I can still remember it, I came home to find the newest issue of PC Gamer in my mailbox. This was back when the magazine still came with a CD with a couple game demos on it. The month I'm remembering had something I was so shocked to see and I had no previous knowledge of it being included on the disc.
PC Gamer came with a demo for the first Quake.
I was so excited to finally have a chance to play id's newest first person shooter. I like many others was a gigantic Doom fan and couldn't wait to sink my teeth into their first truly 3d game. A quick install and I was into it. It all passed by way to fast but I ended up playing that demo over and over again as the next few weeks passed by.
Eventually June 22nd 1996 came and the full version of Quake was unleashed on the world. Just a couple days after my senior year of high school I was spending the first nights of my adult freedom playing the living hell out of Quake. At the time I only had a 75mhz Pentium 1 with 4 megs of ram and no 3d card. I ended up getting 4 more megs of ram to help run the game better but without a 3d card I was unable to experience Quake in it's full graphical glory but the game was still amazing.
I spent the next month going through Quake several times, finding secrets and mastering the various enemy types. Eventually my playing took me into the realm of online playing.
Quake was the first game I played online and even though my 56k connection and my weak PC made it a chore at times to play I still had a blast. Reaching out and killing guys in other states from the comfort of my bedroom, it was amazing.
The first Quake holds a special place in my gaming history and it was a game that got everything right. The single player was great, it was for many their first online experience and it set the stage for how online gaming would be for a long time.
For me though the Quake series began and ended with Quake 1. I didn't really care for Quake 2, I wanted more demon's and Lovecraft influenced monsters but what we got with Quake 2 and 4 was a typical space alien enemies shooting game. I never cared for them. And as far as Quake 3 was concerned I liked it but at the time I'd rather of played Unreal Tournament and that's usually what I did.
In a recent interview John Carmack mentioned that id was thinking about doing a "remake" of the first Quake with the Cthulhu inspired demons and gothic setting and I am so excited to hear about that. It's the direction I've wanted to see that series go and I hope we'll finally see it happen.
I recently replayed Quake about 2 or 3 months ago and it still holds up. It's a timeless game in an age when many older games have a hard time holding up as the FPS genre evolves but Quake can still stand side by side with the best of them. If you've never played Quake (shame on you) do yourself a favor and grab it off of Steam, you will not be disappointed.