Enemy Territory: Quake Wars Preview

Get your drool buckets ready, gamers. Activision invited me to sunny Southern California late last month to sneak a peak at their upcoming FPS, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. Paul Wedgewood, the game,s lead designer, and Kevin Cloud, co-owner of id Software, led press around a tour of the title,s features. I went into the event expecting something cool, but basically another Battlefield clone – wow, was I WRONG.

First, I,ll speak to the handful of readers who are thinking, “Wait, isn,t ‘Enemy Territory, a Wolfenstein title?” Yes, it is, but you won,t be seeing any swastikas in Quake Wars. Enemy Territory: Quake Wars does not connect to the Wolfenstein universe in any way (except for the blonde-haired Strogg Nazis… just kidding). Enemy Territory is set during the Strogg invasion of Earth, which makes the title a prequel to Quake II. The only similarities you will find between Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars are in the game,s focus on teamwork and tactical planning.

While the title runs off the DOOM 3 engine, the engine has been modified to the point that it,s difficult to tell that it,s the DOOM 3 engine, at all. Enemy Territory: Quake Wars takes advantage of the basic lighting capabilities and normal mapping from the stock Doom 3 engine, but the massive texturing and realistic vehicle physics (the game sports large battlefields with vehicles placed around the maps) demanded modification. Enter Splash Damage, who partnered with id Software to develop all-new advanced terrain rendering, physics, and networking technologies. These versatile innovations promise to enhance the already-strong DOOM 3 Engine.

Paul Wedgewood spent some time discussing how the game,s objective-based campaign works. Much like the Wolfenstein title of the same name, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars puts your teamwork skills to the test. In the title, you,re often on the front lines of a large-scale battle, putting your leadership and tactical skills to the test. Each map will support 32 players, and feature a “push,” or “objective,” style of play. Those of you lonely gamers, hoping for solo gameplay, are just out of luck. “We never planned on adding single player support to Quake Wars,” Wedgewood explained, “we really just wanted to focus on an excellent multiplayer experience.”

Compared to the Battlefield franchise, Quake Wars offers relatively deep gameplay. Each army has its own unique style, and much like an SUV and a hatchback will handle differently on the road, expect the two opposing forces in Quake Wars to behave differently in the game. “A lot of games out there offer one army skinned differently to offer two armies to fight one another,” said Wedgewood, “We wanted to offer two completely unique forces to battle one another.”

Here,s an example: The Strogg medic uses a spike to drain useful plasma from dead human forces, while the human medic uses defibrillators to bring fallen comrades back from the dead. And another example, just because I know you,re dying for details: Strogg engineers use hover droids to fix damaged vehicles, and humans use wrenches. How efficient!

The objective style of gameplay expected from the title was on full display in the demo I saw. Players can expect to see a variety of projectiles launched from surface turrets, silos, and airships, and vehicles can be, rather than destroyed, simply disabled. Wedgewood showed off this feature by blowing off the wheels of an APC, then destroying the ammunition buckets on the sides, followed finally by the health packs. Quake demolitions experts should look forward to this title, especially. Finally, they will have the ability to blow the legs off of the massive Strogg walkers. Gentlemen: start jumping for joy. All these features add to the tactical chops of this promising FPS.

Wedgewood showed me a handy feature found in Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. If you,re stuck without any form of transport, and need to return to the battle ASAP, you can just call for a ride! An AI-driven transport will drop a vehicle at your feet (or, as Paul discovered in a hilarious accident, on your head), giving you an instant route into the fray (or a tremendous headache).

Although the game is still in its early stages, I,m confident that if the designers stay on this promising track, this FPS will become a true must-buy title. Offering in-depth gameplay, a highly efficient engine, and the draw of the Quake universe, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars should have the competition Quake-ing in their boots.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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