Review by Ofisil
"Doom this ain't"
Quake 2 is a FPS developed by Id Software. Id Software was the most respectable FPS developer back then and everyone was waiting her next move after Doom and Quake. The result was a game that became a huge success from the moment it hit the stores. Quake 2 seemed to be the new FPS legend after Doom but to be honest there wasn't many other titles to compete with Id's titles. Now that the FPS genre features much more titles it is clear that Quake is a good game but not perfect.
I cannot understand Id Software's obsession with the same plot. Aliens\Demons attack the Earth and you, the lonely, unnamed Marine must destroy them. Here you are battling against the Stroggs. An alien race that invades planet after planet in order to use the dead bodies of enemies to create hybrids of flesh and machine and of course for food. You and your buddies invade their planet, but something goes wrong with your Pod and you land in an area all alone. A simple plot that it is all right for a game like this and that doesn't really affect the gameplay so I've given it a fair score.
Replay Value: 5/10
Well what about the core of Quake 2, what about its gameplay. Well Quake 2 surely doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it remains a solid FPS like all Id Software's games. It is a pure run and gun game where the one with the bigger gun usually wins, so don't worry your weapons are quite powerful and your enemies quite dump, yes you heard right the enemies are dumb, the overhyped AI of Quake 2 is a joke, enemies sometimes crouch in order to avoid damage but generally run towards you and hit you with all they got. Doom had dumb enemies too but they would attack you in packs of great numbers making the game more challenging and fun, in Quake 2 though sidestepping is everything that you'll need in order to win the game since you rarely battle more than 4 enemies and when you do they are usually the weaker ones. The overall level design is quite good, enabling you to follow different paths, with some of the levels being quite large. Finally Quake 2 is probably the easiest FPS I've ever played in my whole life. It's so easy that I always play it in the hardest difficulty and feel like I'm playing it on Normal.
Although, once again the game is in year 2XXX but weapons are still very simple. Your blaster, 2 shotguns, a rifle that kicks really hard, a gatling gun that can rip any enemy to pieces in a matter of seconds, a plasma gun, a rocket\grenade launcher a railgun and the famous return of the BFG, (which I always hated, I don't know why). Enemies use the same weapons as you too, with the final boss using almost all of them together. Apart from weapons you'll find the usual Doom\Quake items like invincibility, Quad Damage, items to breath underwater or avoid damage from hazardous environments and the like.
Not much of a replay value really, all three difficulty settings have little differences, (mostly better enemy aim), and not much to do. Fortunately Quake 2 was one of the games that made Multiplayer famous so after the finale of the game you can start fragging your friends. Though there are far better Multiplayer games nowadays Quake 2 is still quite fun when playing online with its fast paced action with the only problem the fact that some weapons like the rocket launcher for example overpower the others.
Very good graphics indeed although now the Quake 2 engine, an engine that has been used by many, many games, looks quite outdated. The epitome of full 3D FPS games back then, Quake had enemies with good animation and original design, well made areas with good work on the textures and good lighting and special effects. Enemies range from small\medium\large sized cyborgs, mutated creatures and Stroggos, (the planet of Stroggs), creatures. They have quite distinct design and they move well and have very good textures that change when being damaged. Very good level design with areas like factories, labs, hangar and the like that look very good and have good textures. The only problem here is that most areas look similar due to the same textures used over and over so you may be bored to watch the same things. Special effects on the other hand look quite good like explosions, weapon beams, etc and lighting is quite good although the game is bit darker than usual.
I particularly enjoyed the music of Quake 2, Hard Rock themes that fit with the War\Action atmosphere of the game that were well composed and not boring at all. The game of course can be played without music and is good even then although it lacks ambient sounds. Enemies on the other hand have good sounds that make them sound very dangerous and aggressive and when they wait somewhere make silent growls and moans so you'll know what to expect before entering a room. Weapons have very powerful sound something that I like in FPS games, especially the super shotgun and the railgun will blow your speakers.
-Good Graphics\Music\Sound Effects
-Good FPS action and Multiplayer
-A bit repetitive after a while
Quake 4 (PC)
Doom 1-2 (PC)
A good game that could be even better if its developers had used the great graphic engine to create better areas\enemies and if the gameplay was more original or at least simple and addicting like Doom's. So try before you buy because now there are much better games.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 01/18/08, Updated 12/22/09
Game Release: Quake II (US, 11/30/97)
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