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Nearly 25 years on, you should still play Quake


A wizard lives here, supposedly. Either he’s out to lunch, or someone at id Software in 1996 came up with the name for Quake E2M5, “The Wizard’s Manse,” and decided it was too cool—sorry, too metal—to change, even when the wizard himself never makes an appearance. Forgivable, considering it’s one of the most tightly crafted levels in a game full of them.

Another Quake lesson: a small level is almost always more impressive than a big one.

I’ve been on a classic FPS tear recently, playing a mix of old-old and designed-to-feel-old shooters like Amid Evil, Dusk, Duke Nukem 3D, and Quake. With so many games today designed to keep you playing for a hundred hours, it’s refreshing to pick up a shooter that lets you ice skate uphill at Olympic speeds and tear through a dozen levels in an hour or two. But with Quake, it wasn’t really the speed that pulled me in. Even closing in on 25 years old, Quake still surprisingly feels like a game with plenty of wisdom (though again, no wizards) to offer. 

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