Review by Al Giovetti, 09/01/96
Price: $45 registered, $10 shareware, free demo download
Shareware upload release date: June 22, 1996
Release date: August 30, 1996
Programming: John Carmack, Michael Abrash, and John Cash
Design: John Romero, Sandy Peterson, American McGee, Tim Willits
Art: Adrian Carmack, Kevin Cloud
Press Relations: Jay Wilbur.
Developer: Id Software, www.idsoftware.com, 800-434-2637
Publisher: Id Software
Phone: 800-434-2637, 800-IDGAMES
Requirements: Pentium computer, DOS 5.0 or higher, CD-ROM Drive, 8MB RAM (16 MB in Windows 95), and 30 MB Hard Disk space shareware, 80 MB hard disk space registered. QUAKE supports VGA and SVGA graphics, SoundBlaster, and 100% compatible sounds cards. QUAKE's multiplayer features support modem, network and IP (Internet Play).
It was about a year ago when I was in Dallas and I called up Jay Wilbur over at Id and asked them about their progress on Quake. The staff was busily working on the project and could not tear themselves away. Quake has arrived and you can download the first seven levels from the site but if you want to buy the rest of the levels you will have to call their 800 number and have your credit card ready.
Quake is a real three dimensional (3D) environment this time instead of a simulated 3D environment that is really 2D according to the Id Software spokesman. What this means is that you can look and jump up and down and even go underwater without the distortion seen in simulated 3D environments, such as Doom. You can now move in six directions. Each character has an incredibly detailed 500 polygons per character with light-sourcing. Each character has height, depth, and width and is not composed of cell animation.
Quake continues the tradition of violent mayhem against the innocent denizens of the underworld. I guess its the underworld. You get seven levels with the downloaded version or the $10 CD version of the game. The CD will contain seven unencrypted levels and the remaining levels will be encrypted until you get the correct code.
The game comes in four difficulty levels easy, medium, hard or nightmare. The first three difficulty levels are simulated with three short entry hallways. Nightmare is so hard they hid the entryway. After the skill hallways you find a room with four exits to four different military complex levels. You can only enter the Dimension of the Doomed episode, which is composed of the first seven levels, with the un-registered Quake edition. The other three episodes (military complexes), open up when the registration code is entered into the game.
You can walk, run, jump, and swim in this one along with the shooting, use object and pick up stuff commands. Finding things is important with Buttons, Floor plates, Doors, both secret and obvious, platforms, pressure plates, motion detectors, and secrets. Many things activate doors and secrets from buttons, monsters, and motion detectors. Most secrets have visual or auditory hints that will clue you into their location, such as a sound from behind a wall or light under a door.
Personalize your character with different color shirts and pants, like the original gold box games let you pick the colors for your character. Id needs to have different style shirts if they really want to have impact in this area. The gold box games let you set several different colors including hair and skin. You could also pick hair styles and racial characteristics for half-orcs, elves, half-elves, dwarves, and humans. Well, I can dream, can't I?
Id reports that they removed the cheat code from the final game, just like they do with all their games. Not! See the cheats below.
Game play is remarkably similar to the game play in Doom and Wolfenstein 3D. You kill a lot of things, find keys, collect powerups, open doors and move into the next area. Well what do you expect Quake is a twitch game and there really is not much more than this in these games. You cannot compare Doom or Quake to the classic role playing, strategy, or graphic adventure titles, this is pure action arcade. If you want depth or complexity, you really should look elsewhere.
Inventory and status bars are below the large first person perspective display in the top of the screen. The inventory bar shows what weapons and ammo are available with the active weapon number highlighted. The status bar shows armor, health, and ammo rounds. A score bar replaces the status bar when the tab is pressed which shows monsters, secrets, time, and general location.
The game plays in single player and multiplayer cooperative and deathmatch modes. The manual reports only five weapons, 13 monsters, 9 for all versions and 4 for registered users only, and five environmental hazards and effects, including lava, teleporters, and many different types of traps.
Internet site: Check out the "do you have a death wish" Id Software web site complete with demonic laugh. Be careful of printing on the Id site since a healthy amount of printable black background is found here. If you print too much you can kiss a $25 ink jet cartridge good bye.
Graphics are intense and more detailed than those seen in the Doom clones.
Music and sound effects were produced by a fan, Trent Reznor, and Nine Inch Nails, assisted by Dave Taylor who tweaked the digital code to improve the sound resolution on the PC. Check out the nail box logo graphic homage to the band. The only downside is that the music is not keyed to the action and just cycles through the tracks, repeating them once they are over.
A better alternative to mindless repetition of the tracks would have been to key them into the action, making the game play more intense. When in a rocking fire fight make the tempo and mood of the music rock to carry the action along. Unfortunately, Id did not see it this way and we have mindless repetition of tracks. When will gamers learn from those movie sound tracks that follow the action?
Multiplayer: Mpath for IPX support for Windows 95 is in the commercial release. Net play is vastly improved in the commercial version over the free ware version.
- Grenades can activate shootable buttons or other secrets if they go
off near them.
- Monsters can be caught in traps that you activate, but will not be able to activate traps on their own.
- Don't use the thunderbolt under water unless you want to die quickly and horribly.
- Find the quad power up area of the level so you can have more kill power.
- Hide in the shadows and wear a dark uniform color in multi-player
tap the tilde key (~) to activate cheat code menu.
fly: You can knock your head on the ceiling. Use the c key for up and d key for down
give cells x (or give c x: where x is a number from 1 to 244)
give health xxx (or give h x, where x is a number from 1 to 244) adds health to the character
give heath: Works backwards and kills you off
give nails x (or give n x: where x is number 1 to 244)
give rockets x (or give r x: where x is number 1 to 244)
Give shells x (or give s x: where x is number 1 to 244)
Give x (where x is a number from 3-8) gives you weapons
god: You can be a god too
impulse -1: enables the quad power mode for a burst of power
impulse 11: gives you four times the jewels
impulse 255: You can do four times the damage
impulse 9: You can use all weapons
map e1mx (where x is any level and l is the number of the episode) takes you where you wanna go
Noclip: You will not be clipped by walls and things
notarget: Monsters are wimps only react to your shots.
Sv_gravity -50 lightens your load considerably
sv_gravity x (where x is an number) you can jump like a rabbit.
vid_describemodes: gives a full description
vid_mode x (where x is a number from 1 - 10) makes a resolution change
Christine Greech Wendin, The E3 Top 25, PC Games, volume 3, number 8, August, 1996, pg. 31.
AllAbout Games, http://www.nexi.com/x/8330287723/3668+/objinfo/3799978506, 88%
George Jones, http://www.cnet.com/Gamecenter/Reviews/Quake/
David Salvator, Computer Gaming World, number 146, September, 1996, pg. 66.
Paul Schuytema, Computer Gaming World, September, 1996, pg. 112-118.
V. (Very?) Long, Computer Gaming World, number 146, September, 1996, pg. 142-153.
Doom's Day Afternoon: Id's Hell on Earth, Computer Player, volume 1, number 5, October, 1994 pg. 20-28. John Romero is talking about Quake on page 28.
Next Generation, volume 2, number 19, July, 1996, pg. 58-59.
V. Long, Computer Gaming World, number 144, July, 1996, pg. 46-50.
Paul Schuytema, Computer Gaming World, number 144, July, 1996, pg. 103-107.
Steve Bauman, Cheating, Computer Games Strategy Plus, issue 70, September, 1996, pg. 82.
Rob Smith, PC Games, volume 3, number 9, September, 1996, pg. 30-32.
Steve Bauman, http://www.cdmag.com/action_vault/quake_review/page1.html, 5/5, (100%)
Aaron Hazen, http://www.gamesmania.com/english/reviews/new/quake/quake.htm, 9.5/10, (95%).
Richard Brindley, http://www.game-over.co.uk/vol1issue4/quake1.htm, 9/10 (90%).
Glenn Broderick, Dissecting Quake Player's Field Guide, volume 3, number 4, September, 1996, pg. 46-49.
Steve Bauman, Computer Games Strategy Plus, issue 71, October, 1996, pg. 84-86, 5/5, (100%).
Mike Davila, Computer Player, volume 3, number 4, September, 1996, pg. 58-59, 9/10, (90%).
Zach Meston, Computer Player, volume 3, number 4, September, 1996, pg. 92-93, multi-player tips.