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Enemy Territory: Quake Wars


Quake Wars: Enemy Territory

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is a first person shooter thatís based on the Quake series. The game is a port of the 2007 PC version and is similar to the Battlefield series. There isnít much of a narrative to accompany the single player game. An alien force named the Strogg has invaded Earth in 2065 and the Global Defense Force is battling the attacking forces in a variety of countries. The maps really donít identify with the actual countries and all look fairly non-descript. The story doesnít go anywhere and the single player campaign only serves as a bridge between Quake 1 and Quake 2.

Gameplay



Enemy Territory essentially tosses the player into an enormous battlefield and assigns objectives to be completed for success. Players can move to any section of the battlefield, but the objectives have to be completed in order. They usually involve defending the advance of enemy troops or vica verca. Each objective typically requires the skills of a specific class. For instance, Covert Ops can use explosives to blow up an objective while Engineers are good for hacking an objective. As objectives are completed, the required class to complete the next objective changes at the spawn screen.

Players can choose from five different classes. Soldiers are tough and carry the most well rounded weapons. Medics heal the wounded and are excellent for patching up the class in charge of the current objective. Engineers repair vehicles, lay mines and set up turrets. Field Ops can also set up artillery turrets and use a tool to call in air strikes. Covert Ops is the typical sniper class and the draw distance in the game lends itself to excellent sniping positions. They can also setup handy radar towers for pinpointing enemies.

There are plenty of vehicles on the map, but only your factionís vehicle can be used. Empty enemy vehicles simply become useless after the enemy abandons them. There are small quick cars, armored tanks, sea vessels, large mechs and a variety of flying craft. Multiple soldiers can board certain vehicles and pray that the driver knows how to operate the craft. The A.I. is fairly stupid on the lower levels of difficulty.

Compared to the PC version, the Xbox 360 control scheme seems problematic at best. Manual aiming is incredibly clunky and the auto-aim function is almost too good at times. Finding the right weapon on the fly can be troublesome as thereís only one button to cycle through weapons. I found myself cycling through weapons over an over during the heat of battle. The speed of the game seems faster as well, likely to alleviate the differences between using a mouse and keyboard.

Multiplayer is a vast improvement over the subpar A.I. of the bots. Assuming you can find a proper team, coordination of the attack sequence is crucial for finishing objectives in time. Besides playing with real players, you can also populate the rest of the map with bots. There is a solid online community playing Quake Wars at the moment, but will likely decrease as the year progresses.

Nearly all of the achievements are designed for completion during online play. There are achievements assigned to difficulty levels on the various campaigns, but ranking up your online soldiers is more prevalent. The difficulty achievements do stack though. The achievement set is geared more for the Quake Wars addict rather than the casual player. The entire set likely takes 30 to 40 hours of gameplay to complete.

Graphics & Audio



The visuals in Enemy Territory are drab to say the least. I realize the game has to be representative of the Quake world but the developer could have added just the slightest bit of color. As mentioned earlier, there are no distinguishing landmarks in the levels. Fighting in America looks exactly the same as fighting in Africa. The environments feel lifeless as well. The structures arenít destructible and the only moving characters are soldiers. The characters models are dated and the animations are anything but fluid. The 360 version of Enemy Territory is really quite average by recent FPS standards.

The sound effects become extremely repetitive, especially the voices of your teammates. The limited number of responses becomes obvious within the first few minutes of play. The musical score is forgettable, but does capture the mood of battle.

Conclusion

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is overpriced considering the lackluster single player and dated design. The dismal artificial intelligence of the 360 controlled players doesnít help either. The retail price would have been more appropriate at $49.99 or perhaps less. The multi-player thankfully has a thriving community despite the rampant success of Battlefield: Bad Company. Rent Enemy Territory before investing $60 in the game.