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GF! Archival Version Copyright 1995-2004

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by Activision

Ups: Cool multiplayer; nice graphics; port of classic PC game.

Downs: Not much new; nothing really exceptional about the game.

System Reqs:
Sony Playstation (Multi Tap optional)

Base2-0002-01.jpg (4074 bytes)Well I have to admit that I’ve had only brief exposure Quake II on the PC, so that doesn’t exactly make me an expert. I am, however, an expert at destroying evil aliens, zombies, demons, and all other fiendish foes of humanity, as well as friends, old ladies, children, and anyone else willing to pick up a controller and step into the video battlefield --and this makes me enormously qualified to talk about Quake II.

Base2-0010-01.jpg (3694 bytes)First person shooters have presented something of a revolution for computer gaming. Stellar graphics and the ability to blast away at your friends on the other side of the world have combined to form a somewhat fanatical following dedicated not only to the destruction of insidious cybernetic aliens, but of anyone who thinks they have what it takes to step into the ring and go a few rounds. Until recently the console market was mostly left out of the first person battlefield. With an increasing number of PC translations, and even a few original titles coming to the Playstation, those days are rapidly coming to a close. Enter Quake II, the unrivaled PC legend of first person shooters has entered into the Playstation arena. So does it deliver? The answer is a some what predictable yes and no.

ss1_thumb.jpg (2135 bytes)The graphics in Quake II are done very well, despite the Playstation's limited hardware. They don’t stack up to the PC, but they’re still pretty good. There are a few texture problems, and occasional dull presentation of terrain and obstacles, but overall it still does a good job in the graphics department. The unfortunate side effect of the groovy graphics are frequent load times. The load times certainly aren’t unreasonably long, but they are frequent. When you’re running back and forth a lot to fulfill various missions, or if you tend to get lost a lot and forget where you’re supposed to be going like I do, then it gets pretty annoying having to pause and load every thirty seconds or so. The sound is done very well and adds a lot to the feel of the game. My only complaint here is that the background effects can get old in the single player mode, but the single player mode isn’t where it's at in Quake II anyway. Why play with yourself if you can play with someone else instead? Or even better, play with three other people. If you have the multi tap and a few extra controllers, up to four players at once can slug it out in a death match.

ss2_thumb.jpg (2051 bytes)It’s no secret that the multiplayer action is what Quake II is all about, and the Playstation port is no exception. You have several different multiplayer options available; Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Versus. The deathmatches are pretty straight forward, wax everybody you find, or wax everybody you find who isn’t on your team. The versus differs only in that there are no ammo or health power-ups available. It’s not too complicated, but it sure is fun. It’s the concept that built an industry, and it works no matter what platform you put it on. The game has a fairly respectable twelve different levels for multiplayer action, but on the downside some of the levels are pretty small and soon become predictable. There’s just no substitution for the immensity of the PC game, and as a result you’re not going to get the variety on the console.

ss3_thumb.jpg (2029 bytes)My main complaint with Quake II isn’t what it did wrong, which is very little, but with what it didn’t do at all. Quake II seemed to be more of an obligatory port to the Playstation than an attempt to bring something new and exciting to the console market. If you’ve played it on the PC, than you’ve seen it done bigger and better. If you’re just looking for some great multiplayer action on your Playstation, then there’s a huge variety of genres and other first person shooters out there all vying for your attention and your hard earned dollars. Quake II, while certainly not a bad game, didn’t do anything to distinguish itself from the ever tightening hordes of competition. With new first person shooters like EA’s Medal of Honor hitting the Playstation, the competition looks to get even more intense.

ss4_thumb.jpg (1876 bytes)The bottom line on Quake II is that it set its sights on par, nailed it on the head and pretty much does every thing it set out to do, but that doesn’t mean as much as it did a year ago. If you love first person shooters and missed Quake II on the PC then you definitely won’t be disappointed. If you’re just looking for a good multiplayer game then Quake II is a good game, but it’s not a great game.

--Jeff Luther