Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading.
In this explanatory review, we’re covering QUAKE II by joint developers id Software and Nightdive Studios.
QUAKE II: (The Explanation)
While it shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that the original QUAKE was remastered for the Nintendo Switch back in 2021, QUAKE II has now been given the same treatment courtesy of the masters of faithful video game restorations, Nightdive Studios. QUAKE II was announced during Quakecon 2023 and was immediately released straight after, much like what happened when QUAKE two years prior.
QUAKE II is a first-person shooter game that has the player complete a series of objectives as they progress through each level. There are both primary and secondary objectives with the primary being mandatory in order to reach the next level, and the secondary objectives being optional. Often times, you will complete secondary objectives incidentally as you navigate your way through each of the game’s expansive levels.
Now, although QUAKE II may share the same name and genre as the first game, the story and setting are completely different, and is not a direct sequel by any means. In QUAKE II, you play as a space marine called Bitterman who is part of a military operation that is launching a counter offensive against a progressive and dangerous alien race called the Strogg. This particularly nasty species is hellbent on capturing and killing humans so they can convert their deceased carcasses into horrific cyborgs.
As Bitterman and his unit initiate their assault, another spacecraft in Bitterman’s unit collides with his own and causes Bitterman to crash land off course from the designated landing zone. This incident just so happens to save his life as the rest of his unit is wiped out by the Strogg’s defensive forces. It is now up to Bitterman to infiltrate the Strogg stronghold and put an end to their tyranny by sabotaging key structures and eliminating the leader of the Stroggs.
To help Bitterman accomplish his mission, you can find an arsenal of weapons throughout the game ranging from super shotguns to rocket launchers, and grenades to railguns. Any weapons that you find in a level will be carried over into the next. If you are jumping between stages using Level Select, you will only carry your default weapon until you pick up a weapon in the level.
QUAKE II offers a number of different campaigns for players to sink their teeth into. Aside from the main story campaign, there are also two of the official expansions; The Reckoning, and Ground Zero. There is also the all-new expansion Call to the Machine (developed by MachineGames), as well as the port of the Nintendo 64 game QUAKE II 64 included as well.
Multiplayer makes return as well and QUAKE II Offers four different options: Local, Local Wireless, LAN, and Online. Local multiplayer allows up to four players to play via splitscreen, whereas Local Wireless allows up to eight players. If you really want to have a party though, Online Multiplayer can have up to 16-players. Crossplay is also permitted so friends and players using a different platform can still join you for Deathmatch or Team Deathmatch. Also, you can make local and online matches feel bigger without other human players by adding bots which can have their difficulty altered from Training (really easy) to Nightmare (expert).
QUAKE II on Nintendo Switch is another fine remaster by Nightdive Studios, the visual improvements make it look so much better than its original PC release and the other extra features like a plethora of accessibility options, motion controls, controller mapping, the id Vault (art gallery) and much more. There really isn’t anything to nitpick about this game and only for $9.99, it isn’t too hard to justify adding it to your gaming library. Would recommend!
QUAKE II: (The Gameplay)
Developer: id Software / Nightdive Studios
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Action, First-Person
No. of Players: 1-4 (Single System) | 1-16 (Online)
Release Date: NA|EU: August 10, 2023
File Size: 2.7 GB