Quake 2 was released in the year 1997 and was one of the first first person shooter games that became immensely popular. Back in 1997, this game used cutting edge graphics of those times. But now the graphics look very old and bad compared to the modern games. Now an open-source developer Christoph Schied has created a new version of Quake 2 that completely replace the original graphics code while maintaining the same game-play. The new version uses ray tracing technology found only in modern high-end graphics cards to improve the graphics in Quake 2.
With the help of this new graphics code that uses the Vulkan technology as opposed to DirectX or OpenGL which means that this new port will run only on computer that have GPU with Vulkan support. One way to find whether your GPU supports Vulkan is through Geeks3D GPU Caps Viewer. You can find Vulkan information from under the Vulkan tab. If no information is displayed then your GPU does not support Vulkan.
If your GPU supports Vulkan then here is how you can use new Quake 2 port to play with high end graphics:
- Install Quake 2 starter pack from http://q2s.tastyspleen.net/.
- Download Quake 2 Vulkan port from https://github.com/cschied/q2vkpt/releases.
- Extract the downloaded zip archive in the same folder where you installed Quake 2 starter pack.
- Launch Q2VKPT and it will now start Quake 2 with high end graphics.
While the new Quake 2 port that makes use of Vulkan technology does make the old Quake 2 look much better, do not expect the graphics to be like the ones that come with modern games. It just makes the old graphics appear better using ray tracing, denoising filters and some other techniques. Nevetheless, we found it interesting and we hope that you can also enjoy playing it using the steps above.