developer: id Software
publisher: Activision Blizzard
Game mode: single / multiplayer
Multiplayer mode: local network / Internet, players: 1 - 16
The original Quake from 1996 was a loose conglomeration of ideas that was practically devoid of plot. Nevertheless, it proved to be a huge financial success and id Software almost instantly began to work on a new project. Quake II for PC, X360 and StOS is not a classical sequel, though. The developers kept the brand name because of difficulties connected to registration of a new trademark. Fans of Quake didn’t mind at all since they received a better, more polished game.
The action of Quake II takes place in a distant future. The humanity established contact with a technologically advanced biomechanical alien race called the Strogg. Initially, both races lived in peace. The situation changed when it came to light that the Strogg plan to conquer Earth. Forestalling their move, humans prepared a desperate attack. An elite unit of space marines were sent to the Strogg homeworld but was crushed. Most soldiers died and the remaining few were taken prisoner. Only one of them managed to get away. The success of the Operation “Overlord” as well as the deliverance of Earth depends on him. As you might guess, the player assumes the role of a commando named Bitterman, the humanity’s last hope. He has to wade through hordes of Stroggs and kill their leader, the Macron.
The gameplay in Quake II for PC, X360 and StOS is characterized by high dynamics. Contrary to its predecessor, the developers decided to introduce a number of missions that form the basis of the single player mode. While controls are very similar in both titles, the weapon arsenal of Quake II underwent significant changes. Only the shotgun, super shotgun, grenade launcher, and rocket launcher remained from the original. Some weapons—such as the axe and the nail gun—were replaced by more futuristic ones, including the blaster, hyper blaster, railgun, machine gun, minigun, and BFG 10K borrowed from the Doom series. Instead of dark dungeons and caves from parallel, hellish dimensions, the players traverse military bases, warehouses, and factories, facing hordes of various kinds of cyborgs.
The multiplayer mode bases on the solutions of Quake. The available modes include Free-for-all Deathmatch, One versus One, and Capture the Flag, among other things. The single player missions can also be played in cooperation with another person.
Upon launch, Quake II for PC, X360 and StOS was considered a masterpiece in terms of visuals. The graphics engine allowed to fully utilize the capabilities of contemporary graphics cards which had an impact both on texture quality and animation smoothness. Suffice it to say that the same engine powered dozens of other games by various developers. The soundtrack of Quake II was composed by Sonic Mayhem and Bill Brown. Apart from three official expansions— The Reckoning, Ground Zero, and Netpack I: Extremities—the production received two unofficial ones, namely Juggernaut (Canopy Games, 1998) and Zaero (Team Evolve, 1998) as well as three huge fan-made mods: Action Quake 2, Rocket Arena, and Weapons Factory.
PC / Windows
Recommended: Pentium 133MHz, 32MB RAM, graphic card