I bring you, the super badass evil zombie cyborg from space...
The Berserker from idsoftware Quake II!
This guy, his friends and I spend a lot of time together back in 1997.
I used to play quakeworld online as a young teenager, and when Quake II was on its way, I was super excited to play it.
How would the weapons from the screenshots work? What kind of strange world was it taking place in, and could I beat it on hard before my friends?
I instantly loved it, it was just the kind of fast paced fun I was hoping for. Each enemy with its distinct functions, strengths and weaknesses. But what made it so fun?
Like running up to a very dangerous foe like the Berserker, triggering his deadly melee attack animation, giving you just enough time to pull back at the right moment, and blow him to bits with the super shotgun, while the Sonic Mayhem soundtrack applause the execution. As a teenage nerd addicted to adrenaline, it was pretty pumped.
I didn't pay much attention to the story, but in 1997 anything with a lone soldier battling his way through a strange alien world full of evil cyborg zombie monsters would do.
Actually it still does.
Looking at it now, even with some years on the back, I still find the look and feel of the game interesting.
So I thought it would be fun to take a stab at one of my old favorite enemies, the Berserker. He'll run up to you and bash your head in, or send you flying through the air in no time. When you look at his design, it is very clear that you don't want this guy up close.
Technology was leaping forward in 1997 and with TWICE the polygon count per character of Quake1, it made for some great visuals. Making those few polygons count, the silhouettes communicates very well, making it easy to quickly identify different enemies, while running through a room of flying body parts. I wanted to try and keep that clear visual style in my interpretation but also add the level of detail games of today offer.
Wanna shake hands?
The level design in Quake II might not make that much sense, but as a tourist of doom on a strange planet, inhabited only by evil cyborg zombie alien robots with the only goal in life to patrol a room, and kill anyone who is not a evil cyborg zombie alien robot, it wasn't a big deal.
Compared to some of the games I see today, Quake II had a pleasant simplicity which makes the player focus on gameplay rather than getting confused by overwhelming details.
Not that I think detailing is bad, I do spend ages running around checking out set dressing, and how clever many level designers are with how little is given them to work with. But some games have a tendency to get lost in that, and its probably one of the reasons why I prefer such clearly designed games like Half-Life2, Painkiller and Team Fortress and keep coming back to play them.
Anyways enough with the rambling, dig out your old quake II disc and have a go, or if you never played it check it out on stream. Just found this, which I thought was kinda fun too..
Maybe we can play some htmel5quake2 in the soon future.
Might do some more quake dudes, had a blast drawing this guy.