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JUNE 30, 1997

Entertainment

Computer Game Review: 'Quake'

Computer Game Review by Rick Brewster
The makers of DOOM are back to throw an even bloodier escapade at us with "Quake." In both Quake and DOOM, you progress through the games' thirty levels by flipping switches, gaining access keys, shooting monsters, and solving mazes, all in a real-time 3D environment.
   However, there are a few things that set Quake far ahead of DOOM. The biggest difference are the polygonal enemies, which look and act much more realistic than DOOM's bitmapped enemies. The game is extremely violent, with weapons ranging from a nailgun to a grenade launcher, so this is not for the squeamish and I don't recommend that parents buy it for their younger children.
   One of the most touted features of the game is its multiplayer options. Up to 16 players can join in on one game. The gameplay with a mouse is excellent. Twitch your wrist to aim and fire, snipe ogres, all with deadly accuracy. On the Nightmare difficulty level, the game shows its stuff, regularly giving you just enough ammo or health to complete the level.
   The game does, however, have its downers. For one, Trent Reznor's soundtrack is weak, ambient noise. Something that might bother some people is the gothic palette choice. On some levels all you will see is dark browns, greys, and greens. However appropriate, they could have fit in some lighter colors with some cyan and magenta.
   The one main thing that I was disappointed in was that there was only one real boss, and he was easy to kill. I was expecting some tough bosses, such as DOOM's Cyberdemon, but all I got was this devil-looking thing, "Chton," and all I had to do was run a circle of push buttons three times to zap him. Then there's the end-game "boss," Shub Niggurath, which was even worse. All that needed to be done was run into a teleporter at the right time to "telefrag" the big slug-looking thing.
   Fortunately, the rest of the game is a blast. Despite the colors, soundtrack, and the "bosses," Quake manages to be fun, and is one of the few games I can actually be losing at and still enjoy.

Quake
Created by: id Software
Publisher: GT Interactive
System Requirements: Pentium 60MHz, 8MB RAM, 80MB Hard drive space
What you really need: Pentium 90MHz, 16MB RAM, Mouse, Sound card
Content Rating: R for extreme violence, blood, and decapitations
Star Rating: 4 stars * * * *
Highs: sound effects; good graphics; multiplayer options
Lows: dark, almost monographic palette can be boring at times; weak basses.

Star Ratings Key
1 star* Don't bother with this expensive frisbee.
2 stars** If you're into that type of game, it's worth a look.
3 stars*** Very good game; worth checking out.
4 stars****Instant classic; should be in any gamer's collection.