|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Id Software / Nerve Software||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 27, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-16 (online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The move of Enemy Territory to the realm of consoles is not all roses, however. Actually, it's somewhat of a mixed bag. On the one hand, the addition of voice chat really brings home the camaraderie, and allows players to issue commands instantly rather than frantically firing off abbreviated emotes from their keyboard. On the other, the gigantic 32-man conflicts on the PC have been pared down to just 16 players at once. Don't get me wrong, the action is still frenzied, but considering just how large the environments are, it would have been nice to play against even larger forces.
Along those lines, due to the sheer size of the levels, the graphics aren't quite as detailed and intense as they might have been otherwise. That's not to say they're bad; they're simply not nearly as stunning or sharp as they are in other FPSs. Nonetheless, they do an acceptable job of reproducing the various settings and conveying a sense of realism to players. Sadly, one major problem I found was a ton of shuttering due to framerate issues. What was really weird is we were given the debug code for the 360 and the full retail copy for the PS3, but the shuttering occurred far more often on the PS3 than it did on the 360.
The biggest differences between the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions are found in the menu interface and online matching. Both versions are well organized, but I'll have to give the nod to the 360 once again, as the 360 version's interface is far more accessible. I did like being able to choose from a list of available matches on the PS3 though. Astoundingly, this is not available through the 360 version; you'll simply be matched according to your preferences and host connection quality. Another big difference between versions is the quality of the voice chat; the PS3 produces some terrible echoes and painfully distorted feedback.
One thing I had troubles with on both systems was getting kicked out of games and general connection issues. I know Activision was having some server difficulties pre-launch, and we were having a bunch of trouble with a D-Link WBR-2310 router. Moreover, in the QUAKE Wars instruction booklet it specifically states that not all routers are supported. They go on to say that players should have a broadband connection of at least 786kbps network bandwidth to play QUAKE Wars smoothly. Subsequently, we have changed out our D-Link for a Belkin G Plus MIMO router and things have greatly improved. Nevertheless, we continue to get dropped from games and experience a ton of lag despite the fact we connect at over 3000kbps. Disappointingly, it seems like router compatibility and connectivity may be an issue.
The controls in QUAKE Wars are very good, but they are not perfect. Switching between weapons and tools via the RB / LB and R1 / L1 buttons is wonky. This is especially so when trying to access your knife / spikes for a quick melee strike, or when you want instant access to a secondary weapon such as grenades to lob at enemy emplacements.
The sounds are funny, but they're also fairly weak. The intensity of the battle action doesn't seem to be accurately reflected by the sound effects, and battlefield comments such as "Grenade!" and "Thank you!" had me feeling like I was liberating POWs in Metal Slug.
All in all, Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars is a solid team-based shooter that should appeal to a lot of players out there. If you loved games such as Frontlines: Fuel of War or even Unreal Tournament you'll be happy with this title. On the downside, there is a spate of technical issues and if you don't have a fast internet connection or regularly experience connection issues, I wouldn't suggest to pick up this game. Sure, there's an offline component that is identical to that of online play, but playing with and against bots just doesn't capture the strategy to be found online.
Finally, the move to the consoles should make this game available to many more people, but it costs twice as much as it does for PC and isn't as good. If you have a solid gaming rig at home, I would suggest playing from your PC. However, anyone who picks up this title for the PS3 or 360 won't be disappointed assuming all the features and functions are working tiptop.
CCC Lead Contributor / News Director