Enemy Territory: Quake Wars could easily represent to PC gamers what Halo 3 represents to console gamers. It’s a game that epitomises the PC gaming experience of the FPS genre. Ask any seasoned PC gamer who has spent a fair amount of time playing FPS games and you’ll be hard pressed to find one that won’t name at least one of the Quake games as their favourite FPS to play. That said Quake has never been infallible. No game is (nope, not even Halo 3, sorry). But after having spent many hours playing the beta and now having my own time with the final product, I have to say that Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is as close to FPS gaming perfection as you can get.
For anyone looking at a campaign type game you may wish to look elsewhere. ET:Quake Wars is online multiplayer gameplay only. As soon as you’re into the game it’s all about choosing your favourite class (exactly as it was in the beta) and playing as a team to meet team objectives. Everyone will have their favourite classes to play. Mine is the ‘Technician’ for the Strogg. My favourite race to play is also Strogg. You’ll soon gather which one is your favourite after a few games online.
There are two teams you can play in ET:QW; you can play as GDF (Global Defence Force) which is the human contingent in the game or as the Strogg who are the aliens invading earth. Unlike previous Quake games like Quake Team Arena, Quake Wars is really a continuation from the original Wolfenstein game where the fight for survival between the two opposing forces is crucial to the game’s focus. In Quake Wars, id software take things one step further, making the struggle between the humans and the Strogg a tactical and ferociously competitive experience on the battlefield.
Each team has several different classes to play which loosely fit into the following areas; medic, field ops, covert ops, soldier and engineer. Depending on what you wish to do in the game, you can choose between these different classes which in turn automatically change the dynamic of the team. You will soon see what it’s like going into battle without enough medics or technicians (if you’re Strogg) to revive you. Although the respawn rate isn’t too bad, it’s much easier playing the game with reliable medics handy to revive you if you fall on the battlefield (not to mention the amount of time it saves).
Although there are definite similarities between Quake Wars and the Battlefield franchise of games, I really think that Quake Wars has it’s very own atmosphere and ‘feel’ to it that is unmistakeably Quake through and through. This game is NOT a Battlefield clone but rather a game that explores many similar gameplay strategies that the Battlefield games approached, especially as far as classes are concerned. But that is where the similarities between the two end.
One of the most entertaining aspects of Quake Wars is the deployables and vehicles available to you in the game. You’ll spend a lot of your game time adventuring around with the vehicles (some of which are not that easy to master) and mowing down the enemy wherever you go. The vehicles really do make the game that much more enjoyable to play, especially when you need to get somewhere fast. The Icarus flightpack is really handy for getting to the objective area before the enemy – just try not to die whilst getting there.
Clan based warfare is always something that springs to mind with any Quake game and Quake Wars is certainly no exception. I am very interested to see how the Quake Wars clan scene will flourish in New Zealand and even more interested in whether or not Quake Wars will be taken on as an official game for the WCG line up for next year. Here’s hoping that it will because it will certainly be competitive enough to work.
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is available now at all participating retail stores. My guess is if you’re a fan of FPS games for PC, this is one game you NEED to play.