As much fun as Turok 2 and South Park (okay, Turok 2 then), Quake II adds a serious and mature style to traditional corridor shooting. Save the Earth? Better save your money instead – Quake II is here and it kicks ass.
GamePro Score User Score Write your review! For a while, gamers thought Quake II for the Nintendo 64 was destined to sit in limbo while id and Activision worked out design problems and technical difficulties. But the time they took with Quake II was well spent–now gamers will be able to get their hands on one of the best console corridor-shooters of all time.
Delving into Quake II’s high-octane mayhem will cost you. You’ll definitely need an Expansion Pak to optimally view the game’s rich, layered graphics–playing without it is like playing QII on an Atari 2600. Fortunately, the Pak easily remedies the chunky breakup and bad polygon-meshing.
At QII’s graphical peak, you’ll find great-looking monsters and cyborg soldiers, many of which are from the PC version–there are even a couple of new surprises and enemies thrown in. The texture-mapping on said enemies is so realistic (if you’re using the Expansion Pak), you’d swear you were playing the game on a high-end PC. While there is a minor frame dropout compared to the speed of the PC, the game stills moves faster and plays smoother than any other console-shooter right now.
Gamers are also treated to great new levels (Activision claims they’re all new levels, but they look suspiciously close to those in the PC version) and a variety of secrets and hidden areas. Of course, QII includes awesome weaponry–you’ll find all the PC-favorites on the N64 version, like the railgun, hyperblaster, and rocket launcher.
QII is also loaded with multiplayer options such as deathmatches, frag teams, frag wars, and deathtag. Although the joy of multiplayer scenarios will greatly depend on the size of your TV, they all work together to add another layer of depth to the game. After all, Quake wouldn’t be Quake without solid multiplayer action.
Taking a backseat to the excellent action is a story line which is basic and inelegant. You’re a space marine on a mission to wipe out the Strogg, a cybernetic race that wants to eliminate every single living thing on Earth.
As you plumb the depths of the Strogg planet, you’ll feel your hair stand on end because of what your ears are picking up. Subtle moans and spine-chilling screams float through the halls and corridors–but the terrible edginess of these sounds are no match for the grunting, flesh-tearing sounds of an enemy that is ripping you to shreds. Other ambient sounds include the cooling-down of the chaingun and the hollow sound of grenades hitting the ground before detonation. Folded into this mix are creepy compositions of music that fit the tension-filled atmosphere like OJ fits into a glove–tight.
QII’s control is basic and easily configurable. The yellow C-buttons are used to move your character forward and backward, and to strafe left to right. The analog stick enables you to precisely aim your weapon as well as to look up and down.
All that precision and expert control is much needed in a game like this where the A.I. of your enemies is extremely volatile. Forget sending a grenade into an unsuspecting enemy’s chest–they’ll now track the projectile’s movement and play hide-and-sneak to get closer to you.
Quake II will reign as one of the best shooters of 1999 with its superb level layout, horribly disturbing (but thrilling) graphics, and great sound. But Quake II may find itself in the spotlight for its extremely violent content. Yes, there are many images of cyborgs being shot and decapitated, but even without the gore, Quake II is certainly one of the best shooters on the N64. South Park can go south and Turok 2 can take a walk–Quake II is here to rule.
Here’s some of the bad-ass weaponry you’ll find in Quake II.
The weapon of choice, especially for close combat. Always make sure you’re packing plenty of shells because it uses two shells for each shot.
It’s one bad mother, but it uses bullets like the President uses interns–fast! Good for flying blasting enemies and wounding fools from far away.
Great for clearing out unexplored territory and for popping enemies that are lurking around corners.
Effective for blasting enemies that are both near and far, but doesn’t completely eliminate all the Strogg. If a berserker or gunner comes after you, nail them once with the railgun, then nail them again as they kneel to recover.
The best for popping enemies from far away. Look over ledges to see if an unsuspecting Strogg is milling around, then blast it from above.
BFG It’s here, it’s fear–get used to it. Use anywhere, just for the hell of it.
When you first enter the level, you’ll see an inaccessible suit of armor. Go up one level and cross the walkway, then turn left after the door. You are now above the armor. Jump down to it!
Just before you grab the data disc and leave the level, blast the wall with shorted-out electrical circuits to uncover some extra health.
As you proceed, you’ll find some nasty flyers. Gun down the two flyers and the enforcer, then go to the right of the steps and shoot the switch. The silencer is now yours.
Just around the corner at the beginning of the level are a berserker and an iron maiden. Blast ’em both, then shoot the air vent above them to find the mega-health.
After setting the first charge, go step on the elevator, then quickly step off. Underneath it is a switch. Shoot it, pan to the left, and grab the adrenaline pack.
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