Take out the Big Gun sounded simple enough, except the Strogg were waiting. You, and a few marines like you, are the lucky ones. You've made it down in one piece and are still able to contact the fleet. The Gravity Well, the Strogg's newest weapon in its arsenal against mankind, is operational.
User reviews:
Mixed (42 reviews) - 69% of the 42 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 1, 1998

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Requires the Steam version of QUAKE II to play

Buy QUAKE II Mission Pack: Ground Zero

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Buy QUAKE Collection

Includes 8 items: QUAKE, QUAKE II, QUAKE II Mission Pack: Ground Zero, QUAKE II Mission Pack: The Reckoning, Quake III Arena, QUAKE III: Team Arena, QUAKE Mission Pack 1: Scourge of Armagon, QUAKE Mission Pack 2: Dissolution of Eternity


About This Game

Take out the Big Gun sounded simple enough, except the Strogg were waiting. You, and a few marines like you, are the lucky ones. You've made it down in one piece and are still able to contact the fleet. The Gravity Well, the Strogg's newest weapon in its arsenal against mankind, is operational. With the fleet around Stroggos, 5% of ground forces surviving, and that number dwindling by the second, your orders have changed: free your comrades. Destroy the Gravity Well.

  • New Enemies - The Stalker, Turrets, Daedalus, Medic Commander, Carrier, and the Black Widow.
  • 14 Entirely new levels and 10 new deathmatch levels.
  • New Power-Ups - Deathmatch specific power-ups: Vengeance Sphere, Hunter Sphere, and Anti-matter bomb.
  • New Weapons - The Chainsaw, ETF Rifle and Plasma Beam.

System Requirements

    Minimum: A 100% Windows XP/Vista-compatible computer system

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Mixed (42 reviews)
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 4
Quake II: Ground Zeroes * 6/10

Quake II Ground Zeroes is one of the two Expansion packs for Quake II. There's not much to say, this expansion consist of a fistful of "hubs" with different levels each. The gameplay remains unchanged, and the only particular things are a couple monsters and weapons added. The level structure here looks flawed to me as I've run into a couple of incongruence or conflict with mission objectives inside the same Hub (for example go to a level to grab a disc, change level to modify the disc, take it again and go to the previous level again... But once you get there the doors are locked. Ok, let's get back again, there will be another exit... the objective says to modify the disc again... really? Ok, let's do it. Let's find another way and grab that blue key, I might want to look past that blue door... Objective has changed asking me to walk back the same path it asked me two levels back?).
This pack is appropriate for those who just want more quake two and don't need any particular revolution in gameplay to enjoy the game and most importantly have the patience to deal with possible objective paradoxes.
Since this is an expansion pack it requires the original Quake 2 installed and because of this it presents the same incompatibilities of the original game.

I don't recommend this expansion pack because even I didn't enjoy at all the Objective paradoxes, that's an issue given by bad level design. I give 6/10 anyways because someone might still enjoy the extra actions and maps.

  • ENGINE. The Quake II Engine is quite old now, but it still is enjoyable nowadays.
  • SOUNDTRACK. Very Badass Soundtrack. 'Nuff said...
  • OBJECTIVE PARADOX. The Hub system in quake 2 isn't really smooth and logic, as enemies will respawn and past objectives might reset (doors, lowered bridges, keys, discs and whatsoever), especially in this Expansion pack. I know it might be me, I could have tried harder, but honestly I still believe the developers should have designed and programmed better to prevent these kind of boring situations.
  • COMPATIBILITY ISSUES. This expansion presents the same compatibility issues you might run into with the original Q2. Luckily there's the Steam community with various solutions and patches that will make this game run flawlessly, as if your i7 with your GTX 970 was an MMX with a Vodoo 3dfx... And, seriously, if you want to exploit more your hardware you can always look up for some Port that will load the game for you with enhanced graphics.
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11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
15.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 6, 2015

Take out the Big Gun sounded simple enough, except the Strogg were waiting. You, and a few marines like you, are the lucky ones. You've made it down in one piece and are still able to contact the fleet. The Gravity Well, the Strogg's newest weapon in its arsenal against mankind, is operational. With the fleet around Stroggo's, 5% of ground forces surviving, and that number dwindling by the second, your orders have changed: free your comrades. Destroy the Gravity Well.

Quake 2 Ground Zero is a expansion pack for the 1997 Smash hit Quake 2. The expansion pack adds new bosses, weapons and new Stroggo's to slaughter. The new weapons leave something to be desired. For example the ETF Rifle which is basically a clone of the first Quake's nail gun is mediocore at best, especially on the high difficulties. Poor bullet velocity but average damage. The Proximity grenade launcher is pretty much exactly the same as the normal grenade launcher but attaches grenades to walls which explode if you or a enemy comes close, The rest of the other weapons arent worth mentioning.

The new enemies in general are fun to dispatch and not to difficult even on Nightmare difficulty. However a new enemy was introduced namely "Wall Turrets" which are little security guns which fire as soon as they see you, And worst of all the wonderful map designers though it would be great to put these in the crappiest places you almost never look at. I lost count of how many times i would enter a door way only to get shot in the back of the head due to a turret mounted directly above the door frame. This was probably my biggest gripe with this game.

Then come the bosses. Oh God the bosses.... If your playing on nightmare difficulty you will learn a lesson in sheer frustration. My only word of advice is ensure you use ammo sparingly at all times and save up all the Cell packs you can.

My final thoughts are that while this expansion pack was enjoyable, but the difficulty spikes can really push your patience limit.

Final Score 70/100
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13 of 18 people (72%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
13.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 23, 2015
Remember one thing when playing this expansion.
Sentry Turrets! Sentry Turrets! Sentry Turrets!
The game its self is good, but with those sentry in every corner it's nearly impossible to pass the game on Hard. Who needs bosses when you could just add 100 Sentry Turrets!!!
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 6
If you've ever played user-created levels for a game, you know there are huge gulfs in quality between them. One level might look as good as the real deal, and the next might look like a teenager gave up halfway through making their school. Coming off of Quake II and The Reckoning, Ground Zero is a real shock to the system, not in how it looks but in how it plays. And there's no amount of polish that can make up for how low its lows are.

Turns out that every chapter in the Quake II story starts the same way, with your hard-♥♥♥♥♥ marine's drop-pod getting clipped by something and ending up where it shouldn't. This time you get ditched into an underground mining facility, which you'll need to escape to take out a gravity well generator that has the human fleet trapped over the Strogg homeworld. Just like the rest of the series, this means battling through units of interconnected levels to accomplish goals and proceed to more important locales.

Ground Zero starts promising enough, with colorful, atmospheric caverns and mining complexes. There are exploding crystals you can shoot, mine carts to ride, and excavators to Kool-Aid Man through walls. The pack vomits guns at you almost immediately, setting you up with half the arsenal not two levels in. Your foes are varied and scattered, with an unusually heavy emphasis on fliers of all kinds. All the elements are there for a different, interesting Quaking experience.

Then you reach a point where you've killed everything on the sizable level and don't know where to go. Maps in Ground Zero use a lot of loops and alternate paths without clear landmarks, making it hard to tell if you've even been somewhere before if there aren't bodies littering the floor. There's very little logic to the layouts of each area, with most designed first to slow your progress with meandering paths and second to provide an adequate challenge. The F1 mission objectives do nothing to help either, giving only vague orders to proceed to a new map or defeat all resistance.

By the time you reach the Tectonic Stabilizer you'll have spent a good bit of time wandering aimlessly through depopulated levels. It is here that you will be tasked to destroy sixteen small capacitor-looking things mounted on walls around the map. Sixteen. Afterwards, you must flip three switches, which triggers a 45-second countdown to escape the map. If you fail, you die. This all takes place on a dark cave map with multiple loops and crossing paths and indistinct chambers.

I was not kidding earlier, it is legitimately shocking how painful some of the levels in Ground Zero are. The Stabilizer isn't the only one with instant deaths, either. To even reach it, you'll have to brave a number of cave-ins in the proceeding levels that can crush you dead in an instant. Every single thing you do requires scrambling around winding paths to push a button that lets you get a key that opens a door to another path, and most of the time the goal is just to get to the next map.

Don't expect the new enemies or weapons to redeem this, either. There's a neat ceiling-crawling spider foe but the other additions are reskins with obnoxious gimmicks and ♥♥♥♥ing ceiling turrets. The new rifle and mines feel very low-impact and situational compared to the base arsenal, and ammo for the expansion gear is far more prevalent than regular ammo, forcing you to make them work over keeping to your standbys. Weapon moderation is part of the challenge here, but the real challenge is sticking out the annoyances introduced.

Honestly, I couldn't get more than halfway into this one. Ground Zero is aggressively bad. It will go out of its way to waste your time with overly twisting levels, tedious backtracking, and instant death out of nowhere. The new enemies and weapons bring nothing to the table, and even the story is so much thinner than that of its predecessors. Fans of Quake II, I implore you, finish the base game and The Reckoning and then seek out community maps if you must. This just isn't worth the hassle.
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10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
0.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 7, 2010
Ground Zero was the second mission pack released for Quake II. This pack had a lot of new features as well as some new level designs, but most of all new single-player missions! Buy this for more single-player missions in Quake II.
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10 of 14 people (71%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 6, 2014
Firstly, Quake 2 IS and will ALWAYS BE my favorite FPS of all time, a nice story, incredible music, fun enemies, and an excellent campaign with hub worlds which are still VERY rare today and work flawlessly in Quake 2. But this isn't a Quake 2 review.

Quake 2 Mission Pack 2: Ground Zero is the final installement of the Quake 2 trilogy (Excluding Zaero and Juggernaut, both of which I am trying to find at a decent price ESPECIALLY Zaero over 50 dollars for just the disk!) But that is besides the point.

The story is pretty much, after the events of Quake 2 and the Reckoning, all the units are attempting to leave orbit because of their victory... however they can't because the Strogg's Gravity Well is forcing them in oribt. Quickly, they send a bunch of units down but only a few survive, you play as Stepchild whom crash landed onto one of the mines of the Stroggs and now you much survive, kill the Widow and blow up the Gravity Well letting everyone survive.

This game bleeds Quake 2 and is an excellent expansion, sure it is a tad short at only 14 levels, but just like the original and the Reckoning it is made up of Hub Worlds, called Units, there are 5 (There are 10 in the original game). Every hub has a central mission and many mini missions that add up to finishing that central one. From blowing up the mine core to killing the Widow there is quite a bit of variety for such a small expansion pack.

The new weapons are cool in their own right, sure they won't replace the BFK10k but why would they? If they did then the game's challenge would be a mininum. The weapons range from a Nailgun from Quake 1 to a lazer that burns people! It is a ton of fun to use the weapons and adds more variety. The new enemies are mostly just upgrades of the originals, but there are some brand new ones with spiders that climb on the roof!

The final boss, not going to spoil it but, is a lot more fun then the previous attempt on Reckoning, mostly because its a whole new boss and not just a redesigned arena version of the original.

The levels are nice and have interestning areas to explore, from the unstable mines to a toxtic waste dump there sure is a nice ammount of variety here. And is just fun to explore everything.

Do I recomend this? No and Yes, I recomend playing Quake 2 and only if you like that then play this, because this is an expansion after all.

However, if you are a diehard Quake fan like me then play it if you haven't already!

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7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Posted: August 18, 2011
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 27
Quake 2 Mission Pack: Ground Zero is the second mission pack for the game, being made by Rogue Entertainment and released in 1998. Comes with new single campaign, new mosnters, weapons, items and such.

Once again id software game that doesn't work out of box. Steam box, that is. May as well copy-paste from review of previous mission pack:
This game will not even launch properly without some work. The simplest way is to open game's folder and edit "ground_zero.bat" to delete "+set cddir D:\data\max" line from it. Then launch this .bat file. Steam will count you as launching Quake 2, by the way. Or you can use source port if you don't care about Vanilla experience.

The music once again was not included. You will have to track it down in some way or another. Or find retail copy. Unless you use source port, Quake 2 reads Redbook music from the first disc drive. You also will have to find and learn neat _inmm program to make music loop correctly.

And then there is lack of widescreen support by default, albeit I heard it can easily be edited in config or with source port.
Oh, and it would slutter for me a lot. Unless I would go into Video options in game's menu and then exit, as it got fixed by itself.
It also doesn't seem to save configuration so you have to redo in-game options tweaks everytime you launch it.

Multiplayer community, well, I didn't check personally. But I think that it uses same stuff as Quake 2 and no one uses expansions packs.

The plot of this mission pack is simple. Once again we follow another soldier during human's attack on Strogg planet. And this time you have totally unawesome name "stepchild" and have to politely blow up Gravity Well which trapped human's fleet in planet orbit who are being actively shot by the Big Gun. Good thing you managed to crash.

This time around the level structure of main campaign changed a bit. Rogue Entertainment, makers of Strife, made Quake 2's kinda-there-hubs take a next step, as their levels are now huge, mazey and may require backtracking. There is still one certain linear way to get through the unit and game usually tells you what to do next in objective, like "go back to previous level now". Or "turn on the three valves" and then you will be spending your time in the level, poking around as you didn't care to remember where valves were.

Sad thing is that while I enjoy such exploration aspect, but Quake 2 setting isn't Hexen. It's the kind of setting that is cool in short burst, not the one you want to explore. It's nothing but a boringish black-red tech stuff of tech generic evilness. Of RED colored OpenGL lights. With some heavy-whatever-you-count guitar music grinding on your ears after a while. So eh, not so awesome idea after all.

You also was given new tools to handle enemies. There is EDF-something that is actually just a nailgun from Q1. Ohai my baby. It's supposed to ignore target's armor and thus in single it's only useful only against new modifications for those jetpack soldiers with shield. Oh well. Plus some continious laser that eats cell ammo like no tommorow, so much that I feel I will rather use BFG than that. Plus grenade launcher that throws proximity mines that are tad weak to be used as a mine. I just shot them when I didn't want grenades to bounce away. Oh, and there is a chainsaw. Chainfist, actually. By the golden holy rule of 90's FPS, it's a melee weapon that sucks.
Too bad that developers forgot to set keybinds to some of those weapons, so you either have to learn how to make autoexec files or just have to select them clumpsily from inventory.

Then from inventory weapons you got new Double Damage. It's like Quad Damage, but half as good, but more common. Then there is VR Googles which will put you into R-ZONE! Or at least make objects fully red. And various spheres that float above you and do something. Like, Sphere of Defender shoots back at whoever injured you. And then there are gimmicky Tesla throwable devices. Once landed, they take a while to set up and then zap at nearby enemies. Too bad that monsters AI was programmed to not enter this device's range and just to shoot it immeditly, thus there are very little uses for it. Only as distraction. Weapon switching speed in Quake 2 is too slow for much use otherwise.

But then come the new enemies. Well, there are spider things who can crawl over ceiling and play dead. Fool me once, gib them all. New modification of jetpack Strogg with shield in front. Medic Strogg is now actually dangerous as he also spawns other Stroggs around himself, thus being number one priority target. And good reason to pull out BFG. And there are totally new bosses. Final bosses are supposed to replicate powerups that you currently use, so using Quad Damage means that they do quad damage as well. It still doesn't help to save them much, at least on Normal. Still, awesome.

Oh. And turrets.
Freaking turrets.
While the first hub has none, the game is going to slowly cover the levels with them, hidden and placed in all the corners that you don't expect to see them. They are small, they take 2-3 rockets or railgun shots, they shoot high damage projectiles and often come out from hiding behind you. Even worse if they are armed with rockets. Their AI is also pain, as they predict your movement to shoot ahead and can even keep shooting near the corner where you hid away. In other words, they are pain in the back. And while you may learn to handle them better, despite having to quickload when you get surprised anyway, it doesn't fit to Quake 2 pace at all.

Oh, and they say that they improved AI. Mostly means that they made enemies harder. Mostly by making them take less time to shoot. All yay being shot by light guard right as you peek around corner. Light Guards are also more aggresive. And Stroggs shoot grenades more accurately, which might be a good change. Oh, and there are some scripted events too, like shooting something explosive near you as you enter the room.

Overall, with all the difficulty spikes and pacing problems, partly thanks to turrets, as well as setting getting old before the end of a game I think that this mission pack is skippable. Really, not all that fun.
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8 of 13 people (62%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 21, 2015
Short version: avoid this and play the infinitely-superior Reckoning instead. Long version: Rogue apparently thought they were still making Strife, which means that a Q2 mission pack somehow features confusing and maze-like maps with terrible backtracking elements. The new weapons range from passable to useless, with the reskinned splash-damaging nailgun being the best, and the chainfist being the worst, since you're required to get up-close to the average Q2 enemy to use it, universally-known as a terrible idea

And to complain about both, the level design severely-limits how you can effectively-use the rocket and grenade launcher, two things a Quake game should never have an issue accommodating by design. The cramped and compacted rooms and corridors make using both either suicidal or a total waste of ammo, as enemies will either be on hard-to-hit ledges, blocked by walls/poles/architecture, or too close to where you bathe in the splash damage yourself

And then the ENEMIES, every new enemy is a horrible pain to deal with, and not in the fun strategy-deducing way, but the projectiles-that-might-as-well-be-hitscan way, I'm looking at YOU, plasma-shooting spider-thing. The worst addition however is the fact that there are autotracking sentry turrets EVERYWHERE, you generally can't go a minute or two without running-into one, and they hurt, a LOT. They take forever to destroy due to the fact you have to be constantly-moving in order to avoid either their painful blaster shot, or usually-instagibbing rocket shot, and they have an ungodly amount of health for a fixture, so better make sure you actually hit them
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
If you liked QUAKE II then you will like this mission pack! It took me 7 hours to finish too! It adds some new weapons and a new final boss! It isn't as challenging as the last mission pack and the turrets are annoying, but I got more enjoyment out of this expansion. There is even a secret you can find that disguises you as a strogg! If you liked QUAKE II then you should get QUAKE II: Ground Zero!
(If you can't launch this mission pack you will need to right click on QUAKE II, click properties, and click launch options. Then you need to type in: "+set game rogue" (without the " "). Then just launch QUAKE II and it should launch this expansion)
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Recently Posted
Angry Floof
5.6 hrs
Posted: September 29
NOTE: I could not get Quake II + Expansions to work on Steam w/o mods. This review does not take this into account. If you are looking to purchase this game, buy it knowing you will need to enable some mods for newer OSs to run Quake II.

I used this mod. It worked for Win 7. I don't endorse it, I just include it for completion's sake.

So this is the weaker expansion for Quake II (and IMO, the weakest Quake Expansion). The Reckoning is much better paced and much more fun to play.

Basically, due to poor enemy design, the game is much slower. You can't just "run n gun" through the game thanks to extremely tanky enemies and the sentry turrets.

Especially on the harder difficulties, it's a slow and tedious crawl as you check EVERY corner for a turret, because:

A) The turrets do ludicrous amounts of damage (a fifth of your HP per shot for the WEAKEST ones, half or more for the rocket/rail sentries)
B) The turrets are usually in blind spots. Walk into room, get shot in the back. Beginning of level, get shredded by two hidden rocket turrets.
C) About 15-20% of enemies are turrets. Yes, they're that common.

And to top it off, the game is stingy with ammo. Like, I was often out of shotgun shells. That's ridiculous in a Quake game. Of course, it doesn't help that they added a massively tanky enemy that spawns mobs en masse indefinitely.

The bosses are ridiculous. It's basically a giant room fight with no cover. You're expected to have saved a ton of OP stuff, which means you're SOL if you didn't.

I did not enjoy this one. I was spending way too long creeping along corners sniping turrets with the default blaster just to save ammo and not enough time running around. I ended up just using godmode towards the end and I had a much better time. Perhaps it was because I was playing on Hard+, but "The Reckoning" was much more fun, even on Hard+.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
10.8 hrs
Posted: September 3

What I liked about the game

• Good level design.
• Awesome new weapons, although I was disappointed with the chainsaw.
• New enemies.
• Plenty of secrets to be found, they are hidden in quite clever places.
• The final boss was awesome and not reused from quake 2.

What I disliked or was disappointed with

• Can be very frustrating. I played the game on medium difficulty and found it very challenging. The Sentry turrets do a lot of damage and there are lots of them around the levels. There is an enemy that can spawn over enemies in the game, which I found sometimes frustrating to beat. The two bosses in the game are an absolute joke; they are too difficult to beat on medium setting, I must have died like a hundred times trying to defeat the bosses. The difficulty does ruin the experience.
• You have to download a patch to restore the music in the game (link below).
• I was very disappointed with the chainsaw; you got it too late in the game. It was one of the reasons why I wanted to play this expansion pack.


Not as good as The Reckoning. If you are a big fan of Quake 2 and want a challenge, I highly recommend you buy this, if not, then avoid, as the difficulty does ruin the experience. 70/100

Quake 2 patch

Helpful? Yes No Funny
5.1 hrs
Posted: August 28
[played with ultimate quake 2 patch containing KMQuake2]

This is the best version of quake 2: new enemies are great and differ from one another, new weapons are ones which were missing from the base game, like projectile automatic gun (without insufferable wind-down) and chainsaw, and finally we have organic and easy to understand level design, this time with some colours. And unlike first add-on Ground Zero even features new final boss.

Base quake 2 was homogeneous blob of brown-grey levels, had four weapons with the rest being just duplicates or completely useless and functionally only two enemies — one flying, the other is walking. All the additions, including slightly annoying turrets finally diversified the game enough for it to be interesting to play.
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Your Dad's Gay Lover
0.2 hrs
Posted: August 4
Awful level design, but it's Quake II... so I had *some* fun. I recommend the other expansion packs.
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7.3 hrs
Posted: June 16
Would be a decent slice of Quake II, if it weren't for the ****ing turrets absolutely everywhere. Now, you might be thinking - "Turrets? That doesn't sound too bad?"


They're camouflaged, fire rockets or plasma blasts that take off 20-30 points of life with each shot and take two railgun slugs or three rockets to destroy. They all but ruin the game.
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9.2 hrs
Posted: May 6
Excellent add-on for an already excellent game.
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Mean Mr. Mustard
4.7 hrs
Posted: April 17
Mean Mr. Mustard's short Quake II Mission Pack: Ground Zero review

1) Essential - buy it NOW
2) Recommended - buy it on sale
3) Avoid

Time to complete – 4 hours
Played multiplayer? No
Worth revisiting? No, definitely worth a playthrough but not memorable enough for a second

Best part – More Quake II, if you like Quake II this is more of the same but with the usual expansion pack extras. i.e. more weapons, enemies, levels etc
Worst part – Doesn't really have a standout moment, making this quite forgettable. Still, you'll easily get your monies worth.
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