There have been a lot of great multiplayer shooters on the PC, but few had the complete package like Enemy Territory did. It was fast paced,
it was objective driven, it was team oriented, it was based on World War II, it was a free standalone game, and it had a flamethrower - what
more could you ask for? Even to this very day despite its dated feel I'd happily fire up a game of ET and be occupied for hours. Thanks to Splash
Damage, id Software and Activision, fans of ET
can finally bring their favourite brand of MP FPS
action onto the modern stage as Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is now out and about worldwide for the PC, and the online shooting genre
has never been more fun.
While the original release was most commonly known as 'ET', the actual full name goes by Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory because the game
was an extension to the Return to Castle Wolfenstein FPS shooter - a free standalone 'mod' if you will. Obviously Activision saw the huge potential
that ET offered their publishing label with its large take up in the online FPS communities across the world and decided that expanding the
series to a commercial status was worth a shot, and
this is where Enemy Territory: Quake Wars comes in. Like the original ET was based around RTCW scenery, weapons and storyline, Quake Wars is
based around the world of Quake in many of the same ways, although don't fret, as Splash Damage have made sure that fans of the original ET
should have no trouble picking up where they left off when playing Quake Wars.
As any avid fan of the Quake series would know, the series itself has not been consistent over the years and doesn't always continue the exact same
storyline or even gameplay style from version to version, so it is worth noting that Quake Wars is an extension to the storyline we saw in Quake
II, which consists of an alien race known as the 'Strogg' and their desire to conquer the Human race on earth, although not without resistance. The
Humans are represented on the battlefield by
a global defense force known as the, er, Global
Defence Force (despite the odd lack of accents beyond American), and this Strogg vs GDF conflict across various locations on Earth forms the entire premise
of the game.
But lets not play into the storyline or premise too much, as Quake Wars is really all about the gameplay. There is no single player story mode on
offer here (although there is the ability to play offline with bots), this is all about team vs team objective based combat with a heavy emphasis on
teamwork. Like the original ET, Quake Wars isn't just about racking up kills - in fact there is no kill count viewable during gameplay at all.
This game is about completing the game's objectives both
primary and secondary, which can range from defending a certain target, to carrying a data disc to a comm center, and killing whoever may get in your
way. How you go about tackling the objectives will depend on a few factors, but easily the most important factor comes in the form of
your chosen class.
Much like the original ET, Quake Wars revolves around the presence of five major classes - the front line grunt, the medic, the engineer, the
long range weapons expert, and the covert specialist - all of which are represented on both the Strogg and Human sides, albeit with different names. Even
though all classes come equipped with enough basic weaponry to foster traditional deathmatch style MP shooting gameplay, the class that you choose on any
given map is basically going to dictate how you operate,
so it is definitely in your best interest to try and play to the strengths of your class as each and every one of them can be quite potent in their own
way on the battlefield.
For example, if you choose the 'Field Ops' or 'Oppressor' class, you're going to want to take advantage of the fact you can build long range artillery
weaponry which you can then later direct to more or less any part of the battlefield for bombardment. If you chose to be a 'Medic' or a
'Technician', then you'll want to make sure you're actively looking to re-supply friendly players with more health packs as well as tend to as many fallen
comrades as possible. If you're an 'Engineer' or a 'Constructor', then
you'll want to make sure any friendly deployable units are kept in tip top shape as well as build turret deployable's of your own. Now, this all sounds fine
and well, but how does the Quake Wars make gamers want to do these niche things when the inclination may be to just pull out your main weapon and
treat the game like Quake 3: Arena?
Simple - by integrating the objectives to cater for each and every class on the battlefield, and by connecting these objectives with an 'XP' system.
Every time you complete an objective in this game you are granted 'XP', and the best part about this is these objectives aren't always primary 'win or lose'
type things - some of them are as simple as taking out an enemy turret or deployable that someone on the opposing team just built. Better still, your current
objective can be chosen by yourself from a
list at the top left of your screen by pressing the 'M' key, and your chosen class can influence which missions are available to choose from, which is a
great mechanism as it makes sure that objectives are spread across all players on a team more evenly. How you actually tackle an objective is naturally
down to your chosen class, and this is where the game's awesome class variation and sturdy team based framework meet.