Quake II Mission Pack: Ground Zero

aka: Q2MP2
Moby ID: 4341
Base Game Conversion (official) Included in

Description official descriptions

The second official Quake II add-on includes new weapons, enemies, and levels. The Earth fleet attacking Stroggos is stranded in orbit due to a Strogg gravity well. The player has landed on the planet with one mission: destroy the gravity well.

New weapons include the chainsaw, the ETF (explosive-tipped flechette) rifle, the proximity mine launcher and the plasma beam. New power-ups include tesla mines, the defender sphere, the vengeance sphere, the hunter sphere, and the doppelganger.

New enemies include the turret and the stalker. Enhanced enemies are the medic commander and the daedalus. The medic commander can revive fallen monsters or attack with a hyperblaster. The daedalus features twin blasters and a power shield. All monsters have better AI.

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Credits (Windows version)

60 People (48 developers, 12 thanks) · View all

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Ground Zero Theme and Music by
  • Sonic Mayhem
Vwep Models
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[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 71% (based on 18 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 18 ratings with 1 reviews)

A leap forward in quality from Rogue, but still has its problems

The Good
The level design is perhaps the most redeeming feature of this addon. Some of the level design is rather non-linear, meaning the player is presented with a plethora of alternate routes connecting each part of the map. In spite of this, the maps are certainly not confusing and are easy to navigate.

Weapons are interesting too, and unlike Rogue's Quake 1 mission pack, Dissolution of Eternity, they aren't cheap knockoffs of community made resources. Included within the arsenal are a plasma gun, a chainsaw and a fletchette rifle. Electric proximity mines and a proximity mine launcher are another couple of goodies you'll get with this mission pack, amongst others.

Design wise, Rogue have lifted their game significantly in terms of detail and aesthetics, making this addon a more pleasing visual spectacle than their Quake 1 mission pack, Dissolution of Eternity, which, quite frankly, was mostly a dull and mediocre eyesore. Whilst the additional artwork is still subpar (remember, this is the company who made Strife), this is quickly negated by the excellent architecture, and distribution of color, both of which serve to provide aesthetic continuity between itself and the base game. The level design alone makes playing this game again and again an exciting experience each time.

The Bad
In spite of the gorgeous level design, there are some significant problems, such as bugs. Playing through on normal, there were several occasions where I had saved the game just prior to engaging a particularly difficult battle, only to die and reload - and die again. There is a discernible issue with quicksave latency here, which proved to be highly annoying.

The additional artwork was frankly awful. I remember playing Strife and thinking how hideous the texturing was. Well, not much has improved since Strife in terms of artwork quality. Thankfully Ground Zero still largely utilizes the id Software texture set, with the bulk of additional material by Rogue relegated largely to models.

But the biggest bugbear, and ultimately the most contentious source of criticism within the game is the use of turrets. On the harder difficulty levels, these are guaranteed to make you cry blood. Coming in two variants, laser and rocket, the turrets are guaranteed to eat away at your health, even with your armor maxxed out. Without the armor, they do even more damage, and a lot of it. But this is not my main gripe with them - there are too many of them. They certainly do provide a challenge to the player, but in terms of design strategy, Rogue's decision to liberally apply them throughout the map just feels lazy and cheap, a quick and easy substitute for good solid monster placement and design strategy. They become annoying and tiresome very quickly and the sheer number of them seems completely unnecessary.

The Bottom Line
In spite of the buggy quicksave system and irratingly excessive and fetishized usage of turrets, I would still argue that this mission pack is worth buying. The level design is great, weapons and powerups are great and there's plenty of replay value in it to boot.

Windows · by Dave Billing (24) · 2016

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Frumple.

Additional contributors: Xantheous, deepcut.

Game added June 18, 2001. Last modified January 22, 2024.