Enemy Territory: Quake WarsESRB:
Platform: PC Games
Category: First Person Shooter
Developer - Splash Damage
Publisher - Activision/id Software
Genre: First-Person Shooter, Action
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Released as a prequel to id Software's Quake II, 'Enemy Territory: Quake Wars' arrives on the PC. Developed by Splash Damage, Quake Wars is an online team and objective-based multiplayer experience and its release marks the 3rd game in the series. The game uses a modified version of id Software's “Doom 3” engine and “MegaTexture” rendering technology. For those of you familiar with Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, Quake Wars maintains the basic formula but adds a few new twists. Large maps, player controlled vehicles and lots of carnage is the name of the game. Will Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory fans embrace Quake Wars? I think so as the latter offers lots of 'bang for the buck' for those online PC gamers.
Overall, the visuals in Quake Wars are quite good. The graphics for some may in fact be the best selling feature of the game. Generally whenever I am writing a review I list the visuals which stood out for me but in this case there is simply too much to list. I played the game on a 2-year old PC and I would consider my PC average at best and yet the game still looked spectacular. As I indicated above, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is based on a modified Doom 3 engine and the use of megatextures makes for some very smooth looking visuals.
When you first start playing online, you will be taken back by not only the size of some of the maps but the detail in them as well. The landscapes are breathtaking and incredibly detailed. Everything from the buildings, the rocks, the sand to the vegetation looks really detailed in its appearance. For example, I really noticed some of the detail of the tress as I was flying over and, unfortunately, sometimes right into them. They had an uncanny realistic look to them and there were dense and green as you’d expect trees to be. Granted some maps look quite a bit better than others, however on the whole the majority of the maps looks pretty good. The game also features very detailed character models, weapons, vehicles and aircraft. All are very well designed and rendered and are very comparable to games such as Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter by Ubisoft.
The lighting is also very strong and realistic Quake Wars. Hell, even the reflections coming off of my teammate’s helmet visor was very impressive to say the least. The games lighting and environments very much reminds me of Halo 3 in terms of the scope, size and detail of the games maps, but in a higher resolution. One of the more impressive visuals for me was the smoke and explosions effects. I don't think I have seen much better. It's a spectacular sight and ultimately makes the game a little more challenging as you wait for the heavy smoke to dissipate. I am not a PC gamer at heart, but with games looking this good I can see why so many people continue to spend big money on home computer rigs to play games of this quality.
As far as the sound is concerned Quake Wars falls a little short and unfortunately is not on par with the games visuals. Bottom line, nothing really stood out for me in terms of the audio. There is virtually no in-game music in this one (menu's are the only exception), something which I am used to on console games, so the sounds of the game consists of primarily battle sounds that you typically get in the vast majority of shooters already on the market. The battle and 'war' sounds are nothing unique and is easily forgettable. That being said I guess with Quake Wars being a multiplayer game the lack of music is somewhat expected. For the most part the weapons sound alright, however I never really felt like I had a powerful weapon on my hands. They simply lacked the punch you would expect in team based action shooter such as this. I have a decent set of PC speakers with a nice subwoofer too. In the end, it's nothing we have not heard before.
Before I get into the actual gameplay, let me just give you a bit of background. Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is a team based game and I will emphasizing the word 'Team' as we progress. There are two opposing teams; the GDF (Global Defense Force), who are human, and the Strogg, an alien race who are invading Earth. For each side there are five classes, and while these classes are essentially the same on both sides, there are small variations in the way they perform as well as differences in names. The classes of Global Defense Force consist of Soldier, Medic, Engineer, Field Ops, and Covert Ops. The corresponding Strogg classes are Aggressor, Technician, Constructor, Oppressor, and Infiltrator.
During the game the main goal is to either capture enemy territory by completing objectives, or defend the set out objectives for a specific period of time. So you basically are either attacking or defending. Furthermore, there are also sub-missions available, such as destroying a specific obstacle. By completing the sub-mission(s) in any given level it makes it easier for you to progress through that specific level. As you complete objectives, and help your team as a specific class you gain "XP". With "XP" you can acquire upgrades for your specific class such as light weapons, vehicles or 'battlesense'. These upgrades last for one campaign consisting of three maps and then it resets when the campaign is completed. Overall, the upgrades help you become a more effective soldier, however it does not necessarily give you an advantage over your opponent, which is a good thing given that not everyone has all day to play a game like some of the people out in the gaming world.
At the end of the day, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is all about having the best team. The team that works the best together wins. It is not about being the best run and gunner or about the guy who can get equipped with the best weapon first. It's all about team work. So keep this in mind before you go about and pick up this game. If you enjoy run and gun games like Halo, Gears of War or Rainbow Six Vegas, then Quake Wars might not be for you. Overall, Quake Wars can be a pretty intense online experience which requires team work, an awareness of your surroundings, discipline and communication.
The story in this game is irrelevant and given the lack of a single player campaign mode I could care less what the story is about anyhow. It's the online play which ultimately gives Enemy Territory: Quake Wars the lasting appeal. Granted you can play offline versus bots but that gets old in a hurry. There are 12 maps in total and surely there will be some downloadable content in the near future. Online play was pretty flawless but that is to be expected given the lineage of PC gaming online. Remember, I am used to online gaming on a console, so this was somewhat of a new experience for me.
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