To check out my Quake 1 review: https://pondspress.wordpress.com/2018/08/08/quake-review/
On to the sequel!
For the most part, Quake II remains to carry the tradition of Id Software’s shooters, in which would be going from room to room, killing as many evil as possible, you even have lots of backtracking and weapons carrying a light or heavy version. Though Quake starts to take form and become its own thing. No longer are you in small mini-puzzles, but an interconnected world with different objectives.
Does this make Quake II a strong sequel…heck yes it does!
Instead of falling on H. P. Lovecraft, Quake II creates its own world of prey at war with predators. These creatures called Strogg eat up humans and play with their body parts, creating all sorts of weird-looking hostiles. You play as a marine named Bitterman, someone who does not give a crap about anyone, but wants to destroy everything, much like the recent Doom Slayer character we have today.
This dude will kill an injured man to access a new area or pick up a big gun. To me, this is way more interesting than the fantasy lore they had with Quake 1. Outside of an intro and outro cut-scene, you are transitioning from area to area with someone over the radio giving out orders. Every weapon is balanced, serving their own purpose towards each of the different enemies you face.
Along with that, there’s plenty of secret stashes and Easter eggs to find, as to power-ups, carried over from Quake 1 with more added. This would be the entry where we are introduced to one of the most iconic guns in gaming, the Railgun, which fires a strong beam shot, given with not too much ammunition. Otherwise, Quake II’s arsenal is more or less a redefined take on Quake 1, throwing in the BFG for good measure.
The environments are more interesting, giving us teases on how the Strogg likes to go about their business. Though, knowing the worlds are bigger and connected, the game is a lot longer than Quake 1, which is a little frightening when checkpoints don’t exist outside of going to different locations. You really need to save often, because Quake II may not be the hardest game out there, but you will be given a challenge.
Where all Id Software games matter the most are by the combat, and this is right behind the recent Doom reboot in that regard. I’ll say back-tracking got slightly irritating since you do that quite frequently, though I was able to forgive it because I was having so much fun exploring the facility and taking out Strogg with big guns.
The fights get more and more epic, when bigger Strogg are introduced as boss battles to then become regular enemies later, with a final battle that will definitely test your skills to the limit. While this is still a simple first-person shooter with one goal in mind, the gameplay, level design and world had advanced into something that’s inviting and addicting at the same time.
This is a 1997-released game and I wasted several hours more than Quake 1, despite my Steam profile not showing so as my computer needed an unofficial patch to work the game. It’s sad that this hasn’t been updated to play on today’s computers, because it’s so worth finding a way of doing so.
All of this is not mentioning how disturbingly violent the game can get, mainly with body horror. Quake II is not only an advancement, but this is a true evolution to the FPS genre that is still one of greater shooters out there. If you want to have great first-person shooter fun that won’t require a graphically enhanced PC to run, treat yourself to Quake II for only $4.99, it’s highly recommended.
Check out this patch to help you run the game: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=208440395&searchtext=patch