A love letter to gaming’s past
Review: Quake II Remaster
After a surprise drop, a remaster of Quake II has made its way to current platforms. The game’s remaster serves as a love letter to one of the most influential First Person Shooters of yesteryear.
Much like the first game’s re-release, developers Nightdive Studios have included a generous package, which includes the original game, all follow ups and DLC, and the Nintendo 64 game Quake II 64. The game also includes online multiplayer for competitive and cooperative play.
While the graphics have been improved, the developers have worked to retain as much of the original charm as they could. This includes adding a CRT mode to the game to provide a close reenactment of the original.
The gameplay remains rock-solid, with fast paced fire fights, and everything runs smoothly even when a lot is happening on screen. The enemies prove to be challenging on all difficulty levels, responding to the player’s attacks and putting up a fight. Gameplay is split between firefights and puzzles, which usually involve finding items or pushing particular buttons. In all encounters, players will need to consider each move before acting, and there is a constant juggling of resources such as ammo and health.
A good remaster serves as a celebration of the original game, and in this regard, Nightdive have fared very well, going as far as to include the original developers in the game credits.
Complaints are few, but as is sometimes the case with faithful recreations, all will be familiar here for people who played the original title way back in 1997. The game is a step back in time, and the same game mechanics that were popular then remain in place.
Players’ mileage will vary accordingly, especially if their first shooter was Call of Duty or Halo. There is no automatic health regeneration to be had, and some of the levels are difficult. In saying that, both the original PC title and the Nintendo 64 version stand out as fun.
Of course, the game is a first person shooter with plenty of violence and blood. This is all executed in the stylised and deliberately over-the-top ways and could not be taken seriously. However, the game is not likely to be suitable for younger players as a result.
With another successful remaster under their belt, Nightdive have indicated they are interested in relaunching more classic franchises, including Unreal. If the passion and care they have brought to reviving Quake Is any indicator of how they might fare, Insights hopes they are successful.
Quake II is available on Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, Playstation 5, and PC. It is included on Game Pass.