Back in the day, when we didn’t have so many browser games at the best microgaming casino, and the internet was still an emerging, new technology, a team of experienced game developers led by John Carmack released what would become THE first person shooter for a generation. Building on their experience with Doom and Wolfenstein 3D, the guys at id Software launched Quake, a game with never before seen visuals and technologies that made it unique in its own way. It had an unusually dark, Lovecraftian fantasy theme and a creepy soundtrack created by Trent Reznor and the Nine Inch Nails. It was immersive and unnerving and addictive, like not many of today’s games can be. But it stopped at two mission packs – each further game released in the series was more sci-fi than fantasy, focusing on an alien race instead of a trans-dimensional breed of gods and demons.
Quake II was a completely different game, with aliens and spaceships involved. Quake III was a vast multiplayer arena, with some visual cues from the original, but hardly any mystery. And the fourth title in the series was once again about the Stroggs, with no Shub-Niggurath, no Dimensional Shamblers, nothing we loved about the original game.
With no true story to tell, Quake was a bit random. “I looked at the original Quake as this random thing, because we really didn’t have our act together very well,” legendary developer John Carmack told Eurogamer back in 2011. “But because it was so seminal about the 3D world and the internet gaming, it’s imprinted on so many people. It made such an impact in so many ways.” Unfortunately, Carmack did confirm back then that id is NOT working on a Quake sequel, despite the popular demand. But he also said that there are “factions” inside the studio that would see the game return. And return in its original “gritty and Lovecraftian” form.
“We went from the Quake 2 and the Quake 4 Strogg universe,” Carmack told Eurogamer back then. “We are at least tossing around the possibilities of going back to the bizarre, mixed up Cthulhu-ish Quake 1 world and rebooting that direction. We think that would be a more interesting direction than doing more Strogg stuff after Quake 4. We certainly have strong factions internally that want to go do this. But we could do something pretty grand like that, that still tweaks the memory right in all of those ways, but is actually cohesive and plays with all of the strengths of the level we’re at right now.”
This year would be a perfect occasion to announce a Quake reboot, given that the original game was released two decades ago. It would make lots of “oldschool” gamers very happy indeed.