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SummaryAbsolutely KILLS Quake 1 and 3...
The GoodThe original Quake, is, in my opinion, thoroughly overrated and disappointing. So, not surprisingly, I was expecting the same with Quake 2...but don't worry, Quake 2 is a great FPS, and the other games in the Quake series don't even compare! Truthfully, this game is so different and better than the other Quakes, it shouldn't be in the same series.
Unlike the first game's boring brown demonic setting, Quake 2 takes place in a MUCH better sci-fi world where an alien race of cyborgs called the Strogg have attacked Earth...searching for humans to convert into their own. Every time Earth loses one man, the Strogg gain one. It's a losing battle, but Earth gears up and attacks Stroggos, but the Strogg have a surprise, which I'm not saying...hold it...is that...YES, Quake 2 is actually a first person shooter with a real plot! While it isn't as great a plot as Half-Life, or many adventure games or RPG's, it is definitely something!
In Quake 2, the single player AND multiplayer are both fun...in fact, as a single player fan, I think that side of the game is better. While there are no really innovative weapons, ANYTHING is better than the first games stupid looking rocket launcher...and here you also get a BFG10K!...Many of the enemies are memorable and different from each other.
The game balances perfectly being an action game and eventually slipping into horror when you find the gruesome results of what happened to your fellow space marine's that weren't turned into Strogg, but this horror isn't overdone as it could easily have been...
The BadWhy the hell do almost any developers making an FPS take the "it's you" and personality-less approach with your main character? It's boring! Admittedly, it would have spoiled the atmosphere in a game like this to have your character be a "Duke Nukem" or "Bruce Campbell", but it would have only made the game better if you hard-edged marine talked...and don't give me the famous "Half-Life" excuse of you "become" the character...I just end up feeling like I'm playing as some boring and shy moron with a gun...okay, rant over. Also worth mentioning, is with the near lack of colored keycard puzzles here, the ones that do show up stand out in a bad way.
On a final bad note, after the spectacular for-its-time opening cut-scene, the final boss of the game is too easy and the ending sequence a letdown and cop-out.