Played Quake Lately?

Yes, I said know the 3D Shooter game? With many of us having a few spare moments over the next couple of holiday weeks, this might be something to tickle your gamer fancy if you need a break from Fallout 4. The good thing is that Quake is pretty cheap (you likely already own it) and you can get a new visual experience for free.

Oh My...That Looks...Shitty

Quake was developed by id Software and released to the public way back in 1996. Believe it or not, we were even offering motherboards to the gods back in those days and HardOCP had a good relationship with id Software for a long time. That all said, id Software games have always been on our radar since the first day I played the original Wolfenstein and Quake has a special place in my heart. It was truly a game-changer, pun intended.

I had a couple of free hours this morning after editing a review, and for some reason Quake came to mind. It is in my Steam library as it came with an id game bundle I bought years ago. I installed the game and was prompted that it had been five years since I played it. I quickly had Quake up and running on this new Samsung 48" JS9000 display and boy was I instantly disappointed. Well of course it looked like ass. Here is a screen shot of the first Shambler I came up against.

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OK, that is actually a Shambler Minecraft skin, but that is what I felt the Shambler looked like. (I have been terribly jaded over the last 5 years in terms of gaming graphics on the PC.) However, I still played through the first level because I was having fun....but the "eye candy" was more like "eye poison." This is what the scary-as-hell Shambler actually looks like in the orginal Quake in case it may have slipped your mind in the last two decades.

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But this is what I wanted my Shambler to look like!

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OK, maybe even better than this, but let's try to manage expectations. No reason to start getting greedy at this point.

The Quake Community Lives

I began poking around on Google, the Steam forums, and couple of other places looking for Quake mods that would give me better visual fidelity in this 4K world. Now believe or not, there has been a lot of modding done to Quake in the last 19 years. Crazy huh? What is really crazy, is that looks like a decent amout of modding has been done to Quake in the last three or four years.

After reading for about an hour, I came across the Quake HD Remix by Nick Wride. This seemed to be the one. The one mod I wanted anyway. What truly surprised me is that Nick has been working on this in 2015. His last update on this page is dated May of 2015. I figured anything I found for Quake modding would be 5 to 10 years old at the least. Obviously there is a still a small but busy Quake community still churning out mods and maps. If you check the QuakeOne site you will see three postings for this month with one of those pointing to 5 new map releases from within the last few weeks! From there I found a guy on a Youtube channel doing Quake Grave episodes, which his last one being episode 98 posted a few days ago. Another good resource for maps and tips I found along the way is QuadAddicted, so you might check it out too.

Back on topic. Nick is very clear that all of the mod work done is not his original work. He is very clear on this and not in any way trying to take credit from anyone else. What Nick has done is that he has taken the work of some very talented Quake modders and put it all into one big package. The package was fairly easy to install as well. Overall it works pretty damn well too when it comes to making Quake look like it actually belongs on a 4K screen. In fact, I was down right blown away by the visual fidelity. There are some glitches here and there, but not enough to turn me off to Nick's Quake HD Remix. The surface of the water on the maps is odd sometimes, and there is an issue with lens flares and monster models being able to be seen through walls when you are under the water's surface. One big glitch was the Chthon boss level. There were some monster spawing issues, and the Chthon itself was not textured. Even then it is still not a dealbreaker. (I always thought the Chthon level kinda sucked anyway.)

Quake Eye Candy

This is a Quake HD Remix video that Nick put up on Youtube back in May. Sadly, he shot this video on one of the suckiest levels when it comes to overall look and feel and parrallax mapping was turned off in this as well from what I can tell. Still it will very likely whet your appetite for a little modern Quake action this weekend.