by William Thompson
reviewed on PC
There is something to be said for reminiscing about games you played growing up. We all have some favourites that we played for countless hours before moving onto the next new title. I have no doubt that if my kids played some of my favourites, they’d make me feel like Marty McFly playing Wild Gunman in Back to the Future 2 when the kids tell him “You mean you have to use your hands? That’s like a baby’s toy”
The original Quake was released 25 years ago (still more recently than the above Back to the Future 2 reference), and I was one of those who played it on my IBM Pentium. It was a time when my hard-drive had less storage space than any USB drive available at your local store. Back in the day, I enjoyed wandering through the narrow hallways and taking out the menagerie of monsters that were creeping around the dungeons. So, when the Quake Enhanced Edition was announced, I thought it would be a great idea to head back to the depths and do some reminiscing.
Upon starting up the game, I felt myself being transported back to the 1990’s where the grunge scene with Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Silverchair was going strong. It would also be remiss of me not to mention Nine Inch Nails as well, as the Quake soundtrack features the 90’s band setting the tone for the dark and creepy game.
Same, same, but different
Gameplay feels identical to the original. For the most part, the game has players walking through narrow, mazelike hallways. There are however, some areas that do open up into larger rooms that give the game a feel of the open spaces that we currently get from modern shooters. Taking the role of a future soldier, the confined areas do allow for precise gameplay, as players move through the areas and mow down anything that moves and collect anything that does not. The small range of cool weapons from the original all feature – from the (Nine Inch) Nailgun to the electric bolt firing Thunderbolt. Ahhh…the memories.
Especially on the higher difficulties, those collectible items will be important. Ammunition and medpacks enable players to destroy their foes and heal themselves whenever they are injured. And some foes can be tough to take down or will require certain weapons to finish them off. The rambling zombies for instance, will keep coming back to life if they are whole, and so need a well-placed grenade or rocket to blow them to bits. Luckily, players will often hear the enemy before they see them. The low growls of the knights and the moaning of the zombies give away their position even if you can’t see them. The sound effects are basic by today’s standards but do a great job of helping the player move through the game. The previously mentioned soundtrack is wonderful though, composed by rock legends Nine Inch Nails and further sets the ominous tone for the game.
Although it doesn’t feel as though there have been any major graphical enhancements, the lines of the brickwork and woodwork of the narrow halls are smoother than the low-resolution original. The four episodes (a total of 32 levels) and the multiplayer maps each have a different feel to them, and although they are still have the pixelated look, this is purely done to keep the nostalgia going. If you’re a fan of speedrunning through games, then Quake still has that down pat, but doing so will result in not seeing these subtle differences…so make sure you play through the game at least once before motoring through the game. The widescreen adjustments definitely feel natural and like they’ve been there from the beginning. The local multiplayer split-screen also works well, letting gamers compete with friends or family (just probably not the young ones) from the comfort of a sofa.
Still got it
Quake is pretty much unchanged apart from the fact that the game can now be played on something other than a 640x480 resolution. Yes, it still looks and plays largely the same as the original but is there anything wrong with that. The game played well when it first came out, and that has barely changed at all. Does it still hold up against modern shooters such as Doom Eternal or Borderlands? Probably not. It does feel quite basic, in both the gameplay and in the audio-visual experience. But if you want to relive some fond memories of taking down the monsters from the crypt, then Quake Enhanced will hit the mark.
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Play Quake in widescreen
Seems ‘basic’ when compared to modern shooters