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December 22, 1997


Computer Game Review

  by Rick Brewster
   Quake II
   id Software has listened to all the feedback on the first game and has cranked out a very different sequel. Quake II to Quake is not what DOOM II was to DOOM. While the latter was just 30 extra levels, Quake II is more than a glamorized mission pack. A colorful palette, a rocking soundtrack, and an amazing single player game make this one of the best games from id Software.
   The rich color palette is further enhanced by the addition of colored lighting, but only if you have a 3Dfx or other fully OpenGL compatible 3D accelerator. The results are amazing - lava casts an eerie red glow, light reflects off of water, and half burnt out lights give off a yellow haze. The animation is much improved due to a process called "linear frame interpolation" that fills in the animation between frames. Basically, the faster your computer, the smoother the characters move.
   The music is so driving it almost injects adrenaline straight into your system. The opening movie does the best job I have ever seen of setting mood and atmosphere. The music of Rob Zombie and the crackling radio voices of space marines were put together in a spine tingling, emotion churning orchestra that gets you pumped to go whoop on some aliens.
   The single player levels, comprised of "units," conceptually sound much like Hexen II's "hubs." This is not a puzzle-solving, nail-biting exercise in frustration. Although you traverse between levels in a similar fashion, it's more along the lines of "disable these to gain access to that" than "find this and use it with something to create some other item that just might help you do this." Thankfully Quake II delivers an unrivaled blast-fest reminiscent of the glory days of DOOM.
   The multiplayer in Quake II is very similar to that in Quake I . Take note however that there is no cooperative play, no IPX network or modem/serial connection support. The only way to play Quake II with others is through TCP/IP (Internet or LAN) in a deathmatch. While that is the most popular way to play, it would be nice to have more options.
   If you buy any game this holiday season, whether it's for you or someone else, Quake II should be at the top of the list.
   Created by: id Software (www.idsoftware.com)
   Publisher: Activision (www.activision.com)
   Category: 3D Shooter
   Price: $55
   System Requirements: Pentium 90; 16MB RAM; 25MB Hard Drive space; 4X CD-ROM
   Recommended System: Pentium 166; 48MB RAM; 3Dfx Voodoo; 200MB Hard Drive space; 56K modem for Internet play
   Highs: killer intro movie; adrenaline pumping music; gorgeous graphics
   Lows: sound effects are not up to par; wimpy bosses; no cooperative multiplayer; bugs
   Content Rating: R for violence, blood and gore; swearing (intro movie)
   Star Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars