Have You Played… Quake 2 Chaos Deathmatch?

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.


  1. Barberetti says:

    Chaos DM was the best thing to happen to Quake 2, and pretty much the mod my friends had to have running in order to pry me away from Quake/Quakeworld long enough to join them for a match.

  2. LexW1 says:

    My friends and I played the shit out of this, and I had completely and totally forgotten it even existed until now. It was absolutely huge fun – the utter chaos that went on really helped equalize player skill levels to a significant degree too (I mean, in the same way that a fighting game that’s a total buttonmasher does too, but the end result is positive – more fun for more people!).

  3. AceJohnny says:

    Oh god I miss Chaos. It was the best. THE BEST you hear me!? Deathmatch gaming for me peaked with Chaos. Yeah, Q3 was great ‘n all, but it didn’t have the sheer giddy silliness and joy of Chaos. That buzzsaw launcher! The maniacal bouncing grenades!

    As I recall, they made a UT version of the mod, but it just didn’t play the same. The speed, maneuverability, and tightness of the Chaos maps on Q2 were perfect.

    *sigh* Maybe I’ll give one of the still open servers a try, but I fear that in my old age I won’t be able to keep up with the folks who’ve been playing it continuously all these years.

  4. DudeBro says:

    ChaosDM absolutely astounded me when I first came across its website (back in 1999! ugh I’m old). I just could not believe how many new and amazing weapons they were able to add into the game. I used to LAN this all the time with my friends (along with L-Fire CTF and Kick). Ahh I miss the good ol’ days :(

  5. kvaki says:

    Yaa great mod. Now do a story on Action Quake 2 RPS. people still play

    link to q2online.net

  6. Thankmar says:

    I cannot make this xhtml stuff work, so here you go:
    link to rockpapershotgun.com

    Or just click on the Quake 2-Tag, its the first post tagged with it.