Enemy Territory: Quake Wars

It’s often surprising that this game is considered canon in the Quake universe when it resembles quite a different beast when compared to its predecessors. Expanding upon the online slant of Quake III: Arena, this is largely intended as something of a multi player frag-fest, doing away with purely story driven single player campaigns.

For those of you who don’t bother reading manuals, myself include, you might want to rethink that before you dive head-first into either solo campaign or online play, as there is little in the way of a tutorial mode. There are so many things to take in here, with separate radar symbols for different objectives and such..it’s all a tad bit confusing.

Battles all last around the fifteen-minute mark and have three objectives, whichever side gets the most kills or completes the most tasks win. You can choose to play as either the murderous alien race Strogg or the tooled up GDC human defense force. Each have strengths weaknesses and little nuances you’ll figure out over time.

Each map is pretty sizable, some requiring vehicles to navigate at speed. However, if your team capture a way point further into the map, it acts as the new spawn location, so you really get a sense that your army is pressing forward. Vehicles are pretty meaty but break down far too easily – often after a few hits, requiring someone with a mechanic class to nip out and repair it before you’re all railgun fodder.

Ah yes, the classes, now these are pretty neat. At the start of each round, you can choose from one of several classes, each with different special abilities and weapon sets. For example, Covert Ops classes for GDC use hacking tools and sniper rifles, so they are good at shutting down defense systems, yet useless at close quarters, requiring escort from Soldier classes who, as the name suggests, are tooled up six ways from Sunday.

Another neat element is the levelling system, which while not as sophisticated as the one found in Call of Duty 4, is still intriguing nonetheless. Applying your classes skill to a certain situation will fill a star gauge, for example, if playing as a Strogg constructor, repairing vehicles and building makeshift bridges will earn you more construction EXP. Level up , and your speed and efficiency with a wrench will improve somewhat.

To keep things level, these skills don’t transfer to the next battle, which is a great way of combating unfair disadvantages or matchmaking inconsistencies. So, Quake Wars is a game which understands and attempts to cater for it’s online shooter fan base, but unfortunately features an equal measure of annoyances. This is a shame, especially as this had real promise to rival the likes of Halo 3 and CoD4’s multiplayer modes.

For starters, the graphics haven’t fared well since the release of the PC original and terrain looks a little non-descript and ragged round the edges at times. However, it’s neat that this does away with the guff ‘war-torn-future’ palette from other FPS titles, with some maps looking lush and vibrant, although still rather ropey.

Sound-wise, this boasts a fitting soundtrack but when you hear your commander barking at you to fix an NPC, which is no where near you for the 50th time in a grating tone, you’ll want to reach for the mute button.

Interestingly, it is the gameplay which may prove the deciding factor on whether or not you enjoy this title or not. For starters, when you are shot, the screen barely budges and it is often difficult to recognise when a hit has connected with you or not, creating some confusion. Also, even with aim sensitivity all the way own this is very twitchy, perhaps to simulate the speed mouse and keyboard play, but not for me thanks.

Lastly, this is a terribly confusing game that quite often descends into chaos, and if you have bots making up empty slots, they are incredibly accurate, even on easier settings. They also run around as if they pre-empt your every attack with unrealistic pace. As a final point, consider this: In a game where death comes thick and fast thanks to this heated confusion, was adding in a 25-second re-spawn waiting time really a smart move? Absolutely infuriating.







3 responses to “Enemy Territory: Quake Wars”

  1. Chris avatar

    I love this game! Not perfect, but it has so much potential. It’s a great team game and forces you to consider what character classes you need to achieve an objective.

  2. Dave avatar

    Yeah I agree, the character class system is much better than “I’ll go this guy cause he has this particular gun” – With this, it has a lot more impact on the game and playing field.

    I dunno though man, something didn’t sit right with me on this one It’s a good effort, just lacking the punch of CoD4. I think it bodes well for multiplayer in QUake 5 if it comes around though.

  3. Ashley Escort avatar

    I really enjoyed flicking through this. I think I will that a look through your other posts!

Leave a Reply