Reviewed by Michael Hernandez
Well, the N64 does it again and brings us another great 1st person thriller!
Quake 64 is a graphical beauty with lots of action and suspense. The game
is dark, immense and a great addition to your library.
As you would expect, the game looks like GL Quake. Smooth, silky and
non-pixelated. Although things would get a little fuzzy as you near them,
it really does not hamper the game, at least to me anyway. There is a cool
feature where in the video options menu you could choose to turn on/off
the filtering effect which gives the game its aliases look. Even with the
filter off, the game looks even meaner because the textures really come
out rougher, but still clean and still does not pixelate on up close items.
The enemies are all polygonal and are animated quite well - this is a big
break from Doom 64's sprites.
As far as the lighting goes, it's all mapped (as in Goldeneye, but done far
better), no real-time effects, BUT it's done so well that it looks like
real-time. Also, when going in/out of pools of light, your weapon's brightness
changes accordingly. The explosions are top notch, with sparks flying and
all, but do not light up the surrounding walls, but, again, this does not
matter. So it's not perfect. Maybe some smart software company will
include real-time lighting effects in a 1st person fighter. I can't understand
why this was included on the Saturn version and not on the N64, even though
it does have the capabilities to do this. Laziness, me thinks...
The sound, are all ported from the PC/Mac versions. Because of cartridge
limitations, background "music" is as it was in Doom 64 - scary, non-descript
musical sound. Although, not as scary or frightening as Doom 64's background
music, it's great! On a surround system, WITH SRS sound, the explosions at
close range sound incredible as does everything else.
All maps are ported from the PC/Mac versions but are slightly altered. It
would have been better to offer exclusive N64 maps, as in Doom 64, but I
suppose time and a dead line hadn't allowed this. The gameplay is fast and
furious on the hard skill level. I find myself trying to strategically take
out the enemy silently, but at times they seem to find you. One little slip
in gunfire, and they come running. Gameplay is not ridiculously hard at this
skill level, I'm glad, yet the deeper you go, the more intense the action gets.
I haven't had the nerve to try the nightmare version.
The default controls are the usual movement with the stick, yet you look
up/down by holding down the right shoulder button, which I find odd.
Fortunately, you Midway has pre-configured controller settings or you
could setup the controller yourself in the ultimate way - button by button.
This is a joy to use, as in my case, I have it set up in the Tuork-style setting
with the left over buttons for other functions. So now, nobody in the world
can complain about the controls being too hard for them to handle.
It's great, but no co-operative option. The frame rate is still unbelievably
smooth. As far as the "lookspring" flaw (see the first GRIPE below) there
is none, thankfully.
When in a continuous turn towards the left or right, whether using the
stick or buttons, the movement seems to jerk or snap at certain viewpoints,
mostly towards open/closed doors, doorways, entrances to halls, etc. This
is definitely evident when in an area with many doorways and open spaces
(test this at the start of the game. Go towards the first door at your left.
Stop just before it and start a continuous turn. You will notice that the
viewpoint flows smoothly, but seems to "snap" and lock towards the door
just slightly). Also, when walking a long distance at times the movement
again seems to jerk forward. I suspect this glitch is caused by the
"lookspring" function (which, when turned on, levels your viewpoint back
to normal after looking up or down) trying to operate. Whether on or off,
this "lookspring" affects gameplay. I'm very surprised ALL reviewers at
magazines or on-line sites have not caught this problem from the very
start of the game. But, once the actions starts going quickly, this problem
is hardly noticed, unless you keep looking for it.
I really wish the enemy was animated smoother as in Goldeneye or Turok.
You have an N64 with great capabilities, but it's not utilized for this. I
can't understand Midway. How much more time could it really have been
to improve the animated enemy over the computer versions? So it's
delayed another month or two, it would have been worth it. The enemy
in Quake 64 still seems like sprite movement, but with more frames - as in
the computer versions.
Overall 9 out of 10
Overall, Quake is great on the N64. Except for minor glitches, it is very