My first reaction to the Quake 2 demo, was "garsh, lookit all them
purdy colors". Once the initial shock of how pretty everything was
wore off, I started to dissect the Q2Test. The models are stunning. Beautifully
animated, with incredible textures. The weapons didn't really do much for
me, although I could already see a definite commitment to weapon balance
(the super shotgun conjured up memories of the one shot kill from Doom
2). The enemies themselves have a refreshingly unique look to them...while
the plot for Quake II is hardly original, there is no doubt that these
aliens are 100% originals. Whatever their influences were, they don't show
through here in the slightest. Of course (and id even says so in the readme
file) these aliens are dumb as bricks. A couple of times, I got one of
them to continuously duck for no reason whatsoever. But again, this is
The only thing I thought was really weak about the demo was the level
design. Now granted, this is only a sliver of the actual game, so I'm sure
it's going to be much better when we get the full version, but these three
levels didn't strike me as being especially unique from the ones we've
seen before. They had neither the interactivity of Hexen II's levels, or
the sheer size of the Jedi Knight levels. While they were very nicely done
architecturally, I was left somewhat bored by the monster placement (the
mission based levels of the retail version will quell this, no doubt).
No matter what, Quake II just plain looks great. This is going to sell
a lot of 3DFX cards (for the record, the colored lighting really does add
a great deal to the emersion level of Q2...if you're not seeing it with
a 3DFX, you may as well be in software).
Kevin"Fragmaster"Bowen, Content Director
Quake2: If only I had a 3D card.
I really liked the Quake2 demo and all, but it really threw a big ol'
bucket of water in my face. I need a 3D card. EVERYONE needs a 3D card.
Sure, Quake looks fine without one… but that's probably because the palette
was so brownish and dull. If you compare the Q2 screenshots to the software
version… it just doesn't compare.
Besides that, I was very impressed. The levels look like real places
and not just some dungeon-type thing or big blue somethingorothers. Paul
Steed rocks. The models kick ass (with the exception of some of the death
sequences and that one funny walk cycle). The weapon models were just awesome…
and so were the weapons themselves (although the hand grenade seems a little
pointless to me… maybe if you could put a timer on it or make it motion
sensitive?) The sound… well… some of them were ok, but I'm really picky
as far as sound goes as it is.
Even though the test was obviously lacking in some areas, you can still
see that Quake2 will be id's best game yet. This time, Quake will be done
Aurora, Clan PMS
Having generated over a quarter million downloads in it's first two
days of release, Quake II is obviously one of the most anticipated games
of 1997. But did the demo hold up to the expectations of the loyal Quake/id
fans? Many people felt that the demo lacked because it wasn't set for multi-player
games. However, I read probably over 12 articles and notices in .plan files
and from gaming news/magazine sites, that this demo would NOT have multi-player
functionality, so for me, that wasn't an issue.
One of the best things, I found, was that in many places, the overall
"feel" of the levels wass greatly improved. The newer sky textures
and objects seem to have strayed a little bit from the "overly-military"
look and bring out a new feel to id's game. Granted First person Shooters
(FPS) all tend to look like a military boot camp, and for the most part
the demo stays with this. While I would prefer a FPS to take place in an
ancient Egyptian temple (to move away from the boring brown & green
colours), the II demo did show me that people who make textures and levels
do use all the colours available to them.
The very first thing I noticed when I started playing was ... "Ahh...
it feels like home!" The look and feel of the game... right from the
sounds to the status bar was the same feeling I got when playing DOOM or
Quake for the first time. Very standard id stuff, and great stuff at that.
You know who's game your playing and you know it is going to be good.
The monsters, quite frankly amazed me. I spent more time viewing them
in "idle" than I did playing the levels through to finish the
mission. I have no complaints on the models themselves, however.... they
don't all fit the theme! You have the big powerful guys that shoot at you
and yell out some word or two in English, then you have this "dog/humanoid"
creature that spits a harpoon out at you. As much as it looks awesome and
the tongue thing literally made me jump when it attacked and the screen
flashed bright white ... I had to wonder *why* it was there. It didn't
really fit with the whole theme so far. The flies on the dead monster were
a nice touch though. =D
"In the interest of keeping the demo download size reasonable,
the high quality sound files and cinematics are not included for testing."
[taken from the readme.file included with the demo] With that taken into
consideration, the sounds were good. I did feel that there wasn't enough
"extra sounds. When you were underground by the water you could hear
water dripping. A nice touch. When you were within 2 rooms of the major
Comm room (with the kick ass computer and satellite dish) I though you
should of been able to hear more background noises, like equipment running.
Hopefully these are things the final release of Quake II will include.
Another added bonus; I never realized what Quake was missing until I used
the "crouch/duck" movement in this demo!
Overall I rated it 7 out of 10. I've played the demo through 3 times
and enjoyed it very much. For FPS games, id software is the master!
Joost "lothwi" Schuur, Hosting Manager
after having finally gotten my hands on the quake 2 'test release' on
sunday and had the chance to play with it for a bit, the one thing that
stuck in my mind was: 'the return of the dead marine'. remember how in
doom, dead space marines spread throughout the level reinforced the story
of how you were the only survivor up against an onslaught of enimies? well,
they're back. there's dead space marines between you and that final 'exit'
button, and boy does this contribute a heck of a lot to the general athmosphere
to the game. and it's not just 'kill everything that moves' anymore, the
game has a plot (albeit the test version has a very simple one). several
times have i found myself somewhat confused about what path to take and
what to do next during my first run through of these first few levels.
but in this case confusion is good. today's gameplayer wants to be challenged.
and challenge is what quake 2 has to offer. i've found myself thinking
'holy cow, that monster is trying to ambush me' or 'i wonder what i just
triggered by raising that toxic waster sludge?'. id has managed to combine
just the right combination of action and puzzle (the hub/unit system in
quake is just superb!). once again i've really had to strain my brain and
think about how each type of monster behaves and how to react (is that
parasite annoying or what?).
granted, q2_test is new and refreshing, maybe that's part of it's charm.
personally i've not yet had a chance to see it in gl. sound doesn't even
work properly for me. yet i've come back to it again and again and played
it through several times until the end, despite the lack of skill levels
or the fact that i've seen it all already. i've got a few more secrets
to discover though. infact i'm even going to play it again now. you'll
fact of the matter is: quake 2 will rule the cosmos.
Akiva 'That Guy' Freidlin, PQStaff Writer
I laughed. I cried. I pissed my pants when I saw the Tank. Yeah, everybody,
the long-awaited Quake 2 test has arrived.
We sp00ged over the screenshots for months. We voraciously read the
.plan updates, hoping for a glimpse of what was to come next from the innovators
of the PC action genre. We cursed game magazines, for temtping us, tormenting
us, with tidbits of information, claims, and interviews. Well now, we finally
have something to quench our craving for the drug that id produces in it's
Mesquite, TX offices. I have been glutting my senses for the past 48 hours
on what is undoubtedtly going to be the big winner this Christmas, and
goddamit, I'm far from full. The Quake2 test has some incredible highs,
and some disapointing lows. However, remember, this is not a finished product,
and I hope is far from it. This demo, I'm sure, does not do justice to
what the full version will unleash on us, when it is released. (Various
id developers have said it will be released anywhere from the first week
of November to Christmas, but no later than that. And dont bitch, it's
better than the ambiguos "when it's done," or the oft-uttered
proverbial "two weeks." Unlike most gaming companies, id has
a strong history of giving liberal release dates, and then suprising us
all by keeping their word. (Hint, Hint, Myscha.;) ) The test was released
early sunday morning, with an exhausting hubbub of an IRC release party
on 3Dnet #quake. Over 500 people crammed themselves into the channel, overwhelming
the operators with requests for voice priveleges. Personalities from all
over the Quake community where on hand, with everybody from Zoid to blue,
Redwood to FragMaster, all the way up to Disruptor and Tokay. (Christian
Antkow and American Mcgee, respectivley.) Cries of "Can someone please
give so-and-so a +v, please?" rang throughout the channel, flooding
the screen, making it virtually impossible to get a word in edgewise. Excitement
sometimes gave way to indignation, as some unbelievers cursed id for making
them wait so long. Rumours, proclamations, and denouncements that this
was all a fake on the part of Disruptor, to gauge the excitement of the
public. (Come on, guys, do you think they are that stupid?!) Finally, at
about 5:00 am, a URL was released. Within hours, mirrors had gone up, and
then been swamped with users. The test was well worth the wait. Here is
Graphics - General
WOW! The new color pallette stunned me, with some vivid reds, oranges,
and pale blues and greens. Obviously, this is a wildly different beast
than the browns and grey/blues of the color pallette of the original quake.
At first the game struck me as slightly Duke Nukemish, (BLEH!) but I soon
realized that this was simply pallette shock: after Quake, anything with
color that doesn't look like it popped from a David Lynch film looks like
an Acid trip. At some points in the otherwise beautiful sky, the dithering
of colors was fairly obvious, but did not much diminish the immersive quality
of looking out of a window, and seeing a whole alien landscape plastered
over the horizon. (You should know that this was tested in the in the software
mode, that is, non GL-enabled, for lack of a 3DFX card. However, if someone
wants to donate one to me...) Everything fit well with the story of the
game, though at some points I felt as if I was in an earthling military
base, and not in an alien Installation. JOHN CARMACK, JOHN CASH, AND BRIANHOOKARE
CODE P1MPS! As you may be able to tell, I loved the transparent water in
software mode. Transparency without hardware acceleration was something
I thought impossible before i downloaded this behemoth. There was however,
a definite performance problem. I am running on a Pentium processor, 133
megahertz, with 16 megs of ram.This I made sure to close all memory resident
programs (except of course, Windows 95) and yet i still got an unacceptable
framerate at 640 by 480, even with the viewport at it's smallest possible
size. At 320 by 200 resolution, I was able to squeeze out 30 FPS, and that
was with the viewport at about midsize.
Models And Skins
Paul Steed is god. The animation quality was wonderful, with grunts
ducking shots almost effortlessly. Idle animations were superb, with those
shock trooper guys cocking their prosthetic guns, wandering around, and
glowering from behind their translucent faceplates.Gunners looked incredible
rotating their guns, that is when I was alive long enough to notice. Death
animations were a little sparse, but not too noticeable. The only major
gripe I had was the gibs. JESUS! What was once the incredible fountain
of gore in quake, spewing from a shambler after being satisfyingly gibbed
by a Quad-Powered Nailgun, are now some orbs of blood. A recognizable bodypart
is rairly found, and no more than three or four of these little balls of
innards are present, even if the victim is a massive 'Tank.' Also, the
rate of speed with which these thingies emerge from their once living owners
is absurd. The gibs fly out from the bodies as if shot out of a particle
accelerator. I suppose this is all fixable, and that this problem is only
a result of rushing. My only other problem is that enemies, especially
when killed, look extremely small. (Excluding, of course, the massive Tank.)
This scale problem, I suppose, could be remedied by messing around a bit
in lightwave, or whatever 3D modeling program Steed is using. The skins,
for the most part, are flawlessly executed by Kevin Cloud and Adrian Carmack.
Nothing wrong there. The damaged skins, which come up after an enemy takes
a certain amount of punishment from you and show blood and gore seeping
out of the various bulletholes on the skin, are excellent. (This technique,
so far as I know, was first put to use in the excellent Painkeep
Conversion. Go check it out, it is wholesome Deathmatching fun for the
The level design is excellent, though as mentioned before, it sometimes
has an earthy feel to it. I love looking at buildings and thinking, "Wow,
I remember that from some screenshots!" The movement between levels
is excellent, allowing you to move back and forth freely from level to
level. I'm sure this will have some interesting uses of this in the finished
product. This technique of relative non-linearity between maps, which was
used in HEXEN, is far better executed here. When traveling from level to
level , I always felt that I was just moving to a different area of a complex
or city, as you can truly see parts of the level you just exited. In HEXEN,
I felt as if I was being randomly transported to a new world. I can't wait
for the the stuff id has in store for us, and even more exciting is the
possibilities that arise for level designers.
There really isnt anything much I can say here, as the sound on my machine
was extremely b0rked. There was a constant crackling and skipping problem,
and I was rarely able to discern anything intelligeble. It sounded like
a friggin breakfast cereal. This has been a problem on the machines of
many whom I have talked to about the demo, and it is a problem, I suppose,
that has arrisen from the Q2 sound code. I'm quite positive it will be
fixed in the final release. What sounds I could hear where mostly unfinished.
For instance, the sound of the player jumping sounded pretty much the same
as the original quake jumping sound.
All in All
So, altogether, though slightly flawed, the demo was very impressive.
Yeah, we all wanted multiplayer, but we all know id would never hold out
on us. It will be in the full version, of course. From what I hear, there
is even a planned second demo coming out, this time with multiplayer support.
If you havent done so already, please check it out. Save your pennies,
children, cause Quake2 is going to Rock your World.
Droog (w\ by BlackJedi), PQStaff Writers
There's got to be something unusual going on for me to be in work on
a Sunday, and the release of the Quake 2 test certainly qualifies. After
downloading most of it at home from the slowest ISP in Christendom, only
to inadvertently press Cancel with only 500K to go(!), the lure of the
office and its reasonably fast net connection was impossible to resist.
BlackJedi was already in work and downloading, having received my teasing
email suggesting that he might like to have a look at PlanetQuake. Keeping
well away from the keyboard or mouse, we urged the damn thing to download
Minutes later we were both vying to be the first to discover exciting
new things ("Crouch is excellent!", "I've found a ladder!",
and so on), and for superlatives to describe the game. A big first impression
was that the side-mounted weapons didn't really affect the gameplay, and
apart from the seemingly swollen wrist, the weapon anims were superb.
The Duke Nukem-esque (but better) holes in the scenery add a lot to
the level designs and help them to appear less linear. The improved engine's
particle effects added atmosphere, especially on the sparking door frames.
Ambient sound effects were cool, too: we just HAD to turn the speakers
up loud to get the full effect.
Impressed as I was, it wasn't until I took the demo home and tried it
out with my Monster 3D that the difference really hit home. I was completely
stunned by the GL effects. The coloured lighting really isn't just a gimmick,
it adds warmth to the game and somehow makes it (even) more immersive.
I found myself spending half an hour or so just wandering about firing
the blaster and watching the light shoot down dark corridors. The era of
3D acceleration has definitely arrived. If you haven't already done so,
go out and buy a 3DFX card today!
After the relative disappointment of DOOM 2 not offering anything significant
over DOOM, and having spent the last few months salivating over every Quake
2 screenshot ever released, this demo has definitely been worth the wait.
Technologically, the game has leapfrogged its competitors (most of which
use the Quake engine anyway), and makes Jedi Knight look even lamer.
I've had a couple of days to get used to it now; I've played it through
a few times to get all of the secrets and marvelled again and again over
just how *good* it looks. It's definitely more 'together' than Quake, the
plot seems consistent and believable (well, as far as these things go!)
and you actually feel like you're trying to achieve something, rather than
just blindly racing around, gibbing everything in sight. The Quake universe
suddenly seems much bigger when you can go back and forth between levels
(with a reasonably fast load time). The game flows much smoother because
of this; the levels felt like a natural progression. Compare e4m1 and e4m2
of Quake, which I played recently; you go from a military base populated
by grunts and enforcers to a dungeon with stained glass, knights and shamblers.
Before Quake 2, I hadn't noticed how incongruous the level change was -
and I realised how much I'd missed the logical progression through a homogenous
environment that DOOM provided.
The personal computer is a nice addition, it helps you know just what
the heck you're supposed to be doing and how much of it you've done. The
inventory is another good thing. All those times in deathmatch when you've
got the quad but there's nobody around to gib are gone forever. Now that
you can save it until you're in the thick of things, it will add a whole
new tactical element to deathmatch games.
The criticisms I've got are fairly small and are either mentioned in
the readme that comes with the demo, or by id people in .plan updates:
some of the weapons are a little big and obscure the view somewhat, gibs
aren't big enough. One thing not mentioned though: I can't get the hang
of rocket jumping. Maybe it's just the keyboard lag, but the rocket launcher
seems to shift you sideways when fired, which makes accurate jumping a
good deal more difficult than before.
Summary: The best just got better!
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