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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Quake, the 26-year-old FPS, gets new accessibility options and maps

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It’s not often that 26-year-old videogames are updated, but it just happened for the great id Software shooter Quake. And it’s a pretty substantial update, too, with a range of new accessibility options, fixes, and three new horde mode maps.

The new accessibility menu will appear automatically the first time you launch Quake after the update is installed, presenting a range of options aimed at making the game easier to see and hear. The high contrast mode turns the menu into white text on a black background (rather than the usual in-game overlay style), while the alternate typeface replaces Quake’s blocky Gothic text with large, block letters.

There are also options to convert incoming multiplayer text chat into a synthesized voice, or to convert incoming voice chat to text, and for those uncomfortable with voice chat, an option to convert outgoing multiplayer text chat into a voice, with multiple voice profiles available.

Other new options include adjustable screen flash intensity and on-screen message duration times, an increase in the maximum number of lines that can be displayed in corner HUD messages, and user-adjustable display durations of multiplayer text messages.

I took the new options for a spin and they definitely make the menus and pop-up text displays easier to deal with. It’s not what you’d call a world-changing update, but it definitely a plus for us oldsters whose vision may not be quite as youthful and strong as it was when Quake first arrived.

Here’s what it looks like in action:

The update also includes a trio of new horde mode maps created by Wolfenstein studio Machinegames, a mess of horde mode balance adjustments (Quake only got a horde mode in December 2021, remember, so they’re still tweaking), improvements to multiplayer bot AI, a dozen bug fixes, and a range of improvements for modders—not bad at all for a game that’s not all that terribly far from its 30th birthday.

Speaking of Quake, it’s not new but Bethesda released a new Quake add-on called Honey in December, a slog through waterlogged crypts and underground temples. It’s really good, and far surpasses the original Quake levels in size, complexity, and challenge—if you’re a Quake fan and haven’t tried it yet, it’s absolutely worth your time. (And if you’re not a Quake fan for some reason, it’s not too late to change.)

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