|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Splash Damage||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 2, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: Up to 32||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is the long awaited sequel to the original Enemy Territory, a freeware title based on the popular Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Although it is following on the heels of the much hyped Halo 3, Quake Wars is an FPS that is a bit more squad and objective based than Microsoft's magnum opus. The big question, however, can Quake Wars distinguish itself in a market becoming flooded with FPS games? The early answer is yes. Although it doesn't bring anything innovative to the FPS formula, Quake Wars has enough fun to keep most PC gamers entertained for hours while their console counterparts gorge themselves on Master Chief's latest mission.
Quake Wars' story is simple, fairly standard sci-fi fare. The Strogg are a cybernetic alien race that is attempting to invade the Earth, but of course humans aren't planning on allowing this incursion to occur without a fight. The battles in the game are between the Strogg and the Global Defense Federation, although this mainly serves as a backdrop to give players to opportunity to shoot at one another. As is the case with most online multiplayer, the only real thing that the player needs to know is that it is open season on anyone that isn't on your team.
The gameplay in ETQW is set up with 12 levels and four distinct campaigns. Each team is charged with various objectives to advance, with different goals ranging from things such as extraction of a necessary object, protection of a mobile command center, to simply blowing up targets. The mission based gameplay keeps the teams focused, creating intense firefights that feel more centralized than the average loose assortment of gamers in a team deathmatch game. Adding to this formula is the class system, which gives each player certain specialties. The human medic and the Strogg technician both heal injured teammates, while human soldiers and Strogg aggressors are the frontline troops. Although they may sound like "palette swap" clones of each other, there are differences in the correlating classes depending on your choice of Strogg or human. For example, the aforementioned medic can heal their teammates quicker than the technician, who has the advantage of being able to create new spawn points.
One thing that the game does incredibly well is giving and updating objectives. This sets Quake Wars apart from a game like Halo. Each class has specific secondary objectives in addition to the primary team objective to tackle at any given time during the match. Since the game is strictly online multiplayer, the use of the objectives keeps the game from degenerating into random deathmatches, and the completion of objectives gives experience points that can be used to advance your character by offering treats like better weapons, medals, and different traits that might help you on the battlefield.
Depending on which side you choose, you'll begin on either offense or defense. The defending team is charged with preventing the other team from completing their objectives while the offensive team must complete an updating list of goals to win. In either case, winning is a concerted effort between the various classes, with the medics/technicians scrambling to keep allies alive while the soldiers/aggressors push the frontlines of the battle and the other assorted classes, from the spy to the engineer, all attempting to complete their tasks. The class system as well as the varied objectives and assorted strengths and weaknesses of the classes all promote an urgent sense of teamwork and solidarity.
Another area of note is the variety of vehicles. All of the assorted vehicles are fun to use, with options running the gamut from the standard human tank to the Strogg Cyclops, a bipedal behemoth decorated with dual-plasma cannons and anti-missile decoys.