Quake II: The Reckoning is the first of two official expansion packs for Quake II, id Software's popular action-oriented first person shooter. The story is once again set on Stroggos, though it follows a new protagonist known as Joker. It features a new single-player campaign composed of five units (in addition to seven new deathmach maps), and contains three new weapons and two new enemy types (as well as seven modified Quake II enemies). The Reckoning was developed by Xatrix Entertainment, who were best known previously for having created Redneck Rampage, a satirical shooter based on Ken Silverman's Build engine.
Set concurrently with the events of Quake II, The Reckoning begins as the combined forces of Earth are set to counterattack an alien race of cyborg assimilators known as the Strogg. The invasion of Stroggos begins when countless individually manned drop pods are launched toward the planet's surface. The Strogg are ready however, and react by unleashing a massive EMP shock wave which disables these vessels, sending them and the marines inside plummeting to their deaths.
Joker, the protagonist of The Reckoning, manages to hotwire his pod and regain control long enough to guide it toward a relatively soft landing in the marshlands of Stroggos. Awakening some time later, he grabs his shotgun and resolves to exact vengeance for every marine who didn't make it to the planet's surface.
The structure of Quake II: The Reckoning is quite similar to that of Quake II. The gameplay revolves around several multi-level objective-based hubs, known in the series as units, with each unit having a primary and numerous secondary objectives. The primary objective is the player's overarching mission for that particular unit, which will usually end the mission once complete, and the secondary objective is the immediate action required to facilitate it. Objectives are usually straightforward, often requiring a player to simply collect an item necessary to advance or remove an impediment to their progress. Individual units are somewhat non-linear, allowing players to go back and forth between different maps at will, though there is usually only one way to complete a given objective.
Aside from the new weapons and foes present, the action of Quake II: The Reckoning is faithful to the original. In perhaps the biggest twist to gameplay, later levels take place in a low-gravity lunar environment that allows players to jump much higher and descend from their jumps much slower.
- Unit 1: Marshlands / Sewers - Traverse the swamps and sewers surrounding the crash site in order to gain access to the Strogg military compound.
- Unit 2: Military Compound - Gain access to the Strogg intelligence headquarters and ultimately discover the whereabouts of the Strogg counter-strike fleet.
- Unit 3: Industrial Zone - Find and eliminate the Strogg fuel production facility.
- Unit 4: Spaceport - Infiltrate an enemy freighter in order to gain access to the Strogg moon base.
- Unit 5: Moon Base - Destroy the enemy moon base to prevent the Strogg counterattack.
New Weapons & Items
In addition to returning weapons and items from Quake II, The Reckoning features three entirely new armaments and a single new power-up. The Phalanx Particle Cannon also comes complete with its own unique ammo pickup, Mag Slugs. Conversely, the Ion Ripper uses the preexisting energy cell ammo, while the Trap is essentially used like a grenade, meaning that each use expends a single Trap.
The TrapSimply known as the Trap, this weapon is thrown to the ground where it creates a vortex capable of sucking in any unsuspecting nearby creature (including the player) and turning it into a consumable cube which restores health. Due to the similarities in appearance and function, it is likely that the Trap is an homage to the Ghost Trap used by the Ghostbusters.
Ion RipperA powerful new energy weapon, the Ion Ripper fires energy "boomerangs" capable of ricocheting off of inanimate objects, allowing out-of-sight enemies to be killed by clever use of rebounding shots. Its ammo consumption is also extremely efficient for such a strong armament, as it can kill a normal Tank with only 30 cells.
Phalanx Particle CannonFiring quantum accelerated magnesium slugs, the Phalanx launches two explosive projectiles per round. These projectiles are slightly staggered, meaning that with skill (or luck) it is possible to hit two different targets with a single pull of the trigger.
Dual Fire DamageRather than increasing damage, the Dual Fire Damage power-up doubles the rate of fire of all weapons. This effectively acts as a damage boost, but unlike Quad Damage, it also means that ammo consumption will be significantly increased. As an added bonus, weapon switching is also much faster than usual.
There are nine new foes featured in Quake II's first mission pack, two of which are completely new. The remainder are returning enemies from the first game who have been re-skinned and beefed up with new attacks and more hit points. A couple of these reworked enemies take advantage of the new weaponry introduced in the expansion.
GekkThough not technically Strogg, the Gekk is still quite antagonistic. Inhabiting the murky swamplands of Stroggos, Gekk will viciously attack any who encroaches on their territory. They can spit a venomous projectile or leap great distances to attack at close range.
Repair BotThe Repair Bot is a non-standard enemy to be sure, but an enemy nonetheless. It will spend the majority of its time innocuously fixing broken equipment or architecture in the environment. Should a dead Strogg be in its proximity, it will attempt to return it back to functional status. Though it is easy to kill, it is often not necessary to do so.
Hyper Blaster / Ripper / Laser GuardThe Reckoning comes complete with no less than three new variations on the standard Strogg Guard. The first type encountered in the game, the Hyper Blaster Guard, is similar to the Light Guard, though it fires in volleys rather than single shots. Later on, players will come in contact with Ripper Guards that fire Ion Ripper rounds capable of rebounding off of solid objects. The final and most vexing type is the Laser Guard, who fires a beam laser that is hard to avoid and unerringly accurate over long distances. All types have higher health than regular Guards.
Brain (Beta Class)The first of several stronger "Beta Class" enemies the player will encounter, the Beta Class Brain is a significant upgrade to the Quake II Brain as it is no longer limited to only melee attacks. This version can use its hook-like tentacle appendages to reel players in or cauterize them at long range with its dual eye lasers.
Iron Maiden (Beta Class)Not quite as much of an improvement as the Brain, the Beta Class Iron Maiden's only major change over its predecessor is lock-on heat seeking missiles in stead of its usual dumb-fire rockets. While this means that fighting one in the open is no longer advisable, taking shots from cover effectively neutralizes this threat.
Gladiator (Beta Class)With an energy shield and several times the hit points, Beta Class Gladiators take significantly more punishment than the normal variety. Fortunately, their Railgun has been replaced with a Phalanx Particle Cannon. While this new armament is more painful should it hit, it is also easier to dodge at long range.
Super Tank (Beta Class)The Beta Class Super Tank has its normal defenses bolstered by an energy shield. Aside from increased durability, fighting the Beta Class is no different than confronting its regular counterpart. It alternates between rocket barrages and peppering players with its massive chain gun.
Minimum System Requirements
- Operating System: Windows 95 or Windows NT 4.0
- CPU: 90 MHz Processor
- Memory: 16 MB RAM (24MB for Windows NT)
- Hard Drive Space: 100 MB uncompressed space
- CD-ROM Drive: Quad-speed (600k/sec. sustained transfer rate)
- Fully installed registered version of Quake II