Quake II Mission Pack: The Reckoning
The first mission pack for Quake II, The Reckoning, is a worthy add-on. It does everything expansion packs are supposed to do by adding new things and modifications.
For starters, there are 18 levels filled with all sorts of new missions. The levels are designed pretty well, some featuring far more inspiration than Quake II. There are some throwbacks, though (rather bland, machinery/installation level themes). Unfortunately, there a lot of base levels but the missions tend to be much more interesting and intriguing than its predecessor. It does begin to look and feel like more of the same after playing it a bit. In an attempt to remedy this, Xatrix put some new textures in the game to enhance the overall look. The new textures are done quite well, some reminding me of the good old days of Quake (the dark, cave-like levels). Additionally, there are six new multi-player levels that are sure to excite the online players.
What mission pack would be complete without some new weapons, items and enemies? Among the new weapons is the ion ripper that shoots off energy boomerangs that careen off walls; the phalanx particle cannon that fires two simultaneous magnesium slugs; and traps that turn enemies into power-cubes fit for a marine stomach. It would have been nice to have a few more weapons, but what is included is very nice. New ammunition pickups have been included to fill the weapons. These are among the new items as well as the quad fire, which quadruples your weapon's fire rate by four. Though this item is very powerful, you'll have to use it with extreme caution (especially when using the rocket launcher). Last but not least, there are a few new enemies as well as modified Quake II foes. The Gekk is a nasty little critter that swims around and hops around on walls and eventually onto you if you're not careful. The Repair Bot goes around and fixes enemy units as well as broken elevators and other various things. Like the new weapons, it would have been nice to see some more enemies, but the ones included are okay and the modifications of old enemies make up for it. The enemies that have been modified either use one of the new weapons or had its AI tweaked.
That's basically it. If you're a fan of Quake II who has been itching for more action in its world, then by all means get The Reckoning. Just be warned that its not drastically different from Quake II, although the level design is better and there are new things to do. If you didn't enjoy Quake II, then you'll be well advised to stay away from this game. There is nothing new included to make you a fan or keep you interested. ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide
The game resembles Quake II because of the graphics engine, but there are some new textures that look quite good. The new enemies look pretty spiffy, as do the new weapon effects. ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide
The music and sound effects have been recycled and aren't too original. ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide
The Reckoning is a pretty enjoyable experience thanks to some good, if repetative level design, new weapons and new enemies. ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide
Once you beat it, its over unless you're a big fan of online gaming. If so, there are some new deathmatch levels waiting for you. ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide
The manual tells you how to play the game and what the new weapons do. There's even another cheesy story in there. ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide