If you’re old enough to remember when the term “DOOM clone” was something you’d see in a magazine (printed on paper, made out of dead trees!), then you probably have fond memories of the early days of first-person shooters. Quake II is a landmark in the genre, building on the grungy aesthetic of the original with a more sci-fi feel and more multiplayer options. Now the Quake franchise owner Bethesda has released an enhanced omnibus version of the game, complete with tech enhancements, all the original expansion packs, and even new missions.
Quake II followed on the story of the original game with an 18-level initial campaign (which will probably feel a little barebones if you’ve ever played anything post-Half-Life), plus another 15 levels in the Ground Zero add-on. The brand new content in the updated version includes a whopping 28 new single-player levels facing off against the nightmarish Strogg, plus a new multiplayer map to add to the 20+ maps from the original.
The updated version of Quake II brings back multiplayer in both 16-player online deathmatches and local play with 4-player split-screen (or 8 players across two screens, for the PC version). The new version of the game enables cross-play between PC, Xbox, PlayStation, and Switch versions…though PC players will have to handicap themselves with a controller if they want to face off against consoles.
Updated visuals allow Quake II to be played in 4K and with widescreen support, plus some gently enhanced 3D models and animations, better lighting, anti-aliasing, and a grab-bag of other enhancements and accessibility options from the last two decades. The best feature of all might be the price. Bethesda’s asking an entirely reasonable $10 for this re-release — Rockstar and Nintendo could take notes.
The enhanced port of Quake II is available now on Steam, Epic, and GoG, as well as Xbox, PlayStation, and Switch. The original Quake, which also has an enhanced port with expansion packs released in 2021, is also on sale.
Michael is a former graphic designer who's been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.