I wouldn’t blame id Software if it never does another FPS game again. With Doom Eternal, the studio practically pushed the genre to its limits, and some encrusted purists would argue that it went too far. Either way, Doom Guy needs a little time out – snuggle up in a fallen gore nest and catch a few Zs, big guy – while id tries to figure out where it can possibly take the series next.

But what about id’s other FPS titan from the ’90s, Quake? Sure, Bethesda kindly has one free, extended edition of the 1996 shooter while QuakeCon 2021, but what if it got the full-blown Doom-style reboot treatment?

Quake is unusual as a series in that it lacks a single consistent vision beyond turning monsters into chunks of meat. The original game mixed dark fantasy and science fiction with Lovecraft horror and featured 3D technology that enabled a vertical level design that was revolutionary at the time. Unfortunately, its turbulent development – including shortened RPG mechanics and third-person combat sequences – led to the departure of level designer John Romero, for whom the game was launched as a passion project.

After Romero left, 1997 Quake II traded eerie spawns for generic alien cyborgs while maintaining the best gun game in its class. Quake III from 1999: Arena has moved the aisles to Multiplayer, and basically invented esports. Then Raven took over software for Quake 4 from 2005, an intriguing sequel to Quake II that, like Medal of Honor, plays with space marines and biomechanical body horror. We can skip the Battlefield-like Enemy Territory: Quake Wars and the free Quake Live. More recently there were Quake Champions, which returns to Quake III’s online focus, but adds a hero shooter twist.

It’s everywhere, so let’s stick with the original for simplicity. We’re talking about slipgates, shamblers, and a whole bunch of nondescript, muddy textures. How could that be modernized?

The Quake series lacks a single consistent vision beyond turning monsters into chunks of meat

There’s already a lot of cross-pollination going on between Quake and Doom, so the obvious adjustment is for players to race through Doom Eternal-style arenas with Quake’s iconic arsenal. Out with the demons, in with the supernatural atrocities. Some new wallpaper, a little less lava. Job done.

But what about getting around? Doom Eternal’s Meat Hook guarantees a searing pace whenever the action starts. With some creative placement by ID, players can navigate arenas at breakneck speed, finding and perfecting routes as they play and repeat each level.

This also gives id a chance to fix what didn’t quite work in 1996. Take the ax, Quake’s completely useless fallback weapon that is never used because players start out with a shotgun. A restart could improve the ax and turn it into a devastating resource replenishment tool like Doom Eternal’s chainsaw or even a power weapon like the Crucible. Likewise, Quake’s more anti-climatic boss fights could finally be updated to match the thunderous encounters of recent Doom games. Telefragmenting Shub-Niggurath would be much more satisfying if it could put up a decent fight instead of just summoning a bunch of enemies that you’ve already defeated.

Hell, why not revive Romero’s original action-RPG vision for Quake?

A reinterpreted Quake could definitely benefit from more telefragging. In case you are unfamiliar with this concept, a telefrag is when you teleport into an enemy and explode them into spineless pulp – it’s beautiful. Quake Champions distilled that shipping method into a ranger recharge called a Dire Orb that you could throw and then teleport. Part mobility tool, part Insta-Gib weapon, it’s the perfect equipment.

But despite their obvious similarities, Quake differs from Doom in a few important ways. Before its multiplayer incarnations, Quake was the slower of the two series and competed against less, more dangerous enemies. Meanwhile, the cosmic horror setting and industrial soundscape of Trent Reznor created an unsettling atmosphere that is very different from Doom’s heavy metal adventure in Demoncide.

Two cyborg opponents in Quake 4

If the idea of ​​pacing Doom Eternal doesn’t pique Todd Howard’s interest, id might turn to an unlikely source of inspiration: Doom 3 from 2004. This was id Software’s controversial foray into absolute horror and is commonly called the black sheep respected the show – though I love it for the record. While its haunted house design tropes weren’t the best choice for Doom, they could find a home in Quake’s Gothic dungeons.

His villain gallery of interdimensional monstrosities certainly fits in with a horror shooter. Imagine navigating the depths of a labyrinthine, cyclopean citadel with only one burning torch to light your path. A chainsaw-wielding ogre lurks in the shadows, spider-like vores scurry across the ceiling, and everything comes to life in terrifying detail thanks to id Tech 7.

Hell, why not revive Romero’s original action-RPG vision? Well, I’m certainly not suggesting that Quake should include crafting mechanics or skill trees, but the concept of blending id’s signature FPS action with the framework of an adventure game is intriguing.

Quake gameplay

Quake’s very limited central hub – a timeless, astral realm where you start each episode – could be the foundation of a connected world, complete with side-quests, collectibles, and new enemies that appear. That’s right, at the risk of upsetting the entire fan base, I’m basically introducing Quake Souls. It has a certain sound.

For now, we can enjoy Quake’s HD remake that Nightdive Studios did an incredible job on. This is the most attention Quake has had since Champions, and hopefully Bethesda will test the waters before a full restart. Because if Doom is eternal, then Quake is inevitable.

What if?’ is the regular feature series from PCGamesN. Check back every Saturday to find more hypotheses, from thoughtful speculations to actually plausible industry developments to dream crossovers to nonsense like Half-life 3 Occurrence. If you don’t want to explore the Quake series just yet, most of the series can be found over. to play Game Pass for PC.

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