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Quake 2
"While the entire package oozes with quality there simply is not enough gameplay for the single player." Image Loading...
Developer: Hammerhead
Distributor: Activision
Game Type: Shooter
Review Date: Oct 99
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      After messing around with the options I decided to settle on a Doom style control configuration. Strafing and weapon selection actions can be situated on their most natural surrounding... the shoulder buttons. The face buttons soon became second-nature when shooting, jumping, looking up and down. The Dual Shock feature works a treat enhancing gameplay and adding to the atmosphere.

Image Loading... The concept of the game is plain and simple. For the uninitiated Quake II is a pure shoot-em-up... kill, or be killed. It involves a battalion of 3D monsters that manoeuvre themselves into strategic attack locations and relentlessly hunt the player down. The creatures Artificial intelligence is mighty impressive. They track your every move and work out the most tactically efficient route to spring a surprise attack on you. They will also change their tactics depending on how aggressively they are attacked at various points in the game.

I began on the Medium setting and soon wished I had opted for the maximum challenge. Press releases had led me to believe that there were approximately 20 levels, but I waltzed through the first four areas easily within half an hour. At the end of this session the facts and figures appeared on screen recording my number of kills and secrets found in Mission 1. Ah-ha! I thought. There must be 20 Missions in the game and this opening section must surely be to allow the player to ease into the controls.

Image Loading...The playing area is littered with ammo, health packs and power-up's, although the best packages must be discovered in the many hidden areas. These may be accessed by blasting at crates or walls that hide secret rooms and passageways. Before very long more powerful weapons will become available such as double barrel shot-guns, machine guns, hyperblasters and rocket launchers.

The facility to look up and down adds a further dimension to gameplay as enemies not only attack from multiple levels above, but also from pits and traps down below. Higher levels may be accessed by climbing stairs, riding elevators or jumping up strategically placed blocks. Lower levels may be reached by reversing the above methods, jumping off ledges or walking over a disguised floor trap. Mind the spikes!

Mission 2 began with a bang. The difficulty suddenly switched from cake-walk to mega-tough and it took many attempts to pass the patrolling guardian. "This was more like it", I thought... and so it continued for an hour and a half before... Mission 2 complete... five more sections.

Image Loading... Mission 3 was very similar and ended with a Boss character that took little time to dispose of. Mission 4 involved running back and forth collecting keys and activating lifts, before Mission 5 informed me that I must seek out the Boss and prepare for the final battle. ??? Final battle? The Boss was defeated and the credits began to roll. Less than seven hours of gripping gameplay and Quake 2 was complete. I was gutted! Doom took months. Duke Nukem took weeks. Quake II took hours!

As a weakened defence there are 12 mini multiplayer levels that are a ball to play. Both the two and four player split-screen modes are a great bonus when a few mates call round. But these 'side games' shouldn't have been to the detriment of the single player mode.

Game Options:
      This is a 1 disk game for 1-4 Players with split-screen and link-up mode. It is compatible with the standard (digital) joypad and the analog stick controls of the dual shock joypad. Games can be saved via memory card (1 block per save).

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Staff Opinions  
Martin: Along with so many other gamers I have patiently waited for many years to see Quake appear on this console. While the entire package oozes with quality, there simply is not enough gameplay for the single player. You could have knocked me over with a feather duster when the credits began to roll after a measly 7-8 hours play on Medium setting. This unlocked the Silver cheats which allow the player to customize the Multi-player mode. With this in mind I decided to replay the entire game on the hardest setting, seeking out all of the secrets and covering every area. It barely took six hours to complete and all I unlocked was 'unlimited ammo in Multi-player mode'.

As they use to say in the rag trade "Never mind the quality, feel the width". Sadly within three days I was back playing Doom.
Graphics: 16/20
Playability: 44/50
Sound: 9/10
Lastability: 11/20
Overall: 80%
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