Quake II (Sniper)
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Developer: Nightdive Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks

As discussed in his "Quake" review, this writer has a long history with the games in this series. At the time he found this sequel to be disappointing, preferring the gothic aesthetic of the first title. But the game leaves an incredible impression in modern times: enemies have protracted death animations, and will even fire their weapons; stage geometry has been upped a notch. This "Nightdive" PlayStation 5 port even runs at native 4K, with HDR, at 120 fps, and with a wonderfully sophisticated lighting and shadow model!

This reviewer began his life as a metal fan in high school, right around the same year Quake II hit stores. His specific metal taste may have changed since then, but this soundtrack is just as great in modern times as it was in the 90s: grinding, shredding, chewy riffs, plus some excellent "bad ass" compositions with interesting progressions. Enemy plus weapon sound effects are incredible as well, conveying meaning as to what is occurring even outside the player's field of vision. Quake II is an aural tour-de-force!

From "Wolfenstein 3D" to the pair of "Doom" games to "Quake", Quake II takes the id level design lineage to new heights: multiple interleaving maps are interconnected, and more of a "mission-lite" structure is given to the proceedings. Both the variety of weapons and how satisfying they are to use is top-notch. Enemies are interesting to fight against, and are probably the most memorable and mechanically engaging since those in "Doom". This "Nightdive" port uses the PlayStation 5 controller's trigger haptics and gyro functionality to great effect.

Surely, Quake II is one of the best single player first-person shooters of all time. This reviewer isn't certain why he didn't give it more of a shake back in the day, but in contemporary times the game shines for its incredible level design, wonderful weapons, interesting enemies, and great music. This "Nightdive" port's performance is impeccable, and has loads of content, including a fun adaptation of the N64 rendition of Quake II! What's more, all of the content can be played in split-screen co-op, and there is full botmatch deathmatch support.

Sniper's verdict: