Winter!: Prepare for holiday gaming!
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After Doom revolutionized first-person shooters, Quake raised the bar and set standards featuring improved visuals in a 3D environment, excellent controls, numerous monsters and a vast online experience. Much darker in theme, the four dimensions contain cathedrals, tombs of the undead, base installations and nightmarish realms, and each dimension is broken into various levels with an end-boss. When a dimension's rune is collected, the player returns to a central hub from which other levels are chosen.
With the 3D environments, a number of dark and detailed textures are used to create an evil-looking atmosphere. The level architecture is quite astonishing, featuring pillars, lava rivers, cracks in walls, ceiling-support beams and other gothic details. Nine Inch Nails' ambient soundtrack adds to the experience with subtle but disturbing noises.
Controls are precise, with an emphasis on strafing around monsters, and movement is in full 360 degrees allowing one to view all aspects of the level. Monsters are innovative and smart, including zombies that tear off their own limbs and throw them as weapons, undead marines, hellhounds, piranha-like fish, evasive and fast-moving Fiends, sword-bearing knights, and the menacing Shambler. Likewise, the armaments are excellent, ranging from an axe and grenade and rocket launchers to the double-barreled shotgun and Nailgun.
Power-ups, such as three different armors, an invulnerable Pentagram of Protection, the devastating Quad Damage and Ring of Shadows, are strewn about the levels creating a level playing field when fighting certain monsters. These items are also useful when involved in a deathmatch. Quake is one of the first games to make use of Internet gaming; 16 combatants can face off on a server or via LAN. Aside from a few lag issues, the engine is stable and runs well on a full server. ~ Matthew House, All Game Guide