Who wants to play single player? Review

Quake 2 Mission Pack: The Reckoning Info

genre

  • N/A

players

  • 1 - 1

Publisher

  • Activision

Developer

  • N/A

Release Date

  • 12/31/1969
  • Out Now

Platform

  • PC

rating

Who wants to play single player?

That’s the question that most expansion packs ask these days, including the

latest Quake 2 Mission Pack from Xatrix (the developer). First, we must examine

if anyone wanted to play single player Quake 2 in the

first place. The answer to that question is a resounding no. Quake

2
was anticipated solely for its 3D engine and multi-player aspect. ID software

is well known for ignoring single player in favor for making the best multi-player

games in the world. And that’s something they are damn good at.

The first Quake 2 Expansion, The Reckoning, attempts to both expand

the multi-player that id is so well known for, but also to make the single player

experience more enjoyable. Xatrix has succeeded moderately at both, creating

a mission pack with a single player experience somewhat better than Quake 2’s,

but not quite up to Unreal’s, while including some

mediocre multi-player maps.

The new maps are somewhat dull for the first half of the mission pack. Although

they have new textures, they don’t really stand out and many of the levels look

just like levels that might have hit the cutting room floor in Quake

2
. The later levels though, the ones that take place on a spaceship and

on a space station, are extremely innovative and look great. The overall level

design is far superior to what was offered in the original Quake

2
.

One thing The Reckoning does capitalize on is the hub system, where

you have to go back and forth between levels to retrieve items and to open up

new locations. It’s a system that was made popular in Hexen

II
, but it is better executed in The Reckoning, and it makes the

small number of levels offered seem to be much larger than they actually are.

Since this is a mission pack, of course it includes some new monsters and

weapons. Some of the weapons in the pack are uninspired and boring. One, the

Phalanx Particle Cannon, fires two glowing balls at a time that act suspiciously

like rockets. The second weapon is called the Ion Ripper which simply shoots

orange particle beams that bounce off walls, much like Unreal’s

buzzsaw/ninja star weapon. The only weapon that is really cool is a rip-off

of a popular movie. Assuming you’ve seen Ghostbusters, you’re sure to

remember how they captured the ghosts in their traps. There is a similar trap

in the mission pack that acts just like the one in ghost busters, but if you

get sucked into it, you turn into a food pellet that others can eat to replenish

life. Although not original, it sure is a lot of fun.

Regrettably, most of the new monsters are modifications of monsters from the

original game. Xatrix gave the normal enemy troopers some new weapons, including

a blue hyper-blaster, a red ray gun, and the aforementioned Ion Ripper. Not

very exciting to say the least. There are two new monsters, one simply revives

dead monsters, making it extremely annoying, but the other, the Gekk, is much

more interesting. It acts like an amphibian, able to swim in water and able

to jump around on land, but it looks more like a reptile that stands on its

hind legs. It also has acidic blood, a-la Aliens, that will hurt you

if you come too close to it.

The new multi-player levels, while better than what an amateur can make, aren’t

anything special. The seven different levels, including a modified version of

q2dm1, are bland – they aren’t horrible but they aren’t great, either. These

levels don’t really add anything to the Quake 2 experience,

the built in multi-player levels are much better.

The mission pack is a decent diversion, but unless you really enjoyed Quake

2’s
single player game it doesn’t have much to offer. Unlike last years

Quake 1 mission packs, this pack doesn’t make a

boring single player experience fun, it simply extends it.

REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

Rating5
Some levels ok
New monster is ok
Some levels not ok
Bland multi-player levels
Bland weapons