Review: Quake Wars: Enemy Territory
COD4 and Halo won’t be quaking in their boots.
You know why I love Online Multiplayer Team Based Class Combat games? It’s cos you can be great at them, even if you’re shit. Get this. A game like Shadowrun would reward you not just for killing the most guys, but also by resurrecting allies or casting health trees. Team Fortress 2 rewarded you not just being deadly with a grenade launcher but by using a big bastard Heavy for cover whilst healing him, or sneaking into the enemy base, or by building turrets and teleporters. You can play and not feel like a total loser. You all had an important role to play (if you are actually playing the game correctly, tactically and communicating). You are part of a team. Of course, nothing will be as good as being part of Team Peoww (word – Ed).
Enemy Territory Quake Wars came out for the PC nine months ago and has finally made the transition to consoles, but is it any good? Well it really does depend on your definition of good.
Quake Wars plonks you in a big map and has you either attacking â€“ to complete a series of objectives, or defending and stopping the attackers â€“ as I said before, who kills who is irrelevant, its being a successful team member that will win the battle. Well that’s how it should be.
Playing as either the EDF – sorry, GDF (wholesome nice human boys of every creed colour and religion) or the Strogg (ugly deformed organic-robot alien bastards) you fight to complete these objectives as one of several classes. Soldier, Engineer, Medic, Covert Ops who each have their own nuances â€“ mainly due to different abilities they have, be it dispensing health packs or repairing field objects etc.
One thing to state is that the GDF and Strogg are different in the way that the different classes behave â€“ not totally and radically different but still different none the less. So you start one of the big maps and are told what classes are needed to complete the different objectives, be that a soldier needed to plant a bomb, or covert ops needed to hack a satellite dish. Rinse and repeat until all objectives are completed or you have stopped the attacking hoard.
Ok, so what exactly is my opinion of this game? I just don’t know. I mean it’s not the best looking game (and I’m not one for pointing this kind of thing out)(apart from in reviews where it’s your job! – Ed) but other than that I don’t think there is actually anything inherently wrong with it, at least nothing that I haven’t been able to ignore in other games.
Now don’t let my crap gamerscore for this game fool you, I did give it a fair chunk of my time (time that is now lost to me) but I just wasn’t feeling the love. Online was okay but as you’d expect everyone isn’t exactly co-operating like a well-oiled machine. Also I even completed quite a few of the single-player levels. I don’t mind playing a MP game â€“ me vs. bots, as I find it to be good training, but playing any objective type game with bots is nigh on impossible as the squad is pretty damn incompetent.
Quake wars is a great little FPS game that is however let down by some astonishingly bad online skullduggery. It’s nice to look at (nothing special though) and trundles along at a fair old pace with the emphasis on completing objectives rather than racking up kills or taking flags which gives it quite a freshness. There is no real single player game, just online missions with bots, but if you crank the AI difficulty up you’ll find yourself playing a tough little game which, in my opinion, is no bad thing.
Unfortunately it has a high frustration factor when it comes to getting a smooth online game. Lag issues are quite severe and when someone joins a game already underway it usually turns it into an turn based game with horrendous lag. Also be aware that teamwork is essential and in this game if you are stuck with a team of gophers it shows â€“ you’ll lose HEAVILY. The learning curve is very steep online and you’ll find you die a lot early doors but stick with it and you soon start picking up the tricks of the trade.
So, we have a ‘could be’ game here. It could be good and could be bad, so IF you can get a good connection and IF no one lags it up and IF you play with a decent squad or a bunch of mates, Quake Wars is a top game but be aware there are a few ‘ifs’. Oh one more thing â€“ the weapon select system is fucking DIRE and will cost you over and over.
Secondary Score: 7/10
I can’t say I don’t love this game because I’m not a fan of the genre â€“ I love a good FPS, team class combat or online shooter as much as the next bloke. So why don’t I love this? I just don’t know. I wasn’t having as much fun. Unlike something simplified like Team Fortress 2 I don’t think the transition from PC to console is very good. Aside from a more than generous auto-aim I believe it’s exactly the same game that was released on the PC nine months ago, the PC version now has countless new mods and maps and whatever not to mention that the PC version would have been a fair bit cheaper at the time and most definitely will be even cheaper now (much lower than the £44.99 console price tag).
The biggest problem with this game coming to the consoles has to be the number of people playing in a match â€“ reducing this number form 32 to 16 on big massive maps (like the adverts said, remember?) is just a killer blow. Gameplay just isn’t as frantic as I imagine it should be (listen up next-gen consoles â€“ less on graphics, more on online play â€“ we are very nearly on par with PC games in this respect)
Quite frankly if you would like to delve into the world of a unique class based online only team FPS (for the consoles) I can’t highly enough recommend Team Fortress 2 as part of the Orange Box or the wholly underappreciated Shadowrun (don’t say it Ed). Both being a whole lot cheaper, better looking, easier to get into etc etc. But then again, maybe the reason why these types of games are less popular than standard online shooters is because the whooping dickheads of Halo are less likely to get into them, which when you think about it isn’t actually a bad thing.
All in all Quake Wars is a lazy lazy port and, for the pricey tag it holds, it’s just not worth it. My only regret being I would have really loved to give this a bash with some friends but alas none of them came to the party of Quake Wars and muggins here was stuck with the cheque. Do you see? Never mind though, I have high hopes for Battlefield: Bad Company filling my void of online multiplayer class based combat. Until Shadowrun 2 that is.