Recently I watched a great short interview from Noclip with Tim Willits, a former director and co-owner at id Software of the Quake franchise. He went through the history of Quake and discussed some of the development processes over the years for the series. After viewing this, I started thinking that this is the perfect time for a new Quake game.
Quake Champions debuted in 2018 and, while an interesting concept, it didn’t deliver the kind of gameplay I’m looking for. It certainly fits the visuals and aesthetic I expect from the franchise, but a true single-player experience is what would sell the game. Tim mentions in the video how the four core Quake titles alternated between strong multiplayer focus and strong single-player focus. Since Champions filled the multiplayer role, making a single-player game would be a great follow-up.
Don’t get me wrong, I know Quake 4 wasn’t the most entertaining or “timeless” game out there, but neither was Doom 3. However, Doom (2016) got back to the roots of the property and sprouted a new and enthralling game style that is a few months away from a direct sequel. Quake 5 would need to follow those same steps. It would need to take what people are looking for in an action/arcade first-person shooter and build something original from that foundation.
Some may say “well just play Doom,” and that is viable, but why ignore the possibilities? If the creators of Doom can take the relatively simplistic gameplay of the franchise and make something new and exciting, I have a feeling they could do the same with Quake. While the Quake 2’s Ray Tracing looked nice, building an entirely new campaign would go so much further. Imagine heading back into the war with the Strogg with all of those classic weapons and a shiny modern engine making those gibs as sticky and nasty as they’ve always sounded.
The only issue is separating it from Doom and other modern action-based first-person shooters. Wolfenstein has embraced (to my disappointment) a stealth design and Doom has gone with getting up close and personal with finishers and melee abilities. Quake would have to find some middle ground perhaps with unique weapon functionality or maybe special abilities akin to Bioshock. I don’t think anyone would be upset seeing more of that from a AAA universe.
It would be possible for id Software to make a campaign that has a little more substance, but it would be important that it didn’t get in the way of the gameplay. Limiting downtime and staying away from the Call of Duty-ish design of Quake 4 would be a necessity. However, leaving the story as optional menu selections and one or two short cutscenes might again make it too similar to Doom. Yet even following close to Doom in design might not be an issue for people enjoying that style.
Considering the continued pursuance of Quake Champions, I don’t know if they would be willing to add a multiplayer portion of the game, but a classic deathmatch, team deathmatch, and CTF setup would be exceptional to have. No abilities or any clunky free to play models, just servers, the standard weapons, and fun. They could probably sell the game on that alone given how popular Quake Live is even with Quake Champions available and free.
Currently, I’m not sure if Quake is even on id Software’s radar. However, if Doom Eternal is as successful as its predecessor, id should leverage that into rebuilding some of their franchises. Rage may not have been the best choice of the bunch, but seeing Quake revived and rebuilt into something modern would be a path I fully support. Then maybe some wild Doom/Quake crossover would be around the corner. That would certainly blow some minds.
Do you think the world needs a new single-player Quake game? Would it overlap too much with Doom now being the face of the company with fast-paced first-person combat?