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Shack Chat: What's your favorite id Software game?

Just in time for QuakeCon 2019, the Shack Staff talks about their favorite id Software titles.


Shack Chat is back once again, our weekly feature each Friday where we’ll ask the Shacknews staff to give their opinion on a particular topic, then open the floor to our dedicated Chatty community to provide a diverse mixture of thoughts on the subject. It’s a great way for us to get to know one another better while inspiring healthy debates with all of you passionate gamers out there.

Question: What's your favorite id Software game?

Quake 3 Arena - Asif Khan, Played Quake in 1996

I like most id Software games, but Quake 3 Arena was amazing. It was the refined multiplayer experience that Carmack and the team had been working on since the early Doom days. Countless hours were spent playing CTF on The Longest Yard. Friendships were lost, rockets were ridden, and the gibs all of the gibs. While I love the original Doom, and the 2016 reboot, Q3A is my favorite id Software title. It is far superior to a game like Unreal Tournament, for instance. 

Commander Keen - Brittany Vincent, Senior Editor

This isn’t my absolute favorite, but one of them. I just don’t want to talk about Doom and Wolfenstein and have identical entries (of COURSE those are everyone’s favorites and mine as well), so this has to be a variation to keep things interesting. And no, I’m not talking about whatever that mobile game is, because that is #NotMyCommanderKeen. 

Wolfenstein 3D - Josh Hawkins, Zelda aficionado

Despite the fact that the game originally came out four months before my birth, Wolfenstein 3D was one of the first id Software games that I ever played. Having picked up a used copy for my Game Boy Advance SP from a yard sale one summer at my grandmother’s, I spent hours blasting away Nazis in the comfort of my room that summer. 

When the game finally released on Steam, I picked it up immediately and dove right back in, immediately losing myself in the sense of nostalgia that washed over me. Sure, the Game Boy Advance version of the game might not have been the best version ever, but it was more than enough to pull me in and make me fall in love with the fast-paced combat that id Software has become so acclaimed for. And with the game available on so many platforms (including a fanmade VR edition), Wolfenstein 3D is a game well worth revisiting anytime I need some of that sweet, classic FPS gameplay.

Quake 2 - Kevin S. Tucker, Rocket Fueled

The more obvious answer here probably should be Quake 3 Arena, but I’m the type of weirdo who doesn’t often enjoy online games. To be honest, back when I first started out on the PC, my hardware didn’t have the guts to run a game like Quake 3 online. That said, I do remember getting more than my fill from Quake 2. It’s one of my most nostalgic PC gaming memories, among a list of games that includes other id Software published series Hexen as well as the all-time classic Duke 3D. Still, there’s something about Quake 2 that just feels right to me — the look, the sound, the environments especially. It didn’t feel as frantic, and despite a lack of fire-cloaked demons running around, the world and the pacing felt more dreary to me, almost even more scary. Of course, these days I’m drawn to the single-player action and strong level designs of Doom 2016, and have no real desire to play modern Quake games such as Quake Champions.

Doom (2016) - Chris Jarrard,  Plays BFG Division in his head when he goes to the bathroom

While I will always have a soft spot for the original Doom and Quake 2, nuDoom is my favorite id Software joint. It plays very well, its runs well, and it looks really good. I entered it with low expectations based on its development history and Bethesda’s constant attempts to make all advertisements/PR for the game prior to launch look like cookie-cutter mush.

NVIDIA was showing off their new (at the time) GeForce GTX 1080 GPU to the press and partnered with id Software to use nuDoom to show it off. This video presentation was the first time I saw the game publically demoed on a PC and controlled by a competent player with a mouse. It looked very good, but I remained hesitant. Thankfully, after slogging through the first 45 minutes of the game on my own, everything began to click as the weapon arsenal opened up and the game simply dropped me into intense micro-arenas to battle demons. 

While the overall design is pretty simple, arena-style fighting works really well and nuDoom did a great job with maintaining constant tension during the chaotic firefights. I always felt like I was skating on the edge of a cliff facing certain death, only to make it by the skin of teeth on the back of some gnarly glory kills. I’ll also add that the soundtrack is a certified banger, marrying perfectly to the onscreen action. I am cautiously optimistic about Doom Eternal. I hope it offers enough new content that will keep my mouse hand sweaty.

Doom (2016) - Sam Chandler, ...and those that tasted the bite of his sword, named him…

I was going to pick Quake IV, but then I realized that actually wasn’t developed by id Software despite being one of their most iconic series. So I’ll have to go with a choice that I wanted to make originally, but thought it might be too unoriginal! But honestly, DOOM 2016 was one of the best id Software games I’ve had the pleasure of playing.

I loved the blend of humor and the over-the-top gore and action. If I wanted it, which I did, the world was also full of lore for me to deep-dive. Reading through the codexs, finding out about this company and its practices, it was incredible. It takes a lot of effort to make a game as mindlessly fun as DOOM 2016. If Eternal is even half as good as its predecessor, we’re in for a good time.

Doom (‘93) - David L. Craddock, Longreads Editor

I learned about Doom in Sunday school. Fitting, right? There we were, a bunch of fidgety boys and girls in our Sunday best, learning to fear Hell and its demonspawn from our teacher. Whispering in the back, my friend Aaron told me a much better way to keep Hell in check: Instead of turning to God out of fear, why not hunt down a rocket launcher or BFG9000 (no, we didn’t know the name of the gun back then) and eradicate the source of terror?

Don’t think of Doom as the natural iteration of Wolfenstein 3D. Doom was leaps-and-bounds ahead of its predecessor, and set the mold for every id game, and every FPS that would follow. There’s a reason Doom’s community continues to thrive, and it’s not just because Doom 2016 breathed new life into the brand. Doom is infinitely replayable, endlessly mod-able, and still a joy to play.

Doom (2016) - Greg Burke, Lives in the mines

Shacknews’s GOTY in 2016. Doom is everything that a classic first person shooter should be. In a world with online battle royale titles and games as a service, Doom came in and proved that video games didn't have to have 100+ Hours of gameplay or be online to be good. Killing demons and executing finishers never felt so good. 

Quake - Bill Lavoy - Brotherhood of Steel

I’m going with Quake from all the way back in 1996. No, I didn’t play it a lot because my family didn’t have the means, but I did get some time in at a friend’s place and it was something I’d never seen or experienced before. This wasn’t me seeing a cool video game, it was me seeing something that I didn’t know was even possible. As someone who plays a lot of FPS games and works in video games, it’s hard not to look back on what was probably the first FPS game I ever had the pleasure of playing and not appreciate its impact.

Doom (2016) - Donovan Erskine, Intern

Confession time: The only id Software game I’ve gotten some legit playtime with is their 2016 reboot of DOOM. That being said, I found Doom to be a pretty epic power fantasy with over the top violence and solid mechanics. It won Shacknews game of the year for a reason!

Doom 2 - Blake Morse, Doom Guy

In some ways Doom 2 still feels like the peak of the Doom series for me. It took everything I loved about the first Doom and cranked it up to 11. It was so vivid for a such a dark and morbid game. Once I’d played through the game several times I wound up spending way too much of my money buying various bootleg WAD collections from the local Target. While I don’t have as much time to rip and tear as I used to, I have been jonesing to get some practice in ever since David Craddock completely annihilated me in Deathmatch at last year’s QuakeCon. 

Doom (2016) - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Editor

Doom wins for me, just because of how id managed to stay true to the spirit of the original game without going overboard on making it feel like a modern franchise. There are a lot of modern elements to it, but id knew just where to hold back, because at the end of the day, it still needed to feel like Doom

It's also remarkable to see just how far id Tech can carry even a new school iteration of Doom, running wonderfully smooth on Nintendo Switch.

Disagree with our picks? Think we're a bunch of clowns? Let us know in the Chatty below.

Shack Staff stories are a collective effort with multiple staff members contributing. Many of our lists often involve entires from several editors, and our weekly Shack Chat is something we all contribute to as a group. 

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