E3: Quake Wars Hands On Preview

Let me start by saying that I’m an avid FPS player and a huge fan of the Quake franchise. So when I heard that Splash Damage was going to combine the Quake universe with the gameplay of Enemy Territory, I nearly fell out of my seat! As I stated in my preview a few months ago, Quake Wars puts you in the middle of a conflict between the human army, a.k.a. the "GDF" and the Strogg. Your goal as a member of the GDF army is to defend your planet. Your job as the Strogg is to invade the human planet. Sounds simple enough. In Quake Wars you’ll find the ability to plan out attacks, call in artillery strikes, and call for supplies or transportation. Believe it or not, that is just the tip of the iceberg… drooling yet?

We had the chance to meet up with the boys over at Activision during E3 this year. They were kind enough to let us to play a multiplayer demo of Quake Wars. Rob and I took the GDF while Dave and Adam went with the Strogg. We were given a simple overview of Quake Wars before we started. While analyzing the overview I noticed that the setup is similar to Wolfenstien: Enemy Territory. For those of you that are not familiar with Wolf:ET, the setup is basically to “push and hold”. You’re given objectives to complete, which will allow you to move forward and, hopefully, win the round. The GDF objective was to build a bridge, hold the bridge and move forward into the Strogg compound. From there we were to build a command outpost and other items like as artillery batteries and anti-air turrets. Once the outpost was built, our next objective was to take out a Strogg controlled shield generator. As soon as we had blown their generator we then had to destroy the Strogg command outpost.

After we were fully briefed we went to our demo stations. Rob and I kindly informed Dave and Adam that they were to lose the round and die a horrific death…they simply laughed. The first thing we notice with Quake Wars was the kit system. You have your average line of kits to choose from; Medic, Spec Ops, Engineer, and the list goes on. The one thing that caught my eye was the ability to change and manage your load-out before heading into battle. Naturally, being fan of accuracy and stealth, I picked the class that used the sniper rifle. The first thing that I noticed was the ability to zoom multiple times, giving me clear sight of the enemy through my scope. My job was to help the engineer’s get to the bridge so that they could build it. I managed to make it to my destination, but shortly after arrival I was brutally blown to bits by Dave’s Strogg shotgun. It’s worth noting that the Strogg weaponry is not just a skinned version of the GDF weaponry. The weapons on each side are completely unique and host completely different characteristics.

The next time I spawned, I decided to equip my soldier with an assault rifle. Given an ATV at the spawn point, I sped out of the base and discovered that the engineer’s had successfully built our bridge. A representative at the demo told me that there was a boost button for vehicles. I mashed the boost tab and shot across the bridge just to find Adam in the Strogg Walker, monster-like robot with huge guns. I don,t need to explain what happened beyond that point.

Shortly after me being turned into a human crater, the demo representative told me that there is a flare system on my ATV which can detour missiles and, in-turn, potentially save my life…better late than never, I suppose. When I spawned again, I decided to go with the anti-armor kit. I tried going over the bridge again, just to find Adam sitting in his robot of doom, killing anything that even slightly twitched. However, this time I jumped out of my ATV and prepared my rocket launcher. This is where I found one of the coolest features of Quake Wars: I shot the rocket towards Adam’s mech and it nailed the left leg, blowing it completely off. Needless to say, Adam’s mech wasn’t getting up anytime soon.

With Adam’s mech destroyed, my ATV on fire, and no one in sight, I found myself stuck in the middle of nowhere. Now, in most games, you’ll find that you have to walk 30 minutes in one direction just to get destroyed by some kid camping with a tank. The guys over at Activision reminded me that I can call in transportation! I called command and requested an ATV drop and, lo and behold, seconds later a giant plane flew overhead and dropped my ATV. Instead of having to walk forever trying to get back into the action, I was able to shoot across the landscape and be back in the fight within seconds.

We tried our best to push across the bridge, but the Strogg were heavily fortified at the other end with walkers, anti-air turrets and anti-personnel turrets. In the end, the GDF lost to the Strogg army. After everything was said and done, we had a blast over at the Quake Wars demo. Quake Wars sports an impressive line up of weaponry, vehicles and objects. Being able to customize your layout before heading into battle was amazing, too. As I stated earlier, the two armies in Quake Wars are completely different in every way, so don,t expect to pick up Quake Wars, play on the Strogg side, then hop over to the GDF and know exactly what to do.

We would like to thank Activision for inviting us to play Quake Wars at E3. We really liked the game and can,t wait to get our hands on a review copy later this year.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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