Roll the List #5, Dalton’s Take


Head-to-Head: Counter-Strike vs. Quake

In this week’s Roll The List, Kyle and I are duking it out over two popular but outdated FPSs. I have chosen Counter-Strike as my FPS of choice and Kyle has chosen Quake. Therefore, we shall do battle, as I bash Quake with everything I have!

Why Quake is worse than Counter-Strike

Firstly, I have to say that I find both games enjoyable. We both picked games with a relatively high cult following, but lack the style and sleekness of today’s FPS. I am, personally, a huge fan of Counter-Strike. It was my first FPS and I still play it to this day when I have a little bit of spare time. Having played it for over a decade and the fact that there are still servers today that I can play it on is a monumental achievement, especially considering the hundreds of more advanced and modern options available. Its addicting gameplay has helped it to retain a group of loyal players that still find time to get in a round or two..or twenty.

Having said all that, I am supposed to be focusing on Quake and why it sucks. This is a difficult task as Quake is a classic of the FPS genre and has earned its due respect. It is an essential to the online FPS gaming community and a staple of its early years. But unlike Counter-Strike, Quake was forced to take many forms to retain its fan base, traversing various remakes, mods, and console translations to stay alive. Speaking of mods, one of its greatest features was a sign of one of its greatest flaws. It is easy to modify, but the fact that it is modified shows that few people can be continually entertained on the regular interpretations of the game.

Quake is also known for its chaos in the multiplayer format. The greatest attribute of this game is also its greatest flaw. As the FPS has evolved, so have the styles that gamers like to play. As the FPS has refined its craft and become more sharp in its dynamics, the gamer has found more enjoyment out of strategically approaching combat, being accurate, precise, and caring about objectives and their own (virtual) lives. Quake is the antithesis of this. Spray and pray until you die, resurrect, then spray and pray some more. My few experiences with Quake were much like this. Rockets, lasers, and bullets were raining down around me, I die, I come back, immediately die, come back, then look around, take a step forward, then die. Could this be associated with my lack of familiarity with the game? Absolutely. But that doesn’t excuse the fact that this game simply doesn’t fit with most people’s concepts of what an FPS should be.

Having said that, one of my favorite current FPSs is Team Fortress 2, a game I believe to be similar and akin to the Quake title. It is pure chaos in many of its formats, but still has an objective to reach in most cases. The extremely diverse weapon selections adds a significant variety to the gameplay for each class, making the game seem more chaotic than it actually is sometimes. But, in the same regard, it has made leaps in the chaos FPS “genre” where Quake could not. It took the humor aspect of the chaos and put it at the forefront. TF2 knows that the chaos is silly and allows players to feed off of it rather than try to turn it into a serious front of carnage.

Quake is a fossil. A fossil from which many games evolved, but a fossil nonetheless. In its prime it rivaled similar titles because, well, it was one of the only titles. But I am convinced that even today, variants of the Quake game could not hold par with the likes of TF2 or the more common and popular online strategic titles.

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