Online game remasters aren’t any rarity as of late. They arrive alongside seemingly every other week, filling the void between larger releases whereas reminding us of the “good ol’ days” everybody all the time clings to. In lots of cases, although, these “remasters” are lazy, half-hearted makes an attempt to string a bit more money out of a property whereas barely satiating the wishes of followers who’ve wished legacy video games to be extra available for years. This, nevertheless, isn’t any such instance.
Slightly below two years after Bethesda introduced and subsequently shadow-dropped a remaster of the primary Quake recreation at their QuakeCon occasion, the writer has accomplished it once more, however this time with Quake II. It was inevitable that this is able to occur — particularly given quite a few leaks and rankings boards mentioning the sport — nevertheless it’s good to see it lastly obtain an official announcement. It was already fantastic to see the quantity of affection that went into the first Quake remaster, and as soon as once more, Nightdive Studios has gone above and past with this Quake II re-release. A lot so, in reality, that the business must be taking some notes.
It must be stated proper off the bat that Quake II is a implausible recreation. In comparison with fellow id Software program shooter collection DOOM, the place it felt like its sequels have been mere repeats of the primary recreation, the best way Quake II was in a position to construct, enhance, and innovate in comparison with the primary recreation in only a 12 months’s time is phenomenal. Its fight and stage design nonetheless holds as much as this present day, and it’s nonetheless an incredible recreation on each the single-player and multiplayer fronts.
One might argue that, much more than the primary recreation, Quake II was one of many titles that helped lay the groundwork for what the trendy first-person shooter would look and play like. Whereas the primary Quake was merely one other iteration of the DOOM system, its sequel felt like a serious switch-up, one that may plant the seeds for the model of first-person shooters that we’d see with a recreation like Half-Life a 12 months later. It’s nonetheless a beautiful achievement, and Nightdive’s work in remastering it’s a benchmark-setter.
The pure visible overhaul of the sport is stellar, as main enhancements to issues like lighting and textures make this look much more spectacular with out sacrificing what made the unique recreation so particular within the first place. Efficiency can be spot-on, with the sport sustaining an extremely clean 60 FPS even within the faster-paced sections, which is a blessing as no earlier console model of the sport reached 1080p and 60 FPS like this. What’s extra, avid gamers on PCs and next-gen consoles can play the sport at native 4K and 120 FPS, as long as they’ve appropriate shows to attain this stage of efficiency.
Now already, that is all nice information; an underappreciated and beautifully progressive shooter is again on trendy consoles, and the remastering work is pitch-perfect. That alone must be greater than sufficient motive already to present this a hearty suggestion. As it might prove, although, Nightdive Studios has gotten forward of the sport and proven a stage of affection and care that few remasters have accomplished earlier than this.
Alongside the whole lot of the unique Quake II marketing campaign, this re-release options the entire beforehand obtainable expansions and multiplayer maps, which already makes for a myriad of content material. That’s not completely unusual for one thing like this, however what should you additionally discovered that this additionally contains the whole lot of Quake II’s Nintendo 64 model, which featured its personal distinctive marketing campaign?
Not sufficient? How about the truth that it options a wholly NEW growth, Name of the Machine, dealt with by Wolfenstein developer MachineGames completely for this launch? A full-blown 28-level marketing campaign growth (that additionally features a new multiplayer map) was added to this remaster. Completely new playable content material in an enhanced model of a recreation that got here out in 1997, which should you’re holding rating at dwelling, was 26 years in the past.
Feeling the love from all of that already? How about I sweeten the deal a bit by letting you realize that it’s solely $10? Sure, a remaster that includes a number of video games price of content material, plus a whole set of brand-new content material, is yours to personal for under $10. Hell, this can be a recreation printed by Bethesda — an organization owned by Microsoft — which signifies that it’s additionally obtainable proper now on Xbox Game Pass as properly. Even higher is that should you already personal Quake II on PC, you may improve to this enhanced model fully free. All the new content material and enhancements are yours at no further cost.
That is the way you do a remaster: by creating a brand new definitive model of a traditional recreation. That is the way you convey again a legacy title whereas treating the followers respectfully and displaying simply how a lot you like the sport and IP that you simply’re bringing again. And to take action for such an unbelievable value is barely icing on the cake…and maybe an acceptable shot on the business and the best way it handles trendy recreation re-releases.
Quake II’s announcement, subsequent shock launch, and low value really feel particularly pointed contemplating it comes days after Rockstar Video games’ reveal of a Red Dead Redemption port for modern platforms. This model has been roundly criticized for being a straight port with no enhancements that even omits the multiplayer mode, whereas Rockstar nonetheless has the gall to cost $50 for it. That is all made even worse by the writer’s feedback that the worth is “commercially correct,” and that the bundle gives a good, nice worth.
Most actually, this isn’t Rockstar’s first time having a controversial re-release of a recreation, between the abysmal launch of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition, or its “next-gen” version of Grand Theft Auto V feeling as if it barely added any actual enhancements. That is to say little of the various different examples of publishers fumbling on re-releases, reminiscent of Sony releasing a $70 remake of The Last of Us that won’t have appeared all too essential, or Nintendo’s fiasco with Super Mario 3D All-Stars the place a barebones assortment of implausible however barely touched-up video games was solely obtainable for a restricted time.
In a world the place recreation builders and publishers appear to only not care sufficient for the legacy titles they’re bringing again, it’s refreshing to have a remaster like Quake II. Nightdive Studios actually confirmed the love and appreciation they’ve for the unique recreation, whereas together with an exhaustive quantity of content material (outdated and new) for an unbelievably low value. This is without doubt one of the best remasters I’ve ever skilled, and it ought to function the mannequin by which recreation re-releases ought to comply with sooner or later. In the event you actually wish to present how a lot you care about avid gamers — and the legacy of the IPs your gaming firm owns — take some notes on how Quake II did it, as a result of Nightdive actually did one thing particular right here.