Review by Splatter
"Great for its time, multiplayer still thriving today."
Although many multiplayer FPS's came before this game,I owe something to Quake II more than any other game out there. This game is quite possibly the FPS game I have played the most out of any in my 14 year FPS career, and the fact that multiplayer is still thriving today is a testament to the developers at id software to their ingenuity.
You're a grunt off to fight some bad guys. Your ship crash lands (just like Unreal, Duke Nukem etc.), and now its all up to you. The fact that it's a million enemies against you means nothing, of course :)
With a 3dfx card back in the day, the graphics looked clean and sharp. Nowadays they seem bland and repetitive. Things don't look very interesting, and world-interaction is minimal barring push buttons on the walls and floors.
Enemies are above average in graphical design, but nothing to write home about. In general: above average for the day, extremely poor nowadays.
Single Player: 5/10
Sound is very important in an FPS. Single-player wise the sound adds nothing to the game, yet doesn't detract either. Since enemies generally don't move or make noise until they see you, the sound itself is limited mainly to when you are underwater, explosions around you, and elevator sounds.
In multiplayer, the sound of Quake II isn't as much of a factor as newer games today, however, at the time hearing footsteps, grunting jumps and knowing which weapons were being used were (and still are) key to winning. Sounds were balanced well in multiplayer, however I believe that weaker weapons should have had much less of a sound effect on them than the more powerful ones. I'm specifically referring to that beamer pistol :D
Single Player: 6/10
The game was pretty damn boring to me single player. No level was very interesting, and without a story the maps just droned on and on. The boss battle was fun, but one map turned into a CTF map in multiplayer doesn't cut it for gameplay. Weapons are well balanced as a whole but the game has no drive for you to keep playing. The only redeeming factor was the 2 player co-op, but I guess that falls under multiplayer.
If I could give the multiplayer an 11, I would. I have logged in hundreds, perhaps even thousands of hours playing CTF and RA2 matches in Quake II. The game never gets stale or repetitive. There is always a new challenge or strategy to think up on the well designed multiplayer maps. There are no 'secret spots' where you will always win if you camp in them, and the flow is beautiful.
Single Player: 3/10
Unless you can get a buddy to play the game again through co-op mode, it's just not worth doing over.
As I mentioned before, out of hundreds/thousands of hours of play, I still play this damn game. That's enough of a testament for its longevity.
If it isn't obvious enough by now, I'll state it clearly:
Do not purchase the game for the single player mode.
Do purchase it for the multiplayer.
I've seen the game for sale for $5, and with the various mods it really is a steal. Although newer gamers will be put off by the lousy graphics, some of the very best FPS players in the world still play Quake II. If you're always smoking people in games like TFC or other Half-life / RTCW type play, go to a Quake II RA2 (Rocket Arena 2) server and watch your poor self be beaten to a pulp.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 06/23/03, Updated 06/23/03
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