Posts Tagged ‘quake 2’

“Quake II” Demo Impressions

October 12, 2009 Leave a comment


Quake II? As in the one that came out in 1997? You’d better believe it. People probably aren’t buying Quake II anymore, but I still want to put my impressions of the demo up… just because.

So, first off, why did I bother to play the Quake II PC demo? Well, I saw it on Steam today and thought I’d give it a look. I’ve been reading a book lately about id Software, and the Quake series is one of the things they are most famous for. Quake Live, the free-to-play, multiplayer-only browser adaptation of the series is the only Quake game I had played, and I wanted to change that with this demo.

My immediate impressions were, “Seriously? These are the graphics?” Everything had a very pixelated look, even though all the environments and characters were in total 3D. The next thing I noticed were the controls… specifically how the arrow keys were used to move and W, A, S, and D did nothing. At first I couldn’t find a way to look up or down, so I assumed Quake II would be like Doom, where your shots hit enemies as long as you directly face them, regardless of their elevation. That thought got thrown out the window as soon as some demented looking thing started shooting at me from below a staircase, and my shots aimed towards it but not directly at it did nothing. So, messing around in the options menu, I turned on the “free aim” (why exactly would that not always be on?) and changed the button configuration to match my preference – specifically, using W and S to move and A and D to strafe.

Now that I could finally navigate the game, I could actually focus on the action at hand. The demo consisted of only one level (not counting the multiplayer portion; I tried to find a server to log on to, but of course I didn’t find one) split up into a few different sections. The location was standard id affair – a base on some distant planet overrun with demonic, heavily armed bad guys. I couldn’t tell exactly what the story was despite a staticy radio voice buzzing in my ear the whole time, but I did appreciate the atmosphere the ambient noises created. I never felt scared or anything like that, but there was a sense of being in only a small part of a larger conflict, as distant explosions could be heard in the background.

The guns were cool, but some felt a little overpowered. At the beginning each enemy posed a threat because I had nothing but a pistol, but once I started finding things like the chaingun and the super shotgun, everybody took just one or two hits before exploding into bloody, 1997-quality gibs. Even the boss at the very end went down easily, so I can’t help but wonder whether all the weapons in the demo were put there just so people could see what was available in the real game, or if they are really supposed to be there. If the latter is true, then Quake II‘s main challenge comes from simply trying to find out where to go next. I had a couple times where I was confused, but ultimately I was able to find the right path, so in the demo at least, navigation isn’t too much of an issue for Quake II.

When I reached the end after about 20 minutes, I immediately uninstalled the demo. It wasn’t bad, but it was dated. I certainly wasn’t going to go back to it time and time again, anyway. If you’re interested in retro 3D shooters as I am at the moment, go ahead and download the demo from Steam or some other place on the internet. For those wishing to stick to a better version of Quake, I say go play Quake Live.

By Josh60502