CD-ROM: Quake II

Quake II
Id Software

Once upon a time, gamers thought that it couldn't get any better than Wolfenstein: a high-res/3-D adventure in which players wage a one-man war against the Nazi Empire. Then the Doom series came along with the notion of gaming in the first-person, the player actually becoming a battle-hardened Marine staring through crosshairs at an intensely detailed 3-D environment. The latter part of the Doom series also offered 32 levels and limited multiplayer capabilities.

Like these, Quake II is another subjective 3-D battle to defend one's self against a never-ending procession of futuristic adversaries: Assault Troopers, Berzerkers, Flippers, and various other nightmarish creatures. The player's arsenal includes Chainguns, Railguns, Hyperblasters, Disintegrators, and Personal Nukes. A state-of-the-art 3-D graphics engine allows players a 360 degree floor-to-ceiling perspective, which, miraculously, doesn't sacrifice the speed of play. While Quake II is 15 percent faster than the previous Quake, the special effects still contain enough juice to put another 700 Japanese school children in the hospital (although let's hope that doesn't happen). Quake II was designed with multiplayer, multiplatform capabilities, which pioneers the use of client-server technology for modem and network play.

It remains to be seen whether Quake II will contribute further to the legendary status of innovative Id Software products. In the meantime, the company is in the beginning stages of a deal with Ivan Reitman and Universal Pictures to do a movie based on the Doom series. That's hardly surprising: Even the recent Mortal Kombat sequel worked its mojo with joystick jockeys by scoring big at the box office.

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