standardised them and made the process of connecting to servers easy.
Playing Quake single-player is still a thrilling experience. The use of light and dark in the game is phenomenal – very much ahead of its time. Lights flicker and lit areas plunge into darkness, to heighten the tension.
The monsters in Quake are also pretty special. Not only are they all modelled in glorious 3D (unlike in Doom, where all the monsters are 2D sprites that always face you), but their behaviour is also quite unique and interesting too. Fiends jump at you; Death Knights throw firey arrows at you; Vores fire explosive homing crystals at you; and zombies throw their own blood at you! And then there’s the Shambler – the legendary ‘boss creature’ that looks like a cross between a polar bear and the spawn of Satan… The Shambler has big claws with which to tear you apart, and also has an electricity attack that can singe all the hairs off your body with one ‘poof’. Once you meet a Shambler, you never forget it…
Still available to buy from various outlets, and still very much worth playing, id Software‘s Quake is one of the best games ever made and a solid gold retro-gaming classic.