Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
Name: Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Platform: Windows PC
As technology grows with more powerful machines so does the scale of multiplayer shooters. Back when the games to play were Quake and the original Unreal Tournament, playing in games with twelve people was an accomplishment for developers and nearly overwelming for players. Now, anything under that number is just childish and that number continues to grow. Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is a game that grows with the curve, allowing 32 players to engage in large-scale tactical warfare.
If you are a die hard follower of the Quake series (which after Quake 4 I imagine it is hard to be) the plot might be of some interest to you. The Strogg race have begun their invasion of Earth and players can jump in on either side in large, open battles.. One of the promises of Quake Wars during development was that the two sides would be very different. As anyone could have guessed this didn’t really pan out, and as a result there is still a sniper on both teams, healing on both teams, and usually an equivalent for whatever one side has.
There are many things the game does right, and many it gets wrong. Starting with the positive, let's look at the game’s main multiplayer modes. Instead of the typical battles of two rival teams throwing themselves at each other until one overruns the other, Enemy Territories is much more tactical. Each of the maps can play out like a typical game’s single player campaign. While there may be times where the affair is brought down to the task of capturing points, most of the game is more of an attack/defend pattern.
One team may have to drive an APC to take over a base, but first could have to repair a broken bridge to get it across. To get that job done there need to be engineers on the team who need to be protected by the other players. After moving the APC, the team may need to hack an enemy base, ect. This brings more then the typical shooter and sets it above games like Call of Duty 4 and Battlefield in some aspects.
The graphics are awkwardly inconsistent. Some vehicles look amazing, while others look low resolution. Some character models look brilliant, others dated and last-gen. It does seem like the Strogg look much uglier then the humans. Yes, I know, they are ugly aliens, but that doesn’t mean their textures and polygon counts should be lower as well. Even their weapons seem to be crappier looking in first person mode - that should be a freebie!
The game has quite a learning curve to it, and unless you are a die-hard FPS fan you may spend more time on the ground then on your feet even with a fast respawn time. It takes some time to train yourself out of being the battlefield’s hero – Enemy Territory will not let you. Leave the group and you are as good as dead.
At many times the combat in Quake Wars feels more like playing a game of flashlight tag then firing a weapon. They feel light and don’t have enough of a kickback to make them really seem real.
The major problems with Enemy Territory are in its feel. At many times the combat in Quake Wars feels more like playing a game of flashlight tag then firing a weapon. They seem lightweight and don’t have enough of a kickback to make them really seem real. This may sound like a small issue, but it has killed games in the past and is a fault of the game’s engine. Everything feels just a little bit too floaty, and the effects of this seemingly minor issue translate to an issue with movement, fighting, hit detection, and vehicles. Everything is just a little off, and with games like Call of Duty 4 and Team Fortress 2 on the field they can’t afford that problem.
The game will be ported to consoles next year, and I do think it will be worth getting then. The PC is filled with these kind of games, but as far as the PS3 and Xbox 360 it is really slim pickings.
It may not have brought people in if it wasn’t for the Quake name slapped onto it, but it is worth a try if you are willing to give it a chance. That is the problem, it seems, the game isn’t very accessible at first and you really need to give it a few hours to even begin to scratch its surface. Stick around and you are in for a treat, but not everyone will make it that long. It has its high points and is a really nice game, it just takes a little bit of walking to hit its stride.