Enemy Territory: Quake Wars Review

There’s always something multiplayer games can offer over single-player games: teamwork. Of course, you won’t find teamwork on every server you come across, but if you’re in a capable team the game’s experience is increased tenfold. Trust me, there’s a satisfying feeling when you complete objectives with your team and advance onward. With that in mind, in comes Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Splash Damage’s first retail title with id Software.

While there have been plenty of classic online FPSes that focus on team objectives and teamwork, Quake Wars takes the best out of all of those games and shoves them into one tidy neat package. In addition to the overall mission for each map, there are always sub-missions (usually tied to your class) that you can complete for additional XP. XP is, of course, gained from completing objectives, and after ranking up you can have access to upgrades for your class — weapons or vehicles for example.

Quake Wars, as I’m sure you can tell from the title, takes place in the Quake universe, before the events of Quake II. The game’s different campaigns/maps reflect various actions the Strogg have been undertaking to capture Earth. The opposing side, the GDF, is there to stop them.

I decided to take the GDF’s Engineer for a spin. The Engineer (or Constructor for Strogg) is the game’s defensive class and has the ability to construct defensive measures, such as turrets (anti-vehicle, anti-personnel or anti-artillery) and mines. After a few XP gains, I was given access to some upgrades, which consisted of a grenade launcher and then the ability to repair things quicker.

Jumping into the map Quarry, which has the back story of a downed Strogg ship with the GDF trying to prevent the Strogg from repairing it, all the GDF classes has the main quest of preventing three energy cells from being captured by the Strogg. In addition, the Engineer has sub-quests for additional XP, such as repairing vehicles or turrets. All of the objectives mesh very well together and gives you the sense that you’re actually contributing to the team. The XP incentive also doesn’t hurt.

To keep things balanced, whatever you upgrade doesn’t necessarily persist between games. Each "campaign" has three different maps you can engage in and whatever you unlock stays within the campaign. But once you leave or are done with the campaign, that’s it. Quake Wars definitely rewards and encourages players to focus on specific class roles and since you’re working on upgrades, you wouldn’t want to quit your class in middle of the game.

The game is powered by id’s Doom 3 engine and features their MegaTexture rendering technology. It’s a shame that other games don’t use the Doom 3 engine since Quake Wars uses the engine to great appeal. Things perform swimmingly while running and gunning deep in Strogg territory. If you got tired from the usual brown and gray pallets in Quake IV, then you’ll be in for a surprise in Quake Wars.

One of the annoying factors is the vehicles. While they are pretty exciting to use, their controls are a bit iffy. I admit that it’s normal for a tank to have cumbersome controls (because it’s a friggin’ tank!), but I didn’t expect for a mini-quad to have similar control issues. I remember trying to turn around on a quad on a decently sized path overlooking a pit, but it took numerous turns to do so, and I was promptly annihilated and easily would have failed any driving test.

If you’re an Enemy Territory fan or a fan of team-based online FPS, then Quake Wars is a logical choice in terms of your next buy. But for newer players or those not seeking team-based play, the game just isn’t that big. Quake Wars ships with a single-player mode with bots which you can definitely boost your playing skills, because if there’s one thing Splash Damage does well (besides creating this fine game) it’s bots. The gameplay is balanced, the objectives are fun, the classes are finely tuned and the presentation is excellent. As of now, there isn’t a finer team-based online FPS than Quake Wars — just don’t expect to get a lot of solo play out of it.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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