A reader is upset that Quake wasn’t mentioned at Quakecon and that it may end up being the only id Software shooter not to undergo a revival.
It was Quakecon last week and although there was plenty of celebrations centred around Doom, as well as Rage 2 and Wolfenstein, I couldn’t help noticing that one very obvious id Software game was missing: Quake. I don’t think it was even mentioned, even though that’s what the convention is named after. It’s a real shame, especially as Tim Willits is now leaving the company and he seemed to be the one pushing Quake Champions.
If you haven’t heard of Quake Champions it’s not surprising, but it’s a PC-only and multiplayer-only game that’s been perpetually in early access since 2017. It’s free-to-play and in my opinion is a really good arena shooter that takes the best of Quake III Arena and updates it for the modern age. It never seems to have taken off though and with Willits leaving I suspect it’ll be quietly mothballed, with no hope of a console release.
And when it’s gone probably all hope of a new Quake has gone too, as it doesn’t seem to be remembered nearly as fondly as Wolfenstein and Doom even though it was the first fully 3D shooter. Or at least the first massively successful one. Part of the problem I think, other than it was always primarily a PC thing, is that the series is all over the place in terms of the setting and lore.
The first game has a weird Lovecraftian atmosphere that’s kind of similar to Dark Souls. It doesn’t really have a story but there is a mix of single-player and multiplayer levels, even though the focus is on multiplayer. The second game though is primarily a single-player game with a dumb sci-fi plot that has nothing to do with the first one. Then third game is back to being multiplayer-only with no specific theme and the fourth, and by far the least, is single-player sci-fi again.
If it wasn’t for the name I don’t think anyone would realise they were supposed to be part of the same franchise, which is a bit of a problem when you’re trying to update them. For me it’s the first and third games that are the ‘real’ Quakes though and if they were going to revive it I would try and follow the template of the first game.
Have arena-based combat, that works pretty much like Quake Champions, but have a proper single-player story as well that has an actual plot and characters. I’d keep the Lovecraftian elements, not the generic sci-fi, and try and get back to the style and atmosphere of the first game, which was the most distinctive one of the four.
Originally Quake was supposed to have role-playing elements, that never made it into the final version, so I’d resurrect that idea and together with the unusual setting and exaggerated physics I think it’d make a really unique game. First person shooters aren’t as common as they used to be and hopefully Doom Eternal will prove there’s space for more, especially those that aren’t just military sims.
If Bethesda don’t make an effort soon though I think the number of people that remember or care about Quake will not be enough for it to be worth the bother and I think that will be a shame.
By reader Badgerman
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