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Quake Mission Pack: Scourge of Armagon

Quake Mission Pack: Scourge of Armagon
3.5
Platforms: PC
Publisher: id Software
Developer: Hipnotic Software
Genres: 3D Shooter / First-Person Shooter
Release Date: February 28, 1997
Game Modes: Singleplayer / Multiplayer

Quake conversions and mission packs popped up like shrooms after a thunderstorm. These packs ranged from praiseworthy to pitiful, with several half-assed attempts at cashing in on the Quake label becoming painfully evident in the wake of the game’s fanfared summer release of ’96. Scourge of Armagon places itself on the higher end of the scale, enjoying id’s official seal of approval and recent inclusion in their Quake Collection package.

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Be ready to face a few grumpy Shamblers, like the nasty one getting zapped here.

As an expansion pack, Armagon does just about everything right. It adds new levels, weapons, enemies and items to toy around with, including a host of new deathmatch maps along with a 15-episode singleplayer campaign. This expansion pack skips the original’s trademark slipgate approach for a more linear experience, with three episodes (The Fortress of the Dead, Dominion of Darkness, The Rift) that play out in perfect order. You start off inside a human base and gradually move on to runic and satanic-themed levels towards the end. As with the original, you learn the story through text crawls that appear at the end of each episode.

Level design is pretty solid. Some light scripting is used here and there, like outrunning a boulder inside a mine tunnel or activating a force-field bridge, while the remaining majority of the levels play out in traditional fashion. Some good effort was put into level design and they all surpass the original game in terms of quality and scale. Some devious traps were devised and ambush points are common, involving loads of monsters jammed into hard-to-retreat spots coming from all sides. The first portion of the game was manageable on medium but got noticeably more vicious later on. Most of the monsters from the original make a comeback along with three new additions: the Gremlins and Centroids. The first are lightweights used as grunts in the later medieval-themed chapters while the Centroid is a heavier scorpion-like robot that tots a pair of nailguns and is found very early in the game. We of course have Armagon himself, faced at the very end.

Three new weapons and powerups have been added, raising your arsenal to ten (eleven if you count the axe). The most effective of the lot against single targets is the Laser Cannon, while Mjolnir, a magical hammer, can be used to zap groups of enemies with one blow. The ‘Proximity Mine Launcher’, nothing more than a re-skinned Grenade Launcher, is useful for placing traps in deathmatch games. Out of the three power-ups, the ‘Horn of Conjuring’ is the most interesting. It spawns one or two monsters to fight by your side who follow you around indefinitely to the best of their ability. Unfortunately, they’re pretty bad at pathfinding through tight spaces and can’t seem to cross moving objects, like elevators or extended bridges. The ‘Empathy Shield’, yet another new power-up, is a clever device that returns part of the damage you receive back at your enemies.

And that’s about it. Armagon is twice as difficult as Quake and is about two times shorter. Remember that it’s not a standalone expansion, so you’ll need the original Quake installed to play.


System Requirements: Intel 486 DX4 100 Mhz, 8 MB RAM, MS-DOS 5.0

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3 Comments

  1. FistMarine says:

    Nice review man! I enjoyed reading your reviews of old games, I grew up with these old games and love them. I’m 18 BTW.

    I haven’t played this expansion yet (only the original Quake many times, though I still have the expansions CD which I haven’t touched yet aside from checking it, as I bought from eBay) so I can’t give my impression on this but I planned to do them in near future. I did however watched videos on YouTube about the expansion and I must say it’s really good. There is even a third (but unofficial) expansion for Quake, which is called Abyss of Pandemonium! Are you going to review this one too? Of course after you review second expansion (Dissolution of Eternity) and then you might start writing for the unofficial expansion.

    Keep it up with the reviews! 🙂

  2. FistMarine says:

    Also, I noticed in your review, it says that Scourge of Armagon is included on Ultimate Quake DVD. I have Ultimate Quake DVD and the expansion is not included (unless I’m missing something), Ultimate Quake includes Quake 1, Quake 2 and Quake 3, without any of the mission packs. I have the whole Quake collection by the way, the expansions are separately each on their own CD case, though I also have Quake 3 Gold Edition and Quake 4 Special Edition DVDs which have included their respective expansions (Quake 3 Gold includes Quake 3 Arena & Quake 3 Team Arena, while Quake 4 Special includes Quake 4, Quake 2, Quake 2 The Reckoning and Quake 2 Ground Zero) but there isn’t any Quake 1 CD/DVD that has expansions included on it, it is found separately. 😛

  3. @FistMarine Wow, a legitimate comment. I usually only get spam. I never heard of Abyss of Pandemonium, but will definitely look into it. Here’s a list of commercial Quake mission packs and total conversions that i know of:

    Shrack, Malice, Scourge of Armagon, Dissolution of Eternity, X-men: Ravages of the Apocalypse, QZone, Aftershock

    The last two are pretty bad. I know Aftershock was developed by the Juggernaut team. You might want to look up CGW. it’s a legacy gaming magazine that was around in the 90s. Link: http://www.cgwmuseum.org/galleries/index.php?year=1997&pub=2&id=155 This issue has reviews for most of the mission packs mentioned earlier

    you’re right about the ultimate quake thing. What I should have said is that the Steam version, called The Quake Collection, had Armagon and Eternity included in its package along with the two official Q2 expansions. I confused that with the boxed release. thanks for commenting.

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