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Enemy Territory: Quake Wars review: Enemy Territory: Quake Wars

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is a great multiplayer shooter -- an intense mix of team-based play and achieving personal objectives.

David Power

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4 min read

The fast team and objective-based multiplayer game Enemy Territory: Quake Wars has finally landed. Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is set years before Quake II's human invasion of the alien planet Stroggos. In the year 2065, Earth is under invasion from the alien Strogg who intend to harvest the human population for food. The only thing standing in their way is the human Global Defence Force (GDF). Throughout the game, you are able to take control of a variety of Strogg and GDF vehicles, earning experience points to gain rank and medals in the competitive online scene. Alternatively, you play offline through the campaign mode against computer controlled bots.

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8.2

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars

The Good

Good team and objective-based multiplayer. Follows classic Enemy Territory gameplay. Good variety of vehicles between armies. Fast-paced deathmatch action. Achievement and rank system online.

The Bad

Some vehicle and aircraft controls are a bit awkward.

The Bottom Line

Great intense team and objective-based multiplayer shooter.
A Strogg Violator beam clears the path.

Players can choose from the two playable armies -- the human/machine cross-breed alien Strogg, who use laser and plasma orientated weaponry, and the humans' Global Defence Force who use more conventional bullets and rockets, similar too, but more advanced than today's modern weapons. For an example of the differences between the two -- the Strogg do not use magazines for ammunition with their weapons like the GDF, they however, have a store of energy in their weapons which will overheat if fired for too long.

Essentially, there is an attacking and a defending team, with the attackers attempting to secure a series of objectives. The defenders must hold off the attackers from completing all the objectives before the time limit is up. Most objectives are specific to a class however. For example, constructing a bridge will only be available for the engineer, and destroying barricades can only be accomplished using the soldier/aggressor with their HE/Plasma charges. There are always a few side missions to help your team achieve victory -- constructing guard towers to help defend a zone, as well as placing radar towers to detect enemies in the zone.

Completing objectives, killing players, and constructing objects, among other things, will yield experience points. When enough experience points are earned within a class and a certain amount of related objectives are completed, you will be rewarded with medals. Along with these, you will receive a rise in rank from a possible 38 positions. There are also proficiency awards to be earned in each map. For example, an extra clip for your weapon, faster repair for the engineer, no footsteps heard for the infiltrator, and many more.

For the GDF, you have the medic, soldier, engineer, field ops, and covert ops. To the Strogg these are respectively known as the technician, aggressor, constructor, oppressor, and infiltrator. Each class has a role to fulfil on the team. Covert ops/Infiltrators for example, are the snipers of the group, able to carry either a sniper rifle (rail gun with the Strogg) or a scoped machine gun. They may also hack enemy turrets, forcing them to be disabled for 60 seconds. Another feature they have is the ability to steal a downed enemy's uniform and sneak into enemy lines. While the GDF Medics use med packs to heal injured team mates, Strogg's Technician can replenish health and ammunition, as well as using enemy corpses as forward spawn points for reinforcements. The variance between GDF and Strogg requires an alternate gameplay approach to both.

For Quake fans a few classic weapons are back with visual makeovers -- the rail gun, nail gun, rocket launcher, double barrel shotgun, and the hyper blaster. The familiar Quake "run-and-gun" remains intact, where you are able to maintain most of your accuracy while strafing and jumping around, keeping up a very fast-paced deathmatch battle. While there are vehicles available they don't necessarily play a dominating role. They are a strong point for holding off enemy advancements and capturing points, although frequently, objectives are won indoors, through fortresses and bunkers.

There are strong differences between Strogg and GDF vehicles.

The maps have a good balance of large outdoor areas and inner close-quarter combat zones. They vary from towns to beach side fortresses and vast snow fields. When you are literally dropped into the map you are presented with a list of current objectives. You can pick which one you like, or you can ignore them and go off on your own killing spree. It is however, highly recommended that you follow the missions if you want to gain extra experience points.

Although Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is strongly focused on multiplayer, there is also a single-player campaign. It isn't a story based campaign narrated by cut-scenes -- rather it is essentially the multiplayer missions just with computer controlled bots. Experience points and weapon proficiencies are still earned for each round but are not recorded online. It is a good way to get used to the gameplay system and test out the differences between the GDF and Strogg and their respective vehicles and classes.

It seems Enemy Territory: Quake Wars has been stretched to accommodate PCs across the board, sacrificing ground-breaking visuals for stable gameplay. Player, weapon, and vehicles models are highly detailed and visual effects such as the heat from weapons look great, though that's really as far as the eye candy goes. Explosions don't look spectacular and although world environments are well designed, there isn't a great deal of texture detail. Don't think that Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is below par on graphics though; they just aren't trying to set new visual limits.

Smooth gameplay that collides head-on with fast-paced action really makes Enemy Territory: Quake Wars an enjoyable game. It will definitely cater to long time Quake and Enemy Territory fans but is also fairly simple to pick up as a rookie.