Developer: Lobotomy/Id Software
Publisher:  Sega

Quake for the Sega Saturn was considered a landmark technical achievement for the system at the time, John Carmack himself stated that the game couldn't be done on Sega's 32 bit console, but lo and behold, the impossible was achieved and is this port any good you ask? Well, it's... serviceable.

If you've never played the first game in the series then you should probably know that it varies wildly in theme from later titles as this game is a mix of a dark fantasy setting with sci-fi, the levels range from temples, castles and keeps to technologically advanced fortresses and instead of fighting aliens or machines like you do in the sequels, here you'll be battling against knights, chainsaw wielding and grenade throwing ogres, marines and fantasy inspired monsters, in a way, this game is kind of like shadowrun sans the hacking or the Role Playing.

At its core Quake plays like Doom and that's a good thing, because aiming with the Saturn controller is somewhat counter-intuitive, especially when you have to point up or down, though I've noticed that in order to make up for this, Lobotomy reduced the speed of your enemies, meaning it's fairly easy to strafe around them as you try to aim, the game has some pretty fun weapons like the axe, the double barreled shotgun and the super nailgun, but honestly, these feel like a step down from Doom 2, where's the chainsaw equivalent? Or the BFG? The same applies to enemy variety and boss fights, Doom and Doom 2 had more and did them better, this isn't to say Quake isn't fun, but it is a little disappointing in this regard.

Graphically the game is quite a step down from the PC version, especially in terms of resolution, in this regard the game is not easy on the eyes at all, but at the same time, it's quite the technical achievement for the Saturn with its great draw distance, big levels and complicated architecture/geometry, it even features dynamic lighting, very impressive for the system it's running on and when coupled with the atmospheric soundtrack it creates a very immerse game.

Unfortunately these technical achievements come at a cost, the game runs slower than the PC version, made even by worse by the framerate drops when there's too much stuff on screen, these framerate issues also lead to input lag and considering the Saturn is not an ideal controller for this sort of game it leads to a lot of situations where you'll have to get used to this port's quirks, I also came across some minor texture warping and ghosting, but these two are hardly noticeable so it's more of a nitpick on my part.

Overall, Quake for the Saturn is still a fun game, but it's also an unneeded port, these days any old PC can run this title better and faster, however, if you really want to play a console version, if you're a Saturn collector or if you're just curious to see how a console port would look, the Saturn version does a pretty serviceable job and presents itself as a technical achievement for the system.

Trivia: Did you know that this version doesn't use the Quake engine? Instead it uses the Slavedriver engine, which was used to create Powerslave/Exhumed for the Playstation and Sega Saturn.

Trivia 2: Did you also know that while Lobotomy kept most of the secrets and Easter eggs from the original PC version of Quake while still adding a few of their own? Most notably, they created a secret comic book story called 'Dank and Scuzz' which can be found in episode 4. Can't seem to find any videos on youtube though, maybe if I ever get capture card I'll upload it myself.

Trivia 3: Finally, did you know Quake's soundtrack was created by Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor?

- If you love Doom you'll probably love Quake
- Atmospheric Soundtrack
- Large levels are well built and fun to explore
- Fun Weapon and Enemy variety
- Overall, this is probably the most immersive game Id Software ever created
- Graphically, the game is a technical achievement for the Saturn

- Graphically, it's still a step down from the PC version
- Saturn Controller isn't the best for this sort of game
- Framerate issues, occasional texture warping and ghosting issues
- Weapon and Enemy variety, while still fun, is a step down from Doom 2

Final Grade: B-

 I've always like the quake symbol, or rather, I like how imposing it looks on a big PC cardboard box, but Saturn game boxes are smaller and sleeker, so the artwork here just doesn't do it for me, however, the title does come in a sturdy late gen plastic box, these were in my opinion the best console game boxes of their time, they're incredibly sturdy when compared to playstation, N64 or early Saturn packaging, though it can be a bit hard to open them at times.

The manual is okay, that's the best way to describe it, it gives you half a page of backstory, short descriptions of every enemy, weapon and episode and some general information about the game.

I know that the game itself doesn't care about its story, but I would have liked some more reading material, regardless, it's still a decent manual, though.

Packaging Grade: B-

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