Skip to main content

Quake 2 remaster released, includes Quake 2 64 and new expansion

StrOGg Gangster

A gun battle from id Software's Quake 2 remaster
Image credit: Bethesda

Surprising few but delighting many, id Software and Bethesda have released a Quake 2 remaster to inaugurate this year's Quakecon. An enhanced edition of the 1997 game, it includes the mission packs The Reckoning and Ground Zero alongside a PC version of Quake 2 on N64. All that for £8 or $10, plus a brand new expansion titled Call of the Machine, developed by Wolfenstein: The New Order studio MachineGames.

While not as beloved or enduring as its predecessor or successor, Quake 2 is one of the Grand Old Shooters. I recall being introduced to it at a covert LAN party in a school IT room, plonking myself down at a monitor and instantly being reduced to a fine red mist (and in the game, etc). The singleplayer campaign had you scrapping across a muddy alien world with shotgun and hyperblaster, with larger levels than in the original Quake, and missions where you'd use heads as keys.

Watch on YouTube

The game has spawned many celebrated mods, ranging from cartoon lumberjack machinima to a mod in which all players and weapons are crates, with larger fan projects like Action Quake 2 attracting their own thriving communities. The Quake 2 engine is also the foundation for a bunch of commercial games, including Soldier of Fortune, and many Quake 2 modders have found their way into professional development.

New maps aside, the remaster brings 4K and widescreen resolution support, dynamic and coloured lighting, anti-aliasing and depth of field, together with enhanced models, enemy animations, gore effects, AI and cinematics. It also includes splitscreen multiplayer, on or offline bot support and crossplay. Find more in the patch notes on Steam.

A cliffside structure in the Quake 2 remaster
A gunfight in the Quake 2 remaster
An advancing enemy in the Quake 2 remaster
A shot of a nearby planet's rings in the Quake 2 remaster
Image credit: Bethesda

The Reckoning and Ground Zero mission packs amount to 33 singleplayer levels and 21 multiplayer maps, while the brand-new Call of the Machine expansion consists of 28 new campaign levels, and one new multiplayer map. Here's the blurb for Call of the Machine: "In the depths of Strogg space lies the Machine, a singularity capable of collapsing the fabric of reality. Fight across time and space to find the Strogg-Maker, destroy it, and change the destiny of man and machine."

Fancy it? The remaster costs $9.99, €9.99 or £7.99, and you can find it on the Xbox Store or as part of the PC Game Pass. If you already own Quake 2 on Steam, however, you'll get all this as a free update, as was the case for 2021's Quake 1 remaster.

Read this next