A Quake Reboot Can Be An Excellent Throwback To Lovecraftian Horror

Grotesque nightmares re-imagined in modern visuals would be a sight to behold.

Story Highlights

  • The original Quake was one of the most influential FPS games, popularizing multiplayer elements in shooters and commanding an excellent Lovecraftian setting.
  • The cosmic horrors and nightmares of H.P. Lovecraft have become a major inspiration for many games, with Bloodborne a perfect example.
  • Lovecraftian horror is still quite underrated, and a Quake reboot bringing back the inspirations found in the original could be a glorious addition to the genre.

Including Quake, the original Doom, and the initial Wolfenstein games, id Software’s FPS games were the pioneers that helped popularize the genre in the 90s and introduced server-based multiplayer. Among them, The original Quake sported an excellent Lovecraftian setting which can benefit significantly from modern technology in a reboot of the series, as Doom has so triumphantly displayed. 

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Doom 2016 and Eternal forever changed the FPS landscape, as the formula was re-created perfectly using today’s technology. Thus, a similar case for Quake can also be made. Doom’s reboot went all in on the high-adrenaline, fast-paced shooting. For Quake, an approach that polishes its design and environments, making good use of the Lovecraftian setting to deliver fabulous horror and retain proper shooting mechanics would be perfect.

Quake Had A Monumental Impact On The FPS Genre

After the highly revolutionary Doom, id Software planned a sort of spiritual successor for the series. The said successor was Quake, released after a considerably troubled development cycle. The game was a critical success though, as it brought a combo of fascinating ideas and soon became a landmark in FPS games and one of the best PC games of all time.

What made Quake distinct from Doom is that it took its predecessor’s formula of fast-paced shooting people had come to love and perfectly incorporated it into a unique new concept. With purposefully dark and gloomy environments, a Lovecraftian setting bringing unspoken horrors, and music that was perfect to shake you to the core, the game was indeed in a class of its own. 

It was also one of the first games to utilize complete 3D environments and models, thanks to the revolutionary Quake engine. The engine made it possible to bring realistic physics and beautiful 3D backgrounds to life, which was quite a feat for that period. It’s good to see a fan re-make of it. Similarly, another major accomplishment was the introduction of server-based multiplayer services for FPS games, allowing cooperative or competitive play.

Quake featured excellent 3D models and Lovecraftian nightmares
Quake featured excellent 3D models and Lovecraftian nightmares

The game’s overwhelming success started a legacy and sparked many sequels for the series. The focus of subsequent games was to reinforce the multiplayer approach and refine it. Moreover, the story concept of the series was also changed to bring in more audience while retaining the gameplay. Thus, Quake 2 became an excellent standalone continuation and switched to a sci-fi setting.

Both Quake 2 and 4 were directly related to each other, though disconnected from the original. The premise of these games was the battle against a cybernetic alien race called the Strogg. These aliens required body parts for their augmentation and thus started slaughtering humans upon invasion, and the player had to retaliate and push them back. The fanbase stays divided in favor of these two distinctive approaches.

Cosmic horrors were replaced by the alien Strogg in Quake 2
Cosmic horrors were replaced by the alien Strogg in Quake 2

Regarding the missing Quake 3, it went all in on the series’ excellent multiplayer mechanics and delivered a remarkable experience focused on cooperative play. It took the series’ core strengths and refined them to perfection. Subsequently, multiple future iterations also came, sporting the signature FPS gameplay and a focus on multiplayer elements.

Quake has left an undeniable mark on the FPS genre especially the original. It is still very much appreciated and its fanbase is always eager for more, as evident by the reception of the recent remaster of the original game. Thus, a reboot employing modern technology to deliver an epic experience would be nothing but joy for the fans – all the more so if it brings more recognition to the Lovecraftian horror genre.

Seeing that “Wolfenstein” and “DOOM” have had their own long-awaited sequels, do you think the “Quake” series deserves at least one as well?
by u/No-Procedure8840 in quake

Bloodborne – A Perfect Lovecraftian Experience

Lovecraftian Horror – unspoken cosmic entities and stuff straight out of nightmares, undescribable by common logic and senses, the feeling of powerlessness and inferiority when faced with an unknown higher power are some of the features penned by the legendary H.P Lovecraft. Even after a long time since his departure, his works are some of the most engaging and fascinating horror tropes and continue to inspire many different media.

Games are no exception, as cosmic nightmares found their way into many different games, and it’s a concept that works exceptionally well with the medium. Quake is one such example, as it makes great use of the inspiration. The revolutionary Quake engine’s 3D environments made the grotesque enemies quite realistic for that era and depicted how the concept can bring a remarkable horror experience in a shooting game.

And not mentioning Bloodborne while discussing Lovecraft would be a crime. FromSoftware’s masterpiece deserves all the love, and aside from an excellent Souls game, it is also a phenomenal Lovecraftian horror experience. Some even consider it superior to Elden Ring. Regrettably, the game remains a PS exclusive despite fans’ non-stop demands for a PC port. I sincerely hope it gets one so that a wider audience can enjoy this gem.

Bloodborne was FromSoftware’s attempt to promote a fast-paced, aggressive, and offensive playstyle. The original Dark Souls has a strong emphasis on shields, and the slower mechanics also facilitate it. On the other hand, Dark Souls 3 introduced much faster and more fluid combat mechanics. Although shields were present, the overall flow of gameplay and the punishing bosses made dodging and quick reflexes a lot more relevant.

With Bloodborne, the shields were thrown away entirely, and you had to rely on your instinct and split-second dodges to avoid enemies and keep punishing them with aggressive strikes. The rally mechanism reinforced the approach, as it allowed health retrieval by continuously attacking after being hit. This made up an excellent combat system quite better than the traditional Souls, though considering FromSoftware it was not a surprise.

What truly made the game a masterpiece were the epic environments, area design, music, and the overall ominous sensation as you explore your surroundings. It all felt befitting of the gothic horror setting the game possessed. The game’s true achievement was how it masterfully hid the Lovecraftian horror theme, slowly revealing it alongside the fascinating lore as you traversed further into the game’s beautiful world.

Art direction and environments in Bloodborne are amazing
by in bloodborne

Starting from the clinic and moving on to enter the beautiful gothic Victorian world, the sense of dread continues to linger as you move on, reinforced by the game’s brutal difficulty. It’s not until the second half of the game when you move out of Yharnam that you find the glorious Lovecraftian horror inspirations. Even Yharnam houses the Amygdalan creatures, but you can’t yet see them unless you’re unfortunate enough to get grabbed by one.

The slow unveiling of the Lovecraftian themes and then the full-blown assault of it with nightmare realms and dreadful creatures are in a class of their own. Bloodborne was indeed a master of environments and the superb insight mechanic which slowly allowed you to see and hear more and more of this nightmarish world as you gained more knowledge, befitting the overarching lore of knowledge and insight being the cause of everything.

Bloodborne maintains its overwhelming quality throughout the game and even carries it to The Old Hunters DLC, which I consider to be even superior to the base game, and something Elden Ring’s DLC should learn from. The DLC itself takes place inside a nightmare realm. The Fishing Hamlett area seems straight out of an H.P Lovecraft novel, including the last boss – Orphan of Kos, who is both brutal and a strong Lovecraftian inspiration.

Orphan of Kos was straight out of a nightmare - both in design and difficulty
Orphan of Kos was straight out of a nightmare – both in design and difficulty

Lovecraftian Horror Deserves All The Love It Can Get

Quake and Bloodborne are some examples that show how excellent the formula works in a game. Similarly, multiple other games effectively showcase the concept’s potential. Top of the line is Call of Cthulhu, a survival horror RPG based on Lovecraft’s story of the same title. The game mixes both Lovecraftian and psychological horror elements to twist our minds to the extreme.

Call of Cthulhu was an ingenious Lovecraftian horror
Call of Cthulhu was an ingenious Lovecraftian horror

Games of different genres have incorporated the inspiration which shows its flexibility. Whether it’s to discover the secrets of one’s nightmares in the open world of The Sinking City, or in combat and gameplay-focused RPGs like Remnant: From The Ashes, Lovecraftian horror creates epic environments and lore points to dive into. Still, the concept remains fairly underrated, and I believe it deserves a lot more love.

Precisely why I think a Quake reboot can be an excellent way to bring the genre more recognition. Quake possesses a significant fan following, and a reboot is in considerable demand. The reboot speculations surfacing are nothing but great news for fans. It is also the perfect time for a horror-focused Quake since horror shooters are currently booming due to games like Dead Space and RE4 remakes.

For a new Quake game, two approaches can be followed. Either the Lovecraftian elements of the original game or the renewed sci-fi setting featuring the Strogg of Quake 2 and 4. As mentioned earlier, the fanbase is fairly divided, with a dedicated following in both these settings. I believe the Lovecraftian horror setting was fairly unique, and it’s a genre with vast potential and would do great in a modern horror game.

We want a new Lovecraftian Quake and a new Heretic/Hexen!
by u/Geahad in Doom

The beauty of the concept is the considerable freedom of its application. Lovecraftian inspiration can be utilized to create monstrosities and concepts only limited to the person’s imagination. Take a moment to apply that to Quake. Why limit to a single approach, when you can bring both the Strogg, and then a Lovecraftian twist to unleash cosmic horrors, creatively blending the two adversaries to create something unprecedented?

I remember being completely enthralled by Quake, as it was something similar to Doom, yet quite different and strangely addictive. It was also one of my first Lovecraftian-inspired games. If a Quake reboot can effectively paint a Lovecraftian picture, it would be like killing two birds with one stone – a new Quake game and a brilliant Lovecraftian horror to bring the genre more appreciation. And so, with the QuakeCon closely approaching, I hope this vision reaches fulfillment.

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Najam Ul Hassan is a News Reporter on eXputer who enjoys investing hours in his favorite video game titles. When he’s not playing games, he’s practicing Journalism. He began his career on eXputer after combining his limitless love of video games and all things geek with his considerable writing experience. He has been cited numerous times by several noteworthy publications and sites such as Game Rant, Yahoo, PlayStation LifeStyle, VGC, VG247, TheGamer, among others. Experience: 2+ Years || Education: Masters in Mass Media Communication || Written 300+ News Stories.

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