Last year's Quake IV failed to impress on either the PC or the Xbox 360, but it's too soon to count the classic FPS series out. Returning to the multiplayer action that made Quake II and Quake III so popular, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars could become the online FPS of choice for a new generation of gamers.
At first glance, Quake Wars looks awfully similar to EA's Battlefield series (or its knockoffs, such as the Star Wars: Battlefront games). Two teams of soldiers go head-to-head in battles typically involving 32 to 64 players. Character classes differentiate between snipers, infantry, and other roles, and gamers can hop into a wide variety of vehicles to transport troops or destroy enemies. But unlike in the Battlefield games, where generic objectives can lead to "wander around and find someone to shoot" gameplay, the maps in Quake Wars are designed to lead one team against the other in series of practical objectives, such as building a bridge so that the team can advance on the enemy.
Players can choose to play as either the human Global Defense Force or the alien Strogg army, and each side has different character types, vehicles, and weapons. We got a little hands-on time with the game, and it will feel familiar to anyone who has played Battlefield 1942 or any other large-scale online first-person shooter. Developer iD and publisher Activision hope for a holiday 2006 release for the PC.