Highlights Quake 2 Remastered has received universal acclaim for its multi-platform release and is considered an excellent example of a remaster done right. The Plasma Beam, Grenade Launcher, and Hyperblaster are some of the best weapons in the game, offering unique features and high damage output. The Railgun and BFG10k are among the most powerful weapons in Quake 2 , capable of devastating enemies, but they come with limited ammunition and longer reload times.
Quake 2 Remastered was an unexpected shadow drop from Nightdive Studios in 2023 that was met with universal acclaim. This multi-platform release has been praised by commentators as a shining example of how a remaster should be done. From a list of campaigns and online cross-play to updated enemy AI and 120FPS on next-gen platforms – Quake 2 is a revered game from 1997 that was given a new breath of life in 2023.
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Blasting away the enemy on Stroggos is sci-fi FPS perfection yet knowing the best weapons available makes it all the more enjoyable. Below are the best weapons to be found in the 2023 Quake 2 Remaster.10 Plasma Beam
In addition to the roster of weapons in the Quake 2: Ground Zero campaign, the Plasma Beam is a fire-blasting marvel. Delivering a fully automatic uninterrupted torrent of plasma straight at the enemy, the Plasma Beam makes up for what it lacks in damage with incredible distance.
There are guns with a greater damage output than the Plasma Beam, some with a similar rate of fire but none have quite the range over distance. The most comparable weapon the Machine Gun possesses the same fire rate, yet only dishes out half the damage. Plasma Beam uses Cells for ammo and its most unquestionable downside is just how fast it burns through them.9 Grenade Launcher
One of the joys of playing the Quake franchise back from its ’90s heyday to today is the glory of its grenade physics. Unlike many a shooter before it and many since grenades were given a physics and gained a wonderful bounce to them. The Grenade Launcher is comfortably one of the strongest weapons to turn to when it comes to dealing with strong, larger enemies be it Gladiators or Tanks.
Definitely not a weapon to use in tight corridors but as a way to counter an ambush or clear out from above or even below, it is superb. Its semi-automatic fire rate and clunky reloading are among the downsides of using the Grenade Launcher. This being said, it packs stupendous damage for a direct hit and the damage to the surroundings is among the best in the game.8 Hyperblaster
The Hyperblaster is a weapon that may not appear much at first glance, but once the player is firing into crowds of enemies they’ll likely be enamored. When tearing at full speed, this rapid-fire, fully automatic gem offers the same fire rate as a machine gun but its damage per shot is markedly higher.
A cell-based weapon that will provide 200 rounds of ammunition does provide ample damage against any of the game’s enemies. For a brilliant rapid-fire weapon, the player has the trade-off of ammo being torn through at a quick rate. The ammo itself is cells and not the most commonplace across the game. Cool down is also an issue for players needing an immediate responsive weapon.7 Ion Ripper
Introduced in the Quake 2: The Reckoning campaign, the Ion Ripper is a fully automatic energy weapon assured to bring chaos to proceedings. Its shots are shaped like boomerangs and has the capacity to bounce off any surface. Fortunately for the player, they do and will not damage the player who fired them.
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While exclusive in The Reckoning campaign and multiplayer, the Ion Ripper is a fantastically powerful weapon. The energy boomerangs give the player more than one chance to damage enemies and wreak havoc in crowds. Particularly effective in addressing ambushes the Ion Ripper is a high-damage weapon appropriate for crowds, heavy enemies, and anything else that adds a flavor of carnage to the already frenetic gameplay.6 Phalanx Particle Cannon
A pump action masterpiece of a gun, the Phalanx Particle Cannon is a uniquely dangerous and damaging weapon advisable for any player. Debuting in The Reckoning campaign, the Phalanx Particle Cannon is a diabolic mix of a pump action shotgun and a rocket launcher. It fires two projectile slugs from a single shot and has the potential to scale as much damage as a rail gun.
Gladiators and Tanks can be turned into chunks rather fast with this remarkably powerful firearm. Specific to NightDive Studios’ remaster, the surrounding damage caused by a projectile blast has been increased and enemy power shields and screens have been rendered less effective.
A brilliant take on a First-Person Shooter staple, arguably no game did it better than Quake II. There is something uniquely satisfying about blasting enemies to literal bits with a single rocket blast. It’s a semi-automatic weapon, and it’s relatively slow, but its rockets fire straight as an arrow. This isn’t for close environments it is for long corridors and open-plan rooms where landing a shot is as satisfying as it is devastating.
This gun delivers some of the highest damage available in the game and that isn’t exclusive to hitting the target. Surrounding damage from a near miss or nearby rocket launch can be nearly equally damaging to enemies. Strong enemies are comfortably leveled in less than a handful of rounds and those more technically minded players can even master rocket jumping.4 Chaingun
Easily one of the most engrossing weapons to use in the game, the Chaingun is fully automatic mayhem realized to its maximum potential. Using the same ammunition as the machine gun, the Chaingun is an upgrade of a ludicrous rate of fire that will leave the player unafraid of overcrowding ever again.
Its 200 rounds will be ripped through at a breathtaking pace. While its opening rate of fire is equal to the lesser machine gun, at its highest speed the Chaingun fires 28 shots per second. It’s capable of taking any enemy irrespective of size or strength in just seconds, yet players be advised, there is a warm-up and a cool-down to this rapid-fire beast.3 Super Shotgun
The Super Shotgun is a brassy update of the very weapon that brought Id Software to fame and notoriety in the original Doom. Available from the first level of the original campaign for players open to exploration, this pump-action shotgun is capable of delirious damage from close range.
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That’s not to say there aren’t cons to using the Super Shotgun. While from close range it can dish rocket launcher levels of damage it is pump action and its damage loses potency from medium to long range. Yet for any player looking to run and gun and get into the thick of the action, there are few weapons as tantalizing to use as the Super Shotgun.2 BFG10k
A weapon as notorious as it is staggeringly overpowered, the BFG10K takes Doom’s BFG 9000 and makes it even more powerful. Its direct hit damage will likely dwarf the health of most enemies in the game this being said, the BFG10K allows the player to just fire into a room and watch crowds turn to particles.
Specifically, a direct hit will land on the enemy, opening up into a large sphere before vaporizing anything in its path. This infamous behemoth of a weapon will cost 50 rounds of cell ammunition per shot, and it takes some time to reload, so it is not to be used lightly or, for that matter, frequently.1 Railgun
Churning off rails of uranium at a rate to challenge the sonic barrier, the Railgun is the best weapon in the game for a variety of reasons. Weak to medium-health enemies do not stand a chance up against a single shot and even stronger enemies are dispatched with relative ease. Most remarkably, the Railgun’s damage is not affected by the distance of the enemy.
The only provincial weapon comparable in damage output per shot is the rocket launcher, and it holds similar drawbacks. It is semi-automatic, it does take a pocket of time to reload, and the player will have to make their shots count. The 2023 remaster has scaled down the damage of the Railgun but as a weapon to take down a boss, conserve ammo, or rip through several enemies in a single shot, Id Software never made a better gun.
Quake 2 is out now on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
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