Quake II was released November 20, 1997 by idSoftware who also developed it. Quake is a first person shooter.

Quake II has 2 main versions, one if the OpenGL version and the other is WinQuake. The engine has both a software and a hardware version of OpenGL.

Here are some of the new highlights of Quake II’s engine:

  • Rotating brushes
  • Transparent / translucent brushes
  • Breakable brushes
  • Environmental effects
  • Different surfaces
  • Unit like level design
  • Transparent water
  • Coloured lighting (OpenGL rendering only)
  • Radiosity
  • Model interpolation
  • New model format
  • New sky engine
  • New actions
  • Better Artificial Intelligence
  • Real C as opposed to QuakeC programming

Quake II takes place in a science fiction environment. In the single-player game, the player assumes the role of a Marine named Bitterman taking part in “Operation Alien Overlord”, a desperate attempt to protect Earth from alien invasion by launching a counter-attack on the home planet of the hostile cybernetic Strogg civilization. Most of the other soldiers are captured or killed almost as soon as they enter the planet’s atmosphere, so it falls upon Bitterman to penetrate the Strogg capital city alone and ultimately to assassinate the Strogg leader, Makron.

In single player, players explore and navigate to the exit of each level, facing many challenging monsters and a few secret areas along the way. Usually there are buttons to press or keys to collect in order to open doors before the exit can be reached. Once reaching the exit, the game takes the player to the next level.

The AI in Quake II is relatively basic. The game is well calibrated to be very enjoyable.


The multiplayer game is similar to that in Quake. It can be played as a free-for-all deathmatch game, a cooperative version of the single-player game, or as a 1 vs. 1 match


Back in 1997 when Quake 2 was first released we were using an Intel Pentium MMX 200 processor with 32 MB of RAM and Windows 95B. Early PCI video cards which typically had 1 or 2 MB of memory.

Early AGP based machines using the new 440LX chipset reduced the saturation of the PCI bus.