Shake and Quake
Now many of you who read my Counter-Strike Goodbye article accused me of comparing CS to Quake, which is silly. I only mentioned Quake as the most extreme contrast of just how easy it is to discern skill levels in a properly designed game. For those of you who guessed that I simply missed the good old days of multiplayer Quake - well, you were right.
I’d unofficially seen Painkiller before the press alpha was ever sent out and talked with Dreamcatcher marketing guru Brian Gladman about how People Can Fly
, the developers of Painkiller, had a certain appreciation for Quake multiplayer. Now imagine my horror when I heard footsteps in the singleplayer game. Footsteps! In a game that pays homage to Quake? Some homage – I immediately set about writing a rant to Dreamcatcher when I realized Marcus also had the alpha and I might as well hurt him a bit to relieve the stress before firing off an ill-conceived email.
Ill-conceived the email was, when I stepped into the multiplayer arena and basked in the glory of silent motion and immediate weapon-switching. Now, the only way to find your victim (and even such a term is generous when describing Marcus’ skills
-ed.), is to listen for item pickups, jumping grunts, teleports and through prediction. Now you might wonder what the point of such “primitive” gameplay is.
Isn’t it better to know the location of your opponent? Isn’t it more realistic
? The answer to the latter is yes, footsteps are more realistic. And yet as anyone who has played both Quake and Quake II knows, footsteps slow the game down. Since both of you make sound, the one running away can keep running away – but is always denied access to the prime locations because his location is always known. So no, footsteps don’t make the game better. They may make realistic games like Call of Duty better, but when you want the ultimate in fast-paced action, footsteps, railguns, sniper rifles and all other such additions take away from the relentless speed.
Painkiller discussion thread