Quake, the latest effort from Doom makers id software, is sure to make you
shake in your boots. The creators of Doom and Heretic haven't pulled any punches
for this one. Quake comes complete with graphics modes from 320x200 to 1280x1024,
a soundtrack by industrial metal guru Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails fame, and a
fully 3D engine with polygonal characters and monsters. All of these combine to
make Quake intensely more realistic than Doom or Heretic ever could be.
Quake also comes with new monsters, new weapons, and larger parameters
than Doom had (such as jumping; a feature already included on other games such as
Duke Nukem 3D.) The new level selection interface is far superior to that of Duke
Nukem or Doom. Instead of a simple menu, the player is placed into a 3D
environment, where the difficulty and episode are determined by the hallway he
chooses. Unlike Doom, each level has its own look and feel, an improvement that
makes the game far more interesting.
Quake is an incredible game to play, even though the soundtrack isn't
available with the shareware version and the plot is undisclosed. Supposedly its
an "Army of Darkness" thing -- a space marine is thrown back in time. The original
test was released February 1996, and the final version should be in stores by
early September. For those of you who like to order direct from id,
they'll start shipping the final in late July.
On a technical
note, I expect that Quake's soundtrack will rock, due to
Reznor's involvement with the project. Unfortunately, that supposedly isn't
available until the final CD version, and for now the sounds are nothing
special. Quake's graphics are far superior to anything weve seen in the 3D arena,
but in order to take advantage of them, the player must buy the SciTech Display
Doctor at a cost of $39.95. SciTech is Shareware, but has a limited functionality
of 21 days. Windows 95 balked at SciTech, requiring me to run it out of DOS 6.22
(It comes with both versions.) Quake's graphics were fairly jerky at the higher
res modes, but not bad enough to render the game unplayable at that speed. I finally
settled on 512x384, which seemed
to be a good compromise between graphics quality and speed. For you Deathmatch
fans, Quake comes with a Windows 95 Dial-up Networking TCP/IP interface, making
deathmatch games more accessible than ever!
Remember that Quake is still a shareware release, and only episode 1 is
available. All in all, though, it has incredible graphics and fun new weapons,
and if you don't check it out, you'll be missing a great gaming experience.