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Quake single player lives on in DOOM (An observation)

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This is a little thing I've noticed which I don't really see people talk about, I thought I might make a thread on it.


I'm obviously very fond of the DOOM series, otherwise I wouldn't be on here. I'm also partial to a bit of Quake, but as a single-player guy, the series drifted away from me after Quake 2 (It peeked back in to say hello for Quake 4 but it was barely worth it). I did enjoy Quake 3's single player, it was set up in a way that still felt like a campaign, but I always thought how much I'd have liked to have had a traditional campaign with that engine and those controls (Return to Castle Wolfenstein was pretty great, to be fair).


With the original Quake, its single player was something of a technological showcase, but really it was the multiplayer that was the breakout feature, and with Quake 3 they decided to move forward focusing on that and drop the traditional single player campaign.


In a lot of ways, I don't blame them really. As cool as Quake's gameplay is, it really never had an identity of its own in terms of world, story, etc. The first game really was far too similar to DOOM in terms of theme and world-building. Space marines going through portals to a hellish dimension of monsters and pentagrams etc. Sure the aesthetic was a bit more 'dark fantasy', with a bit of Lovecraft and a whole lot of Dungeons & Dragons, and the action was focused on fewer, stronger monsters, but it's about as similar to DOOM as DOOM 3 was. Quake 2 took itself much further away from DOOM but also had absolutely nothing in common with the first game, the Strogg were a strong idea and the Strogg world meshed with the space-marine idea much better (I still feel Quake 1 would have been thematically much stronger if the player character hadn't been a marine, maybe something closer to the early ideas for the game, something more old-timey), but it meant there was no 'identity' for the franchise, especially with Quake 3 taking on a completely different form, and 4's revisitation of 2 being so brief and unremarkable.


Even though the Quake franchise's single player never really had much of an identity, I do find that I miss it sometimes. It had a lot of cool features, and that famously 'chunky' feel to the controls and movement. It went on to inspire a lot of games, a couple of note would be the Gears of War series, which is, aesthetically speaking, Quake 2 all over, and later DOOM games. Of course, DOOM 3 borrowed quite a lot from Quake 1 and 2, and I don't think it's any co-incidence that DOOM 3's enemies look so Quake-ish. The Pinky is some kind of Strogg-hound, the Hell Knight looks a lot like a Shambler, and so forth, one of the reasons Quake 4 felt so underwhelming was because building a Quake game in the Doom 3 engine mostly just came out feeling like more Doom 3 with less atmosphere...


But these are all just small things. What I found really cool was noticing how much DOOM 2016 (and DOOM Eternal from what we've seen) brought back from Quake. A lot of the things I loved about the Quake franchise have been incorporated into it and I think that's super cool.


  • Several of DOOM 2016's powerups are directly taken from the Quake series, including Quad Damage (Quake 1, 2, 3) and Haste (Quake 3), and the way they are all presented reflects Quake's use of them too, the same colour coding, even down to the sounds & effects when they are running out.
  • Quake 2 used an infinite ammo laser pistol as the 'out of ammo' weapon, so unlike in the DOOM series, if the player ran out of bullets they could fall back on the pistol instead of having to resort to melee attacks, so the action never stops. DOOM 2016 carried this over and really benefited from it.
  • Battle arenas take a lot from Quake 3 Arena, the jump pads, level layouts and more look and feel a hell of a lot like it, and these have never featured in a DOOM game before it. They definitely designed the battle sections after the Quake series.
  • The gauss cannon is definitely the railgun.
  • The Doom Slayer's general agility and movement style is extremely Quake-ish. You could argue that id Software FPS games maybe went in that direction anyway but DOOM 3 didn't go anywhere near Quake's style of mobility.
  • The whole of DOOM 2016 just has a heavy Quake 2 feel to it. Maybe this is me grasping at straws, but out of all the games id have made in the past (and other First Person Shooters too), there's so much Quake 2 in it, the look, feel, controls, sounds. If you showed the original DOOM to a new fan of the DOOM series who started with 2016, there'd be quite a disparity there, even moreso if you showed them DOOM 3... But show them Quake 2 and they'd feel right at home.
  • DOOM Eternal has the Marauder, wielding an axe, looking very medieval, and it looks like some worlds have quite gothic architecture, extremely Quake 1.


As a big id Software fan, I had often thought "Wolfenstein and DOOM have both come back, rebooted and strong as ever, where's Quake?". Knowing full well that Quake Champions exists, that Quake hasn't been a single player experience for a long time, that returning to Quake 1 would be too similar to DOOM, and Quake 2 would just feel like Gears of War/Resistance/other rusty space FPS games. But the answer seems to be that Quake's single player has been assimilated into DOOM.

DOOM 2016 isn't just a reboot of the DOOM franchise. It also assimilated its sister franchise, Quake. While the multiplayer aspect of Quake lives on in Quake Champions (as much as it has failed to go anywhere with Fortnite and Overwatch being so overwhelmingly popular and all... though give it time, maybe a console release...), the single player now lives on in DOOM.


Some missed opportunities/things I'd love to see:

  • It would have been cool to have seen maybe a Shambler, Fiend or Vore. They'd fit right in and their behaviours would mix nicely with DOOM's other enemies. With DOOM Eternal visiting multiple worlds/dimensions it'd be cool to see them.
  • DOOM Eternal's worlds show some super gothic castles and the like. It'd be cool to get some Quake references in there.
  • Why not put a nail gun and/or lightning gun in there?
  • Looking at DOOM Eternal, we are at a point where if they did bring back a single player Quake, it'd be so similar to this that there'd barely be any point, so why not just throw in a bunch of Quake fan service, even if it's just a secret level or two?


I'm a big nerd and maybe I didn't need to write all this. Scratch that, I definitely didn't need to write all this. But we're all big nerds here, right? And I'd be interested to see if anybody has any thoughts on this, or anything they'd like to see happen. Are you happy about this? Do you like the idea of Quake's single player living vicariously through DOOM, or do you think it's a waste not bringing Quake itself back? Or maybe you think I'm talking nonsense?

Edited by FreakZoneGames

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On 9/9/2019 at 11:29 PM, FreakZoneGames said:

Why not put a nail gun and/or lightning gun in there?


There is a lightning gun... in multiplayer :)

otherwise, good post


i would like to see standalone Quake games though. Or a Quake/Heretic-Hexen hybrid. I think they mythos there is as good as DOOM with scope for it to be even better.

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50 minutes ago, thewormofautumn said:

There is a lightning gun... in multiplayer :)

otherwise, good post

Ahh, I was not aware of that! Thanks! :D I rarely play games online so I never tried the multiplayer in DOOM. That's very cool though, even more Quake in there.


As for standalone Quake... I think, as I said, single player Quake doesn't really have an identity, so it'd either be retreading the Strogg again like they did with Quake 4, or just "DOOM but more ugly and gothic" from Quake 1, or they'd have to do something totally different, treating it like an anthology series where each new game is different, effectively there'd be no point in doing this when they could just make something new, heh. Really, Quake's identity lies in its multiplayer, in my opinion, so they're better to continue it that way. Though personally I'd really appreciate if they included some kind of single player campaign with bots like they did back in Quake 3.

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On 9/9/2019 at 3:29 PM, FreakZoneGames said:

Looking at DOOM Eternal, we are at a point where if they did bring back a single player Quake, it'd be so similar to this that there'd barely be any point, so why not just throw in a bunch of Quake fan service, even if it's just a secret level or two? 

Quake 1/Doom 2016 + Silent Hill + Eternal Darkness = a perfect SP Quake formula.

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I more or less had the same reaction when I first played Doom 2016. The blaster, the possessed soldiers, heck, even the Cyberdemon/ Baalgar's overall look just oozes Quake 2. I also could have sworn I heard some Quake 2 call-backs in the OST, but maybe that's just me looking for it. 


Though there is something to be said about Mick Gordon performing live with Sonic Mayhem, and playing Descent into Cerberon :D 



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Anyone else thing that BFG Division sounds alot like Quake 1's title track? I swear I've also heard a brief snippet of that long scream sampled somewhere in Doom 2016's soundtrack.

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