Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
Quake has seen plenty of mods adding oodles of wacky weapons but the one that most caught my eye was Chaos Deathmatch [official site] for Quake II. If you weren’t poisoned and being chased by smiley-faced homing proximity mines while juggling another player with an air blaster, you were missing out.
Chaos Deathmatch takes the tried-and-tested Quake II deathmatch formula then boshes in a load more weapons and items. You’ll find crossbows, flashbangs, sentry turrets, grappling hooks, poison grenades, a broadsword, laser trip mines, homing proximity mines, an explosive super shotgun, a ridiculous single-use room-killer named the Gravity Vortex, and plenty more. It’s about as much of a mess as it sounds, in a good way.
As the name might suggest, Chaos Deathmatch is a huge lark when you’re uncertain what’s even happening, when you’ve got an overpowered weapon and so does your opponent, when you respawn and are instantly sucked into a light show and gibbed. That sort of mayhem can be frustrating – and is, in many other ‘wodge of weapons’ mods – but Chaos threw deaths out so quickly and furiously that I always had a ball.
There are still three Q2 Chaos Deathmatch servers running, though I can’t imagine they’re too busy nowadays. It does have trash-talking, gesture-throwing bots so you can play offline.
God, I think I might have first played Chaos DM through Microsoft’s MSN Zone web portal horrible mess thing. Kids these days don’t know how good they’ve got it.