August 25, 2021

Quake (2021 Enhanced Re-Release Version)

Quake gets enhanced re-release for modern platforms for 25th anniversary

As Quake celebrates its 25th anniversary, it’s getting an enhanced re-release which will be available for modern platforms.

With the legendary franchise already spanning 25 years, it’s time to experience the multiplayer glory once more. There’s a lot to like about the re-release, which is an enhanced remaster of the 1996 game and is now available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC and Switch. It’s also available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S with backward compatibility, where free upgrades will make it run at 4K resolution.

Prepare to venture through the Slipgate once more, Ranger. The dark fantasy FPS that inspires today’s retro-style shooters is here and enhanced!

The re-release of Quake brings the hardcore action to all-new platforms for a new generation of players to experience for the first time, but what of PC players who already own the game? You’re in luck – PC players who already own Quake on Steam or Bethesda.net will receive this enhanced update for free.Learn more about the re-release of Quake and upgrading eligible copies of the game through Bethesda’s official FAQ.

The Quake remaster comes with 4K and widescreen resolution support, enhanced models, dynamic and colored lighting, anti-aliasing, depth of field, and a new theme song from Trent Reznor, who composed the original soundtrack, which itself was lost in licensing limbo for some time.

It also includes both of the original’s DLC packs, the Scourge of Armagon and Dissolution of Eternity. MachineGames, the developers of the modern Wolfenstein games, contributed two entirely new expansion packs called Dimension of the Machine and Dimension of the Past.

Bethesda describes the first of MachineGames’ new packs as such: “In the deepest depths of the labyrinth lies the core of lava and steel known only as The Machine. Crusade across time and space against the forces of evil to bring together the lost runes, power the dormant machine, and open the portal hiding the greatest threat to all known worlds—destroy it… before it destroys us all.”

Quake isn’t Quake without some friends, so the remake’s campaign comes with online and local split-screen co-op for up to four players. Adversarial multiplayer supports 8-player online matches and 4-player local split-screen matches. And thankfully, there’s dedicated server support and peer-to-peer support for custom matches. Crossplay support is also available for friends playing across different platforms. If you’re out and about, the Quake remake is also part of the xCloud service for Game Pass Ultimate members.

Bethesda is letting players also download free fan-made mods and missions into the remake, including Quake 64, with more on the way. It’s unclear if older mods will be compatible with this version, but we’ll update when we know more.

If you can’t play the new version yet for various reasons, here’s a Quake playthrough (still in progress):

There’s mixed reactions everywhere, and, while a young audience might be interested to see what their parents used to play 20-25 years ago, seasoned players will stick to their shotguns (and nailguns) and use the current mods and engines. The re-release version will probably never release the QC source, and, even the mods are 100% compatible, it still feels a bit restrictive.

Here’s an interesting Twitter thread with lots of Quake memories:

25 years ago today, id Software launched Quake, a pioneering FPS with 3D graphics, internet support, and a moddable engine

It sent cultural aftershocks that are still being felt. I wrote about it for @howtogeek:


What did you think when you first saw it?

Quake almost feels like it was designed to be played in 21:9 ?

Very few games are this future-proof, game design-wise (was using the QuakeSpasm engine here)

I may be wrong, but it feels like Quake was probably the first game you could play at 320×200 or 3440×1440 and basically have the same awesome experience

Originally tweeted by Benj Edwards (@benjedwards) on June 22, 2021.

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