Quake II was one of the best games to come out in the late ‘90s. The game was actually the first id Software title that was shipped without having one of the company’s known founders: John Romero. It was a game that proved id Software could make a hit video game without having John Romero’s imagination behind the scenes.
The game would also become one of id Software’s successful products at the time. Quake II sold very well during its inception. Not only that, the game has spawned two expansions and throughout the years, it was also ported on various consoles.
Fast forward to the year of 2023, Quake II Remaster was recently released during Quakecon 2023. The remastered version was made by Nightdive Studios and it is by far the most complete version that one can get if you plan on playing this beloved ‘90s shooter. Quake II is certainly an old game because it was released back in 1997, but the game hasn’t shown its age at all.
If you’re someone who hasn’t played the game yet, but do have some remote of interest, you’ve come to the right place. I have five convincing reasons of why you should play Quake II and it is easily the best time to get into the game than ever thanks to Quake II Remaster being a thing.
High Quality Campaign Experience
If you’re the kind of player who enjoy fighting AI over players, Quake II has a fantastic single player experience. It definitely is one of the best single player campaign experiences from id Software. What makes it great to play is you’ll be going through different locations in the game’s world, and all the level certainly has their own specific feel in terms of pacing and difficulty. This makes Quake II feel like it’s never getting repetitive or makes you feel like you’re doing the same thing. During its time, Quake II did feel similar to a lot of previous games that id Software has released.
Quake II is simply a slower Doom-styled shooter with more emphasis on world building and immersion. The game is heavily revolved around hub-based worlds, so that means it wasn’t like the old Doom games where you would look for the exit and enter the next level. This made Quake II felt “real” for the time. Since the game is Doom inspired, there are a lot of bad guys for you to kill and cool weapons to use.
All the enemies are very well designed and they will feel different from each other which are one of the things that make Quake II combat satisfying to get into. The weapons are mostly your standard fair weapons at the time like shotguns, machine guns, and rocket launcher. But the Railgun was absolutely the real standout weapon because it might’ve been the first high risk and high reward type of weapon that was designed back then.
This sort of design would eventually be implemented in other first-person shooters like the AWP from Counter-Strike or the Sniper Rifle from Halo. There are also secrets and the levels are laid out for you to explore. The remaster version recently added a compass mechanic that can help players figure out where to go if they get lost because it can happen while playing Quake II. Quake II also had two expansions released during its prime years. They are both quality content too.
The funny thing is, the third Quake title would actually abandon its single player campaign in favor of a more multiplayer driven experience. Thankfully, id Software never took that route for Quake II because its single player portion is certainly remarkable and is one of the best from the genre. The game does have a multiplayer component too, and it is a blast to play if you want some frantic fast paced deathmatch action, but I’d suggest folks to try out campaign first. You can also play the campaign cooperatively.
It’s hard to not mention the awesome soundtrack when talking about Quake II. It’s basically a soundtrack for those who love heavy metal, and is certainly still a banger to this day. Most of the music is generally there to pump you up while you’re killing the bad guys, but there are some tracks that are more ambient and not so aggressive just to mix things up a bit. I still remember the days when I first played Quake II, and I knew the soundtrack was easily going to be the thing that I’ll remember forever because it was just that good. To this day, I still like to listen to the various tracks just because sometimes I’m in the mood for something energetic or I need something to get me warmed up before I exercise. The soundtrack is simply timeless, and I definitely thought Mick Gordon’s tribute to “Descent Into Cerberon” at The Game Awards 2016 was awesome too.
Influential to Your Favorite Games
Quake II definitely inspired a decent amount of games after its inception. It is noticeable for the newer Doom titles. For anybody that loves the newfangled Doom titles, Quake II almost feels like those games except it was made for the late ‘90s and using the technology back then. The new Doom titles do have a heavy metal soundtrack, so does Quake II. In Doom 2016, the Chaingun is required to shoot slowly, and then it shoots at its full speed, so does Quake II. In Doom Eternal, your Super Shotgun can grapple towards enemies while in Quake II, the Grappling Hook was an exclusive item in Capture the Flag used for momentum purposes. Basically, Quake II is simply a game that probably inspired a lot of your favorite games even though you aren’t aware of it.
Amazing Value (Because of the Remaster version)
Ever since Quake II Remaster has existed, the value that you get is simply amazing. You get the base PC game and all its expansion back in the day, a Nintendo 64 port which is different from the PC version, and a brand new expansion: Call of the Machine. If you’re looking for an affordable game, but don’t mind the old school sensibility, Quake II Remaster does that. Before the Remaster version existed, it was definitely tougher to get all the game’s content and being able to pay cheaply. Now, you can easily experience all of Quake II’s glory for the price of $10 and you get a brand new content that was never made during the game’s inception. Also, the new content is solid too.
Unleash Your Power Fantasy
For my last reason is primarily based on my long term experience of playing the game. I can definitely say that if you do spend a lot of time replaying the campaigns, the game does gets more interesting. The great thing about Quake II is you can manually choose to when to use your valuable power ups like Quad Damage or Invulnerability. This means you can create some cool power fantasy styled playing. I remember I would like to save up both Quad Damage and Invulnerability and perform some specialized rocket jumps and then go on a massive killing spree with it. Stuff like this makes Quake II fun to replay and experiment for a stylish playing that you cannot experience on a first time playthrough.
Those are my five reasons of why you should play Quake II if you have some sort of interest in it. In the year of 2023, it is simply the best time to play it because of the Remaster version. A game like Quake II definitely deserves a treatment like this because it was one of the best games back in the late ‘90s and it still holds up well. Quake II may be old, but it is far away from being an obsolete game. You can always play it and appreciate it for what it is.