|“||Shortly after landing on an alien surface, you learn that hundreds of your men have been reduced to just a few. Now you must fight your way through heavily fortified military installations, lower the city's defenses and shut down the enemy's war machine. Only then will the fate of humanity be known.||”|
—id Software overview
Quake II was released on December 9 1997, developed by id Software and distributed by Activision. Quake II isn't the sequel to Quake, it merely uses its name due to id's difficulties in acquiring the trademark for an alternative title. It also has two official expansion packs. The Reckoning and Ground Zero. These two expansion packs involve new weapons and enemies.
- Main article: Quake II Story
Quake II takes place in a futuristic sci-fi environment. During the single player campaign, you take the role of a Marine called Bitterman, taking part in "Operation Alien Overlord", attempting to save Earth from the Strogg invasion by counter-attacking their planet, Stroggos. During the first attack on Stroggos, the Big Gun strikes down most of the Marine pods with a powerful EMP blast. This causes most of the pods to crash land (many miles from their target landing zones). Most of the Marines are captured or killed but Bitterman is one of the lucky few to survive. He finds himself many miles from the Big Gun in a Strogg Base on the outskirts of the City.
Operation Alien Overlord has 4 key objectives that Bitterman must complete over the course of the game.
- I) Establish a Communication Uplink
- II) Destroy the planetary defense system
- III) Disable the interplanetary gateway
- IV) Assassinate the Makron commander.
The player will complete other smaller objectives in between these four main objectives, such as destroying the Security Grid to gain access to the Big Gun. These objectives are spread over 10 Units. Bitterman starts off by establishing the communication uplink to allow him self to receive objectives deeper in the Alien complex. Bitterman then reaches the Warehouse and destroys the logistical train before walking through to the Jail. Here he completes one of the major secondary objectives, destroying the Laser Grid that protects the inner city from ground assault. Bitterman then makes his way to the Mine in order to reach the Factory. Bitterman disables the Strogg Productions and the makes his way to the Big Gun. Bitterman destroys the Power Plant Reactor to gain access to the Big Gun and destroy it, completing the second main objective.
Bitterman travels to the Hangar to close it and destroy the Black Hole Generator, completing the third main objective. He then walks over to the City Palace where the Makron resides. After destroying the Makron's Communications, Bitterman chases the Makron through the Inner Chamber to the final showdown where Bitterman defeats the Strogg Leader in combat, completing the fourth and final objective.
Quake II is a First Person Shooter game, the player must interact with the environment and fight the various enemies from the perspective of the main character. The game retained most of the original Quake features: fast paced action, large quantity of enemies and some of the first game weapons along with some newly introduced ones.
The single player game features a variety of "levels" and "secret levels" that lead to the completion of the "main objectives" (usually destroying important Strogg structures). After the completion of every "main mission" a CGI cutscene introduces the next one. The player must fulfill various tasks including stealing a Strogg Commander's Head and blowing up the strongest Strogg piece of artillery: the Big Gun. The missions will lead the player to a space station, where the player will have his final showdown against the Makron. Even though a few marines survived the Big Gun at the start, You can see no marines in the game. The only ones you can see are the captured ones, But you can hear other marine voices on BitterMan's radio frequently.
As in the first game, Quake II can be played across the Internet. It features various modes, from the free-for-all Deathmatch to the Single Player Cooperative. Prior to the release of specifically designed Deathmatch maps, the players had to play their free for all games using the single player maps, obviously not designed for Multiplayer play. The Quake II Multiplayer mode retains some of the Quake mechanics like the improved speed, and the possibility to customize the player names and models. Quake II still has a large fan base and community, that provides the possibility to play Multiplayer Matches even after 16 years from its first release.
- Main article: Units of Quake II
The single-player levels of Quake II are grouped into 10 Units. The maps within a Unit are interconnected, and the progression through the Unit can develop in a non-linear fashion; the Units may therefore also be thought of as large levels that consist of a few separate parts. Each Unit takes place in a different part of Stroggos, starting from the Outer Base and ending in the Inner City. The Units take place in important Strogg locations where key objectives to Operation Overlord are completed.
- Q2DM1: The Edge
- Q2DM2: Tokay's Towers
- Q2DM3: The Frag Pipe
- Q2DM4: Lost Hallways
- Q2DM5: The Pits
- Q2DM6: Lava Tomb
- Q2DM7: The Slimy Place
- Q2DM8: WareHouse
- Match1: Reckless Abandon (id's FTP)
- Base64: The Strogg Base (id's FTP)
- City64: Courts at War (id's FTP)
- Sewer64: The Sewers of Stroggos (id's FTP)
Capture the Flag
- Q2CTF1: McKinley Revival
- Q2CTF2: Stronghold Opposition
- Q2CTF3: The Smelter
- Q2CTF4: Outlands
- Q2CTF5: Capture Showdown
- Q2CTF6: Borders Canyon
- Q2CTF7: Boxed In*
- Q2CTF8: The Hangar Scenario**
- Q2CTF4a: Outlands II (id's FTP)
*Incorrectly named as Zorigomi in the "Start network server" menu.
**Incorrectly named as Boxed In in the "Start network server" menu.
In Quake II, there are again 4 difficulty levels which are pretty much the same as Quake's but with different names. They are Easy, Medium, Hard and Hard+. The first three are chosen from the Singleplayer menu, and choosing one will begin a new game in that difficulty.
In Quake II, Easy mode is the only difficulty setting where the enemies will not try to shoot at the player when incapacitated.
Hard+ (the equivalent to Nightmare in Quake) is again hidden and can only be selected by typing "Skill 3" and then "Map Base1" in the console. This will put the player in the very first level with the difficulty of Hard+. Hard+ makes the enemies' attacks faster and the enemies don't start flinching when shot.
Quake II is full of weapons that suit different situations. In order to survive through the alien installations, the player must master all the weapons and find out which weapons work best against different enemies. Click a link below to find out more about each of the weapons and the ammo that fuels them.
Quake II offers a huge amount of power ups to help the player combat the constant threat on the planet surface. These range from health packs and armor to increase the players health and protect it, to special items like Enviromental Suits to allow the player to walk harmlessly across toxic slime. Finding and using these power ups at the best moment in a situation, be it crossing a lake of Lava or battling an ambush of Strogg is key to getting across Stroggos alive and well.
- Main article: Quake II Soundtrack
The soundtrack of Quake II is written by Sonic Mayhem who offer a very different piece compared to Trent Reznor's Quake soundtrack. Whereas Quake's music is ambient and gives an almost pleasant atmosphere full of evil, Quake II is a very heavy metal sound with an emphasis on repetition of phrases. See below for a complete track list on the Quake II CD which can be played on a stereo or any other CD player and ripped onto a computer.
When viewed on a CD player on on a computer, the disc contains 11 tracks although Track 1 is actually game data which cannot be played on audio players. The ten tracks listed start at Track 2 and go down to Track 11.
- Operation Overlord
- Kill Ratio
- March Of The Stroggs
- The Underworld
- Quad Machine
- Big Gun
- Descent Into Cerberon
Quake II was extremely well received, by reviewers and gamers alike. It sold over one million copies. Quake II was the most popular online game for all of 1998.
Gamerankings rated the game with a score of 87.31%  and PSM Magazine rated a full score of 10/10.
- Main article: Quake II Version History
Several patches have been released, offering bug fixes, stability improvements and more.
Several ports of Quake 2 have been released for other platforms.
See: Source port
Two official single-player mission packs were released, which detail the adventures of two other marines who landed on Stroggos at about the same time as Bitterman: Joker (The Reckoning), and Stepchild (Ground Zero).
- Quake II Mission Pack: The Reckoning – released on May 30, 1998, developed by Xatrix Entertainment and published by Activision.
- Quake II Mission Pack: Ground Zero - released on August 31, 1998, developed by Rogue Entertainment and published by Activision.
- Quake II Netpack I: Extremities – released on November 26, 1998 – a collection of some of the best custom maps, models, and mods developed by the online community, compiled by id Software and published by Activision.
There were also two unofficial expansion packs which came out on CDs.
- Quake II Mission Pack: Juggernaut - released in 1998, developed by Canopy Games and published by Head Games.
- Quake II Mission Pack: Zaero - released in 1998, developed by Team Evolve and published by Macmillian Digital Publishing.
- Quake II's engine was formally called the Quake II engine before id Software rebranded their game engines. Both the original Quake and Quake II engine share a common designation: id Tech 2. This is purportedly due to the fact that the engines used to make the two games share identical key components, with the difference between the two games' engines being only subtle and minor changes and additions.
- Patch 3.24 - The unofficial patch by the developers which only can downloaded from Fan project modification website. Link
- Compiled Patch 3.21 - originally released only as source code, can only be applied to Quake 2 version v3.20 - http://www.markshan.com/thesinraven/quake_II_v.3.21.htm
- Patch 3.20 (with DM & CTF levels) - If you have an old version of Quake 2, use this patch to get it to the latest version. Note that there are three versions of this patch - one only includes the patch, another one includes DM levels, and the third one includes CTF along with the DM levels. Link
- CTF v1.50 - The aforementioned v3.20 patch comes with CTF v1.02. Use this patch to install or upgrade to the latest version after you have installed v3.20. Comes with three new maps and new features. Link
- 64 Player Deathmatch Pack - A pack of three maps released by id Software for 64-player servers. Link
- Reckless Abandon - Another bonus map released by id on their FTP. Link
- Outlands II - A bonus CTF map released by id on their FTP. Make sure you have the latest CTF v1.50 installed to play. Link
- Demo - Play through a special version of the first hub for free. Link
- Level Editor - http://www.qeradiant.com/cgi-bin/trac.cgi
- Source Code - Version 3.21 source code of Quake 2. Link
|Expansions||The Reckoning · Ground Zero|
|Enemies||Light Guard · Machine Gun Guard · Shotgun Guard · Barracuda Shark · Enforcer · Berserker · Gunner · Flyer · Parasite · Mutant · Brains · Medic · Icarus · Technician · Gladiator · Iron Maiden · Tank · Tank Commander|
|Bosses||Tank Boss · Hornet · Jorg · Makron|
|Weapons||Blaster · Shotgun · Super Shotgun · Machine Gun · Chain Gun · Grenade · Grenade Launcher · Rocket Launcher · Railgun · Hyperblaster · BFG10k|
|Powerups||Adrenaline · Armor Shard · Jacket Armor · Combat Armor · Body Armor · Ammo Pack · Bandolier · Enviro-Suit · Invulnerability · Key · Megahealth · Quad Damage · Rebreather · Silencer · Stimpack|