Monday, October 24, 2016

The first Doom versus the first Quake, and why first Doom wins for me

I just recently bought a ton of FPS related stuff on Steam, mostly because I was feeling horribly nostalgic.

I've been a long time Doom fanboy, mostly because it's got great music, simple yet fun gameplay, and it's "kill them dead" goal for the demons is just pretty damn fun.

Of course, like most people, I cannot bear to play these games in their original glory via DOSbox, so I play them via source ports (Zandronum being my usual source port, though GZDoom is a nice alternative).

But even in their original, low resolution, grainy as heck glory, I always found Doom just rang some sort of bell in my mind.

I did play Quake a long time ago, so I recently acquired it again because it's been so long since I last played it I wanted to remember why I hadn't played it in so long.

I remembered why soon enough.

Quake has everything Doom has to have added via source ports, like true 3D modeling and pre rendered lightmaps and particles, but I'll be the first guy to tell people fancy graphics don't make games fun, good gameplay makes games fun.

Quake and Doom have a lot in common on the gameplay front, which they should, since the former descends from the latter in terms of design and game concept, but for some reason, I just can't bring myself to enjoy Quake as much,
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Part of the reason is that Quake feels much slower paced. I like how Doom has constant action and the lack of having to watch your back is either the result of leaving a mountain of corpses in your wake or you just not having activated a trap that suddenly has a shitload of demons trying to murder you.

Another reason I like Doom is that it has very memorable rock style music. Quake went more for ambient horror, and while that's not bad at all (the creators of the ambient music for the PSX ports of Doom deserve a medal, that stuff is legit creepy), it doesn't really inspire me to kick ass and take names.

And speaking of horror, while Doom is fairly colorful, it balances out the color with a lot of dark shadowy areas. Quake is a nigh constant darkened area fest, and even the monsters have the same dreary look,. And while I love the Lovecraft style freaky Quake had going for it, it was so monotone and repetitive I just wasn't as pumped to kill things like Doom can inspire me to do.

Of course, Quake is by no means a bad game. Quake II is something I have much fonder and more recent memories of, but the first Quake just does not excite me as a FPS fan like the first Doom for reasons of taste, though I can't deny I'm glad Doom source ports have decided to import and improve on what the first Quake got right.

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