Quake Mission Pack 1: Scourge of Armagon is the first official expansion pack for Quake, developed by Hipnotic, aka Ritual, and released in 1997, few months after original. It focuses on single-player portion of the game, bringing not only new levels but new elements as well, making it the first id software related expansion that doesn't suck.
Like original Quake, Mission Pack uses CD to play it's own soundtrack. And since Steam doesn't include it, you will have to go and find it somewhere. And then you will have to go through trouble of implenting it properly with _inmm if you have Windows Vista or higher, so music properly loops.
As usual, game allows you too choose if you want to play with software or OpenGL rendering. You probably should stick with software one, as it kinda looks less muddy and OpenGL one has some bugs. Like no overly-high lighting or no full-bright textures for light sources.
When you launch the game, don't forget to write "+mlook" in console, to enable mouselook.
There is also bug of sorts where you will not be able to select game's new weapon - hammer. It's supposed to be on "0" weapon slot, but it doesn't seem to be binded to any key. You can fix it by writing "bind 0 "impulse 226"" in console.
Plot of Scourge of Armagon goes: You arrived back into military base after defeating final boss of Quake. Yet it's too quiet and you read from console that base was sealed as reinforcements of Quake still keep coming through portal. So you decide that you should travel to another dimension once again and put a stop to it, somehow.
Then again, wasn't "Quake" a codename for final boss you just defeated? It confuses me slightly. But I guess we can blame all these monsters on surviving member of Quake's order.
Anyway, proudly and couragely, the mission pack throws atmosphere and abstarct level design into trash bin, instead bringing more realistical approach. You got to play through 15 levels or so divided into 3 linear episodes. Futurustic base one puts improves on original base levels of Quake, which felt a bit wasted. More looking like real places and it adds a new enemy for sake of variety too. Then come nest two episodes down in strictly medieval and then "ancient-runes" themes. And this is where I think that game drops the ball. Not only themes aren't that much interesting, but more realistical level design means less interesting level layouts.
It's kinda funny. Times ago when I did a walkthrough on Quake games, I prefered this approach over original. Maybe was more interesting this time around. But as I rebeat game recently, I was missing more abstract and complex approach of Quake.
Not to say that level design is completely flat. No, it's quite good. Got interesting pieces. Like graveyard theme. When you also have to enter coffin to exit the level.
Engine also got updated to allow things like rocks rolling down the slope, trying to kill you. Or force bridges. And levels use some scripted levels here and there. And sometimes they are build in such way, that you are very likely to get hit without ability to avoid it. Like, spawning thunder-throwing monster in open area.
As said, it also doesn't have same atmosphere. Now with brighter maps and with new rocking soundtracks, it's call for action. I don't get the same grim feeling. Something that made Quake unique. Not sure if I dig new music, but most people do.
And yes, it introduces new monsters and new weapons. Weapons are gimmicky thigns that weren't needed to begin with. Like, grenade launcher that throws mines that stick to the surface. They are quite weak for mines and it's more fun to just shoot into face than expect for monster to find a path toward place where you are hiding. Or it got laser cannon and hammer, that waste same ammo as Lighting gun of Quake and once again, seem to be not-so-needed variations. Laser can bounce off walls, but it's mostly there to hit you back. At least hammer is useful without ammo as it can gib zombies.
And yea, new monsters. Scorpions, tough enemies that increase variety in base levels, strafe here and there and shoot nails at you on the floor level. And gremlins, who behave like monkey and just have some gimmicks like stealing your weapons or spawning more of them by ripping corpses apart. Shame that they killed faster to really consider those things. And new flying organic "mines" don't make sense. They increase speed when you are looking and are usually put in such way that you will be unaware that one is behind you. Just no idea aside from making you reload a save.
Oh, and it got a new final boss. Who isn't gimmicky and is proper one, unlike final boss of Quake. So it's better. If forget that he will die under half a minute from all the ammunition that player was given by that point. Still better.
Actually, if you wished Quake to have more of Doom atmosphere in grey-brown setting while having more realistical level design, that majority of gamers prefer over abstract, then this mission pack will be better than Quake itself. But if you liked original Quake, then eh, it doesn't get all things in same way.
I am actually surprised that I didn't like it as much in recent walkthrough as I did years ago. But oh well.