The Quake franchise is one of the most recognizable first-person shooter names in the industry. Quake titles are split between science fiction and dark fantasy settings. Three of the Quake games (Quake II, Quake 4, and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars) revolve around the cyborg race called the Strogg, who battle with humanity for control of Earth and its resources. The original Quake is set in a dark, medieval style fantasy world. The monsters in this world have opened a portal to earth (using earth's own "slipgate" teleportation technology) and wish to destroy earth. These monsters fit the dark fantasy theme as they include chainsaw-wielding ogres, knights, and an assortment of strange monsters such as the shambler. All of the Quake games have featured fast-paced arena shooter combat in multiplayer, the first iteration of the series helping to start the modern competitive gaming scene.
The series is famous for its destructive weaponry, with many iconic iterations of the rocket launcher and railgun. The series also introduced the use of weapons to enhance and manipulate player movement, introducing concepts like rocket and plasma jumping.
The original Quake was released in 1996, notable as id Software's first fully-3D game (prior "3D" games used what is often referred to as "2.5D," with minimal vertical movement and sprites). The true 3D along with a physics model allowed new tactics and tricks, such as bunny hopping and rocket jumping. The single player's story is not an important part of the game, nor is it emphasized, though at the end of each single player episode the world of Quake and the evil "Hell Mother" Shub-Niggurath, along with her intent of taking over earth, are referenced in text that appears on the screen. Though the multiplayer is the most popular part of this game, the single player is still a lot of fun, as it features some very well designed levels and a haunting, atmospheric soundtrack by Nine Inch Nails architect; Trent Reznor. Quake recieved two mission packs.
Quake II was released in 1997, and was related to the original Quake in name only. Quake II introduced the Strogg, a warlike alien race of cyborgs hell-bent on conquering Earth for its resources. In the game, a desperate counterattack is launched at the Strogg homeworld of Stroggos, but a poor insertion leaves the player as the sole man left to cripple the Strogg. Quake II's multiplayer differs from the original Quake's because of a new set of weapons, which includes the popular Railgun. Quake II also recieved two mission packs.
Quake III: Arena was released in 1999 and later ported to the Xbox 360 under the title and was a competitive multiplayer shooter in the same vein as Unreal Tournament. As such, it lacked a single-player story, as it focused on multiplayer. The game's single player mode was simply a progression through multiplayer battles with computer-controlled enemies. The maps use both the dark fantasy theme of the original Quake and the sci-fi theme of Quake II, as do the character models, which include the player character from the original Quake as well as the one from Quake II. Quake III received one expansion pack, Team Arena that added team based multiplayer modes like capture the flag.
The graphic engine powering Quake III, called id Tech 3 was one of the most widely used engines over the next five years. It was used in many successful shooters, the most prominent being the Call of Duty and Jedi Knight games.
Quake 4 was released in 2005, a direct sequel to the story of Quake II. It directly follows the events at the end of Quake II, after the lone marine of that storyline has disabled the Strogg defenses and destroyed the Makron. It also featured similar fast-paced multiplayer to its predecessors, but it was relatively unpopular compared to previous titles. Though presented by id, it was developed by Raven Software using id Tech 4 (Doom 3 engine).
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars was released in 2007, a non-free sequel to the popular Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory multiplayer game. It is based during the Strogg invasion of Earth and is a class-based tactical/strategic shooter similar to the Battlefield franchise, focusing on serial objectives rather than scattered control points. Both the Enemy Territory games were developed by Splash Damage using id's graphical engines.
Quake Live is a competitive multiplayer shooter that is essentially Quake III, but is instead browser-based, using Adobe Flash as a framework. Though it can be played for free, it currently offers a "Pro" and a "Premium" edition. One of the features of paying to play is that pop-up ads which would appear before you start playing are disabled. The Xbox 360 port titled Quake Arena Arcade was released on December 15, 2010.
Upcoming Quake Game
During Quakecon 2007, John Carmack announced that id's latest engine, id Tech 5, will be used for a new Quake game. At Quakecon 2010, he further added that a team at id is currently working on an unannounced Quake title. A year later, Carmack told Eurogamer that Quake 5 might be taking a trip back to its original roots, meaning that the game will be a sequel or a spinoff to the original Quake instead of continuing the Strogg plot line in Quake 4 and Enemy Territory.