Enemy Territory: Quake WarsESRB:
Platform: Xbox 360
Category: First Person Shooter
Developer – Nerve Software
Publisher - Activision/id Software
System Link: 2-16
245KB to Save Game
Online Multiplayer: 2-16
Released as a prequel to id Software's Quake II, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars arrived on the PC months ago and it has finally made the journey to the Xbox 360. Developed by Nerve Software, Quake Wars is an online team and objective-based multiplayer experience. Its release marks the third game in the series. It 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. So does the Xbox 360 version measure up to the PC version released less than a year ago? Let’s find out, shall we.
Overall, the visuals in Quake Wars are good but do not quite measure up to its PC counterpart. It simply seems stripped down compared to the PC version. Granted this is likely due to the some of the limitations of the Xbox 360 hardware, nevertheless I could not help but be a little disappointed with the overall look of the game. That being said, for those of you who have not played Enemy Territory: Quake Wars on the PC, you may very well be impressed. When you jump into some of the maps, you will be taken back by not only the size of some of them but the detail of them as well. The landscapes are rock solid and quite nicely detailed. Everything from the buildings, the rocks, the vegetation and to even the sand is well rendered and visually appealing. For example, even such things as the detailed features of the tress was quite noticeable as I was flying over, and even into, them. They had an uncanny realistic look as they are as dense and as green as you’d expect your typical large tall tree to be. That being said, some of the maps unfortunately look quite a bit better than others though; however on the whole the majority of the maps look pretty good.
On another positive note, the lighting is strong and realistic in this Xbox 360 translation. 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. One of the more impressive visuals for me was the smoke and explosion effects. They are solid and ultimately make the game a little more challenging as you wait for the heavy smoke to dissipate.
On its own, the game also features very detailed character models, weapons, vehicles and aircraft. All are very well designed and rendered and they are very comparable to games such as Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 by Ubisoft. However, as seems to be a theme with the final version of this console game, it is not as good or as detailed as the PC version, but it’s definitely not that bad either which should please a lot of the Xbox 360 zealots out there.\
As far as the sound is concerned Enemy Territory: Quake Wars falls a little short and unfortunately is not on par with other Xbox 360 games already on the market. 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 in the majority of console games. That being said I guess with Quake Wars being primarily a multiplayer game the lack of music is to be fairly expected. So the sounds of the game consist of primarily battle sounds that are commonly found in other shooters already on the market. The battle sounds of war are nothing unique and in many ways somewhat forgettable. For the most part the weapons manage to 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. In the end the sound effects are nothing we have not heard before and they won’t leave a lasting impression on you.
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is truly aimed at those with a hankering for some online team based gameplay. There is a single player campaign mode but it essentially consists of the 12 multiplayer maps broken into sections where you are tasked to kill AI bots. So if you purchased this game strictly for the single player experience you will be sadly disappointed. In terms of the team play, the game has two opposing teams: the GDF (Global Defense Force) who are human, and the Strogg, an alien race who hellbent on invading and taking over the Earth. Each side consists of five classes, and while these classes are essentially the same on both sides there are small variations in the way they perform. The classes of Global Defense Force consist of Soldier, Medic, Engineer, Field Ops, and Covert Ops while 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 a series of set out objectives for a specific period of time. So in laymen’s terms you are either attacking or defending. Furthermore, there are also sub-missions available, such as destroying a specific obstacle. Completing the sub-mission(s) during battle assists you during the fight as it makes it easier for you to progress through the specific level you are currently battling on. As you complete objectives and play on your team as a specific class you gain valuable Experience Points (XP). With XP you earn you can acquire upgrades for your specific class such as light weapons, vehicles or “battlesense”. These upgrades last for only one campaign which consists of three maps for you to do battle on. After each campaign comes to an end your XP resets and you start all over again. The upgrades that you can acquire in each campaign help you become a more effective soldier, however it does not necessarily give you a large advantage over your opponent. In my opinion this 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. It helps to make the game that much more enjoyable as it seems to level out the playing field just enough for the casual gamers while still allowing the diehard to feel like they are being rewarded for all the time they invest playing it.
At the end of the day, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is all about having the best team. But the team play is taken away a little with the Xbox 360 version as your characters move a little too fast for my liking. Simply put, there is still a little too much running and gunning for my liking with this console version of the game. But that being said, it has always been the style of any of the Quake games on the PC and a lot of people may enjoy this style of play on the 360. This running and gunning can make for some pretty intense online experience. And rest assured, playing effectively does still require team work, an awareness of your surroundings, discipline and communication.
If you have played and enjoyed Enemy Territory: Quake Wars for the PC already then you might just want to take a pass on the Xbox 360 version. In order for the game to fit onto the console concessions were made and as a result the game suffers a bit. Nevertheless, for those of you new to the Quake franchise, especially in the world of consoles, and you also enjoy online team based games that look pretty good, then Quake Wars is sure to be right up your alley.