Quake II is the Playstation port of a classic FPS PC game. As far home ports of Quake II go this would have to be the best available and it is something of an impressive technical feat given the limitations of the original Playstations hardware. Quake II is a game from ID the developers who also made the Doom the first game to really put first person perspective shooters on the gaming map, and like Doom Quake can be considered among the true classics.
Quake II sports one of the very best 3D graphical engines on the Playstation One, while it may look dated by today's standards this port is not far from being a perfect port of the PC original. Even the N64 the more powerful of the two systems of the time though a decent port in it's own right didn't quite manage to live up these standards so it is something of an achievement in programming. Not only does the game look good but also it actually manages to maintain a smooth framerate throughout.
As well as sporting impressive (for the time) visuals Quake II has it where it counts in the form of offering a great game playing experience. The action is full on, fast, non-stop, utterly violent, and above all it is fun all the right ingredients for a fast action and gore soaked Doom style FPS game.
The music is pretty good, as well, that is if heavy metal is your cup of tea, but it accompanies the action very well. Each enemy has it's own trademark sound or phrase so you will often know what is waiting for you around the next corner. The loading times are surprisingly short considered what ID managed to accomplish in this game. It can sometimes take a couple seconds to load when walking through section sections of the stages, but this is barely noticeable at all.
Quake II offers vast sprawling and enemy filled levels that presents a lengthy challenge to all but the most seasoned of Quake players. Those players who really know all the games short cuts and can dispatch enemies in short order can however complete the game within an hour though of course it takes many hours of practice to become that good.
As in the classic FPS game series Doom the layout of the levels in Quake II are exceptionally well designed and packed full of goodies and secret areas to reveal and explore. Sometimes going around shooting randomly at walls can be a good thing to do, as you never know what you might find.
There are a total of 5 missions each mission comprising of numerous smaller levels. As well as blazing away at everything that moves Quake II features a number of simple puzzles to help break any potential of monotony. These puzzles don't particularly detract from the constant flow of the action of the game however they generally only involve finding keys to open door and using computers to open doors and access elevator shafts and so on. This is very much a heavy action FPS and doesn't require a great deal of brain work as you would have in games such as Half Life or Metroid Prime, this is either a good or bad thing depending entirely on the kind of FPS gaming experience you like.
There are a large number of grotesque cybernetic monstrosities arrayed against you in Quake II from grunts, attack dogs, and walking tanks each presenting their own unique weaponry and attack styles. Often you will have to find the best weapon to take on whichever opponent your facing at any particular time. For the more powerful enemies in later levels you certainly need something more powerful than your trusty blaster pistol that never runs out of ammo.
Weapons in this game are each located in convenient and accessible locations however ammunition is relatively scarce and must be used conservatively if you are to have chance of making through the level.
It is often a better tactic to try and avoid killing every in sight by instead find ways to bypass them altogether and so help conserve your precious ammo supply for when you really need it. Completion of the levels does not require to have to kill every living thing in sight even if the game does encourage it. Taken together the utilisation of different weapons on different enemies and who to kill and who to avoid add an element of strategy to what otherwise could have been a fairly mindless shooter and helps keep the game all the more interesting.
Originally Quake II on the PC utilised a keyboard and mouse control scheme but the game has been well adapted to work with the Playstation analogue joypad with responsive an easy to use and easy to master control scheme.
There are one or two glitches to look out for, sometime collision detection is slightly off whereby enemies take damage from near miss shots. Also if you stand nose to nose with an enemy you will sometimes find you won't be able to hit them so you will need to back up a little. But these glitches don't impact the game in any great way.
Quake II will present a tough challenge for may gamers even on easy mode and particular mention has to be made in regard to the end of game boss who is utterly rock hard, so there is plenty of gaming action here to keep you occupied for a long time.
So all in all Quake II features great graphics (for the Playstation) good music and intense high action gameplay that will keep you coming back for more even all these years later. For classic FPS game fans, and Playstation game collectors this is a must own.
Quake II was the follow-up to the mightily impressive Quake, a 3D FPS (first person shooter) which was revolutionary in both its design and execution, leaving the predecessor Doom in its wake. Doom was not part of the indomitable Quake series, but the next step in the evolution of the genre and a pioneer in gaming. ID software, not content with the largely hellish yet at the same time medieval, macabre and vintage setting of Quake, decided to take a different route with Quake II, shunning the earthy Quake for a very futuristic setting which would not look out of place on some of the latest sci-fi movies. With the game having been released on the PC for some time and not having the hardware capable of playing such a beast, I was very glad when it was released for my Playstation as I finally got the chance to play it. As soon as I opened the box, I was already aware of the fact that the graphics would probably be on a par with a top spec PC but after some good reviews in various magazines, were curious if it could live up to the hype. PLOT -------- The storyline is the usual fare you?d expect from a game that is high on action, the banal background that your troops has landed on the planet Stroggos, intent in destroying everything in sight with maximum impact. The one plot twist in this apparent mess, is that you get separated from the rest of your fellow troopers and the result is an adrenalin fuelled rush to escape your surroundings, find your crew and get the hell out of there! GAMEPLAY ------------------ Levels are traversed using keys to open doors, using elevators to reach higher levels and picking up one of the many guns lying around, each designed to blow away the aliens with differing intensity. You?ll soon
discover that the blaster you shipped with doesn?t cut it; so locating a new gun is heaven to begin with. Play around with separate guns versus different enemies to find out which is most effective. Not being able to use a keyboard and mouse to navigate your way around, you?re left with a dual shock controller which surprisingly considering its shortcomings, does an admirable job. Using the left stick to look around at your surroundings, the four buttons on the front of the pad move you in each direction and most importantly the front R button shoots your weapon. Customisation of buttons to your own configuration is simple by using one of the menus accessible from the main menu screen. Multiplayer is a real gem and a lot of fun, get a mate and preferably another PS with a TV and spend all day fighting to the death. There?s something incredibly satisfying about wasting your mates with a chain gun?.obviously not something I would recommend in real life though, unless you want a swift ride to a jail cell! GRAPHICS --------------- Not a patch on its PC counterpart, but also trying not to be the same on ageing hardware, the graphics are average at best, but functional and playable at the same time. The textures are models have been cut down and simplified to cope with the Playstation graphics engine, but the result is commendable as there is very little slowdown. As a player, I, and probably the majority of people would definitely prefer a playable game to one that looked nice but jerked the second you moved. LASTABILITY ------------------ The single player game is fairly hard, but not that difficult for the hardened FPS player. Once you learn about each enemy and which gun is best to pick them off, it?s just a matter
of surviving, although this varies from an easy stroll to victory to an adrenalin rush of fight versus flight. One of the best feelings in the game is the running around for survival with only a wimpy gun, or no ammo being chased by something big and ugly as in some areas supplies are sparse, probably to create this effect. The real longevity in this game however is the multiplayer. As mentioned before, the replay value is huge if you are playing with your friends and the fun factor increases exponentially FINAL WORD ------------------- Overall the Playstation transition of Quake II is a pretty good little game but now vastly overshadowed by PC?s and updated technology. It is one of the games I remember from when I was much younger though, so I thought I?d review it for dooyoo. If you still own an original playstation and see this game on a market stall or somewhere for peanuts then you should warrant this purchase as it is a decent FPS.