Dom Robinson reviews
id Software Limited
Quake IIis an experience that few PC gamers will have let pass them by, particularlyif they’re a disciple of the first-person shooter genre. It’s already beenreleased on the Nintendo 64 and finally Playstation owners get a taste of theaction.
In 1994, I ventured into the PC market and started to play an engaging gamecalled Wolfenstein 3D. Watching from the point-of-view of your own eyes,the task was to get from one level to the next and to stay alive either bykilling the enemy or avoiding them, as well as topping your strength up withfood and replenishing your ammo. From there I progressed with relish toDoom, Doom II and Playstation owners were eventually treated to acompilation with a few extra levels, entitled Final Doom.
Not one to call a halt to it there, id Software moved the goalpostsonce again and created Quake. Not only could you move around dungeons- and this time with graphics that went above and beyond the call of duty,courtesy of 3Dfx technology – but an element of multiplayer gaming (aka the”Deathmatch”) was brought in. Choose to frag the ‘bots in the standard lairsprovided, or startup your modem and pit your wits against the elite online.This usually resulted, in my case, of having your ass whipped several timesbefore you even knew what was going on and created gameplay that was excitingand frenetic. Quake II, while more resources-hungry, only served toimprove on what had gone before it.
While PC owners have seen the release of Quake III: Arena, itspredecessor is here for the Playstation owners at last. Fitting Quake IIonto one CD with its wealth of hardware from shotguns and grenades to chaingunsand rocket launchers, masses of complex levels and enemies galore was nevergoing to be an easy job so is this conversion worth its salt?
Graphics, Sound and Playability
If there’s one thing a Playstation cannot do it is to emulate the qualityof a 3Dfx card. The Playstation 2 looks more likely to take this on, but fornow what this release lacks in graphical definition it almost makes up forin lavish tones, with every new area a technicolour dazzle. It also movesa damn sight faster than you’d expect it to, porting a game across to aplatform that’s heading for its fifth birthday, by which time most consoleswould be heading for the knackers yard.
“What about the deathmatch ?”, I hear you cry. No, you can’t go onlinebut you can have up to four players killing each other not so softly with thescreen split into four and multitap heaven is at your fingertips. Twelve levelshave been provided and it’ll take you a long time to work your way throughthose.
The sound is, too, almost on a par with the PC equivalent. Kill, crush, destroyand drop a grenade to get the bad guys right up the shooter. Turn up the volumefor maximum enjoyment, although your neighbours may disagree.
“What’s that clanking noise I can hear but can’t work out where it’s coming from?”
“Who the f**k is that shooting at me? There’s no-one around!”
As ever for a Playstation game when you’re used to the PC controls, it willtake a little while to get used to the joypad but it’s nowhere near anythingto worry about too much as Resident Evil proved it is possible tothink fast and flick your fingers to the right button in time…most of thetime.
I’ve given all the categories four out of five because I’ve been through thePC version of Quake II and nothing can compare to that one. Those witha PC and a Playstation should choose the former, but without the power of theformer, the grey box owners will have a whale of a time with this release.
Quake II is the last game I ever expected to see on this platformand Hammerhead deserve a medal for their work, making this a realisticalternative for those who don’t have hundreds of pounds to invest in a PCand the spectacle of colour looks sooooooo good on a 32″ widescreen television!
If you’re after some more info on id Software’s games, you can checkout their official Website atwww.idsoftware.comGRAPHICS : ****SOUND EFFECTS AND MUSIC: ****PLAYABILITY: ****ORIGINALITY : ****ENJOYMENT : ****——————————-OVERALL : ****
Review copyright © Dominic Robinson, 2000.
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.