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Saturday, 07 June 2008 08:57

Review: Enemy Territory: Quake Wars

Eight months on Enemy Territory: Quake Wars makes the jump from PC to Next-gen consoles. How does one of the biggest franchises in shooter history go with this leap?

I play a lot of games, and in many ways this translates to a pressure driven scenario of finding as much information as possible about a title, and then moving on to the next.
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
 quakewarspack.jpg Developer
Nerve, id Softward
PS3, PC, Reviewed on Xbox 360

This curse means I don’t get to spend as much time developing a talent in some of my favourite games.  Which is another way of saying I can suck at shooters.  So it is that I experience a moment of trepidation when facing a specialised online shooter such as Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.  There are many online that can hand me my quivering ass on a plate each time I play.

Even so it must be done, now that Enemy Territory: Quake Wars has been ported from PC to PS3 and Xbox 360 I need to check out what may have been added or lost in translation.

The quick answer is not too much, but it is a quite significant ‘not too much’.  For those who have experienced both, it is obvious that the visuals are understandably more mundane on the console version of the game.

Frame rates can suffer during the most intense action, the mission assignment is simplified as are the controls, but this is still pretty much Quake Wars.

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars takes place in 2065 immediately after the alien and aggressive Strogg invade Earth.  Standing between them and the complete Stroggification of humanity is the Global Defence Force (GDF).  quakewars1jpg.jpg

That’s it for back story, now it is time to select a side and get into the action.  With the console version id have given players a small tutorial to get them used to the classes, special equipment, vehicles, radar, turrets, zone control and objectives in the game.

Predominately the classes of Strogg and GDF infantry match each other, with subtle but important differences that give each side a balanced flavour.  For example the GDF Medic can almost immediately heal downed buddies, whilst the Strogg technician takes longer, but has the added ability to turn enemy corpses into friendly spawning points.

The other classes, Soldier/Agressor, Engineer/Technician, Field Ops/Oppressor and Covert Ops/Infiltrator each have special abilities and equipment, and a mix is required to achieve objectives.

Each map or set of maps contains a number of primary objectives; these must be achieved in order to win the map.  Generally there is an attacking side with the other defending objectives such as bunkers, mining lasers and similar. 

Territory is divided into strategic zones, once objectives are completed the attacking side gains control of the territory which is important for the fact that turrets/devices can now be constructed on the newly won ground and spawning points are expanded.

There is a broad range of vehicles to use across the expansive maps, something here for everybody, from flyers to mighty walking mechs, mechanized maniacs will not be disappointed.

A noticeable difference between PC and console, are the controls.  Without an entire keyboard at hand, weapon and device selection must be cycled using the bumpers and secondary objectives are automatically assigned.quakewars2.jpg

Awards and upgrades can be gained in each short lived campaign, unlike games such as the Battlefield series however; these do not carry over from game to game.  Rather, each player starts a map or series of maps at the same level.  Once again this is a design decision making the game less intimidating to newbies.

Ability is still awarded though; with enhanced speed and aiming as good players find success within each sortie.

Making the transition to the console platform, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is slightly awkward, with minor simplifications from the PC version it spawned from.   The game still retains the team orientated, nicely paced action that moves from vast sprawling outdoor areas into tight corridors at a moments notice. 

It also provides a unique platform that allows more casual shooter fans to loose a level of intimidation when first jumping to the game.  Yet provides enough for veterans of the genre to show their skills, and succeed.

7.5 Stroyent canisters out of 10

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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.

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