First-person shooters are a dime a dozen now. Most gamers know what they are and everyone developer and publisher wants to create that one franchise or series to capture a fan base like Activision’s Call of Duty or Valve’s Half-Life. However, the game that got me into shooters is one that was released in 1996 called Quake.
Quake, created by id Software, was one of the first shooters I played as a child. I remember playing the demo for hours trying to find new and faster ways to beat the few missions that were available. Once the game came down to an affordable price, I picked it up right away.
Quake is a first-person shooter that deals with stopping enemies from taking over human bases, but the main character, Ranger, realizes that they have to go through different dimensions to collect runes to uncover the last boss, Shub-Niggurath. Once Ranger defeats the final boss, the invasion of Earth from his troops will end. Unlike newer shooters, you pick up health, weapons and items as you go.
I started to play the modifications for Quake, different modes that have been created by third party users, like Team Fortress, a team based version of Quake that had character classes. I had a lot of fun trying to figure out how to install the modifications and having to navigate the complicated GameSpy, an outside server browser, to run the game online.
Of course, due to the success of Quake, Quake II came out. I ended up picking up Quake II a few months after it launched with the help of my parents. The game was a little bit different with its graphics style but I still liked the game.
Quake II wasn’t a sequel of Quake in story, but it expanded upon the gameplay and style. I played hours of it in single player and tried my luck on online multiplayer as well. However, I ended up not playing the game as much for reasons I don’t remember.
Quake III: Arena was the game that defined arena first-person shooters. It came out in December of 1999, which was also around the same time my family got a new computer.
It was one of the first games to be mostly played online against other players. I was one of the lucky ones who had cable internet. With my “blazing” internet speeds, I was able to take advantage of what the game had to offer. I ended up playing mostly instagib (one shot, one kill with railguns and later on, freeze tag, where you freeze the other team by getting their health down to 0 health.
Quake III: Arena was one of those games that stuck with me for a while. I had friends I could play with from time to time, and it was a nice break from the slower paced games like Counter-Strike, a tactical shooter created by Valve.
Having the satisfaction of flying through the maps and having the ability to get amazing frags was what drove me to keep playing it. I still play a version of the game called Quake Live, which is available on Steam, an online gaming platform for PC.
Fast forward to now, a new free-to-play game of Quake has emerged onto the scene called Quake Champions.
The game is currently in closed beta, but they have now allowed participants to start talking about the game.
I will say the game is engaging and fun, though I’ve only played the game for 10 or so hours.
Quake Champions have introduced a loot system like a lot of games have created and a leveling system. The game does feel a tad slower than Quake Live, but it is still faster than most shooters available. I don’t want to give too many opinions of the game since it’s in beta, but if you are in the mood to try out a new arena shooter, this beta is worth trying.
Quake has defined a part of my gaming life, and it’s a series I would recommend to anyone looking to get into first person shooters. Just like any online game, it does take a little time to learn. Once you figure out the basics of the game it can be a rewarding experience.
It was only a matter of time that arena shooters would show their head again. I hope for Quake Champions to be successful once it releases.