Quake II (PlayStation 5) Review

By Albert Lichi 16.08.2023

Review for Quake II on PlayStation 5

Quake II stands as a testament to the human spirit's unending quest for both creativity and challenge. It's a game where fear and excitement entwine, a world that beckons you to explore its depths and conquer its macabre abominations. The design of Quake II is a revelation, a glimpse into the future as seen from the past. It carries the spirit of its predecessor, but its essence is imbued with a sense of foresight that keeps it relevant to today's gamers. What does this remaster entail and how complete is it?

In the late 1990s, a technological odyssey was underway - a journey that would birth a technological marvel that defied convention and captivated the hearts of gamers across the globe. The original Quake was the first game to use 3D hardware acceleration and was illuminated by the sparks of innovation. John Carmack and his team at id Software embarked on a quest to push the boundaries of 3D graphics. They had already proven themselves with the ray-casting technology with Doom and its sequels, but Quake was a game changer for the industry at large and set the standard for computer games moving forward, as well as being one of the most enjoyable first-person shooters ever made.

The echoes of their previous triumphs reverberated, but they sought to transcend the confines of their own creation, Quake. It was a voyage into uncharted territory, a place where 3D graphics would evolve into something more - something that would reshape the very landscape of interactive entertainment.

The creation of Quake II was no ordinary endeavour. The developers were like modern day alchemists, harnessing the arcane forces of code and design to weave a tapestry of unimaginable wonders. With each line of code, each pixel meticulously placed, a world began to take shape - a dimension of grungy, industrial fortresses, alien landscapes, and heart-pounding challenges.

The year is 2066, and Earth is under siege by a malevolent alien race known as the Strogg. With their advanced technology and insidious tactics, they've managed to conquer entire worlds, leaving a wake of destruction in their path. As our protagonist, you stand as the last line of defence - a sentinel of hope against the encroaching darkness.

Screenshot for Quake II on PlayStation 5

The marine's journey takes him through the heart of the Strogg's mechanical fortresses, their sprawling bases a testament to their ruthless efficiency. It's not just the enemy's might that he must contend with though; it's the eerie ambiance of the alien terrain that seeps into his very soul. Metallic corridors echo with the whispers of danger, and every step forward is a step deeper into the unknown.

As he battles his way through hordes of cybernetic soldiers and grotesque monstrosities, our protagonist begins to unravel the Strogg's secrets. Their sinister plan becomes clear: to harvest human bodies and convert them into their own twisted kind. It's a nightmarish revelation that fuels his determination - a determination to put an end to this alien scourge.

Quake introduced players to a world of eldritch horrors and arcane landscapes. Its corridors echoed with the whispers of ancient evils and Lovecraftian mysteries. Despite its uncanny nature, it does not intertwine with Quake II, for this tale emerges as a distinct entity - a universe with its own narrative orbiting in a different constellation. The threads that bind these two games are frayed, non-existent, and a testament to the developers' intent to craft separate narratives.

As the protagonist traverses the alien terrain, the air crackles with tension, each shadow concealing the imminent threat of the Strogg, an insidious race bent on humanity's subjugation. Armed with an arsenal of futuristic weaponry, gamers wage a symphony of destruction against these otherworldly foes. The sound of weapons echoes through metallic corridors, a melody of survival that resonates in the face of adversity.

Screenshot for Quake II on PlayStation 5

The Thunderbolt, a weapon that harnesses the essence of electricity. With a crackle of energy, it launches bolts of lighting that dance across the battlefield, seeking out enemies with an almost sentient determination. Each discharge is a reminder that the line between the natural and the artificial has blurred, and the heavens themselves have yielded to human mastery.

The Thunderbolt is just the overture to this symphony of destruction. The Railgun takes the stage - a sniper's dream, a target's nightmare. This weapon propels an electrified projectile with unparalleled accuracy, a bolt that pierces through time and space to find its target. The air resonates with the hum of potential energy as you line up your shot, and with a pull of the trigger, the world itself seems to hold its breath before the cataclysmic impact.

The BFG10K is the crescendo. This awesome weapon unleashes an orb of energy that devours everything in its path, an explosion that swallows the battlefield whole. The very air vibrates with the anticipation of annihilation as this weapon's payload converges on its target. The ground shakes, the air shatters, and in the wake of its power, only echoes remain.

Quake II's gameplay is not just about combat; exploration of the complex maps that are interconnected lie in wait. As players navigate through sprawling bases and haunting landscapes, expect to uncover the intricacies of the Strogg's machinery and the secrets they guard. Puzzles will challenge the intellect, and each solved enigma is a step forward towards survival in this terrible future.

The enemies encountered are not mere obstacles; they're manifestations of the Strogg's malevolent ingenuity. From cybernetic soldiers to monstrous aberrations, each adversary is a testament to the game's design that seeks to test reflexes and adaptability. It's a dance of survival, a ballet of strategy, as you engage in tactical warfare against overwhelming odds.

Screenshot for Quake II on PlayStation 5

This remaster rises beyond the ordinary standards. It offers a canvas of options, a palette of tweaks that allow players to tailor the game's essence to the player's whims. The new 3D models pay homage to the original's intent - and yet, in this rebirth, they carry a modern flourish with tastefully detailed 3D meshes. Enhanced lighting paints the landscapes with newfound brilliance, while motion blur adds an ethereal quality to the action. It's not just the technical evolution that astounds; it's the inclusion of the very heart and soul of Quake II - its DLC campaigns. Among these expansions, a diamond gleams brightest - Call of the Machine.

In a scenario meticulously woven by the hands of MachineGames, the gameplay of Quake II is propelled to its very zenith, where boundaries blur and the unknown beckons. The multitude of adversaries and the labyrinthine complexity of the level design emerge as the crown jewel within this offering's enigmatic depths. They eclipse even the esteemed base Quake II campaign, not solely in terms of their superlative quality but also in the expanses of time they unfurl. Most shockingly, MachineGames managed to find a way to bridge Quake to its sequel in this new campaign.

Levels from the Nintendo 64 version of Quake II are transported through time to be experienced anew. The past and the present converge in this ethereal dance, offering a journey through the corridors of nostalgia. Cross-play multiplayer unites players across time and space, forging connections that transcend the boundaries of platform preference. Within this remaster's vault lies a trove of forgotten treasures - unused development assets restored to their former glory. It's a tribute to the craftsmanship that birthed the game, a window into the alternate paths that creativity could have tread.

In the end, the development of Quake II was more than just the creation of a game. It was a testament to the power of human creativity, the unrelenting pursuit of perfection, and the ever-present desire to push the boundaries of what's possible. In the realm of game development, Quake II stands as a monument, a reminder that the journey into the depths of innovation is a story filled with twists, turns, and a profound sense of wonder.

Screenshot for Quake II on PlayStation 5

Cubed3 Rating

10/10
Rated 10 out of 10

Masterpiece - Platinum Award

Rated 10 out of 10

This new iteration of Quake II is the definitive approach to remastering a classic. The past melds seamlessly with the present, as not only are the two original expansions resurrected, but the very campaign from Quake II 64 is transposed. The new campaign crafted by the hands of MachineGames is a testament to the fusion of innovation and nostalgia. This revitalization becomes a symphony of rejuvenation, as the past is reborn in the crucible of the present, leaving players to navigate a world that is both familiar and novel, both retro and modern. This is not just a remaster; it's a journey through time, a testament to the power of transformation.

Developer

Nightdive

Publisher

Bethesda Softworks

Genre

First Person Shooter

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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