Quake’s 4K remaster includes everything officially released back in the 90s as well as two more recent episodes crafted by the Wolfenstein reboots.
Amidst 2021’s QuakeCon festivities, Bethesda and id Software released a remaster of the original Quake seemingly out of nowhere, featuring not only the game’s original campaign and a number of technical updates, but its original two expansion episodes and two more created by MachineGames. The remastered version of Quake runs effortlessly on console and PC, supports resolutions up to 4K, and even lets everything jump into the same deathmatch lobbies thanks to quick play. It also canonizes two brand new episodes of the game developed by MachineGames. Best known for their updated take on Wolfenstein, both Dimension of the Past and Dimension of the Machine show up on the main menu alongside the original campaigns, expanding the breadth of this classic FPS and providing brand new content to a hungry retro FPS audience.
Dimension of the Past is the first of the two episodes, and it has actually existed for several years. It first saw a free release online for Quake‘s 20th anniversary back in 2016 via a tweet from the MachineGames official account. The id Software team was keen on promoting the classic franchise at the time due to the incoming launch of Quake Champions. This means that the levels are full of callbacks to Quake‘s illustrious past, including a Dopefish sighting and a finale that mirrors the official final level, Shub-Niggurath’s Pit. There are nine single-player levels in total, including one level hidden behind a secret exit. The difficulty picks up where Quake left off, meaning that those who have never played id’s masterpiece before should probably go through the official stages before tackling what MachineGames created years later.
While Quake superfans may have already tackled Dimension of the Past, the shadow-dropped remaster also has Dimension of the Machine baked right in. This second episode is brand-new, but crafted by the same developer with seemingly all the same care and attention. The episode splits into five distinct biomes, each utilizing different parts of Quake‘s eclectic tileset and rogue’s gallery of characters. There aren’t enough levels here to fill five full episodes, but the sections can be completed in any order the player chooses. It makes the entire experience feel like a brand new campaign in a way that Dimension of the Past didn’t quite.
How Do The MachineGames Quake Episodes Differ From id Software’s Levels?
In both of these bonus episodes, but especially in Dimension of the Machine, the developers have taken back from the wave of games that were inspired by Quake. Newer games like Dusk and Amid Evil are incredible retro shooters in their own right that build on the foundation of Quake. Part of their magic is the knowledge that players will have computers that can crush even the biggest assets that these old-school engines can throw at them. MachineGames now has that same advantage, throwing in complex architecture, improved skyboxes, and dizzying level maps into the original framework. Despite their nods to the past, these don’t feel like pure throwbacks but rather continuations bring Quake’s designs into 2021.
The MachineGames episodes of the new Quake aren’t the only thing fans should get excited about in this new release. Much like with their DOOM rereleases, id Software has included an add-ons menu that could soon be filled with popular Quake level packs from the community and beyond. The inclusion and preservation of Quake 64 (also free) as a bonus is evidence that nothing is off the table, especially if the rumors are true and this is all leading up to a brand new AAA Quake reimagining. Whatever the case may be, it’s an exciting time to be a fan of id Software’s signature 3D FPS.
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