At the end of it all, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is one of those games you want to like, but can’t. You want to say “Hey, it’s not you, it’s me”
Making the much anticipated move from PC to the consoles, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars’ team-based ethos was supposed to fill the gap left by EA’s Battlefield series. Unfortunately, the result was yet another under-par port that failed to live up to its predecessor.
It’s a shame, because this title has all the elements that should have made it a successful FPS: unique classes, expansive maps, multiple-objective scenarios, Vehicles, even mechs. (Well, one mech.) Yet the entire experience smacks of a half-hearted attempt to appease the console-playing demographic.
Airships, whilst hard to fly, pack an incredible punch. That APC is screwed.
Each class has its own unique role to play.
Set in the Quake universe, ET:QW acts as a prequel to previous Quake games, and features Mankind’s first encounter with the Strogg. Not that you get any of this from the game itself you understand. The newly-added single-player campaign, whilst a decent size, is completely devoid of context or plot. It’s simply there. The most information you get as to why this game exists is in the opening video, and even that is questionably ambiguous.
Unlike the PC version, the 360-port was made by a different developer, and the PS3 version by yet another. This is where things probably started to go wrong, as you can’t help but feel this is a game that was made with only half the story.
With poorer graphics, bland environments, smaller groups and uninspired objectives, it’s hard to justify getting Quake Wars when so many other solid titles exist in the genre. Add to that a steep learning curve, and a sometimes frustrating online experience, you’ll soon find yourself missing the £43 you spent on the game.
Never-the-less, it does grow on you. Experimenting with the different classes, and discovering their role on the battlefield is a worthwhile experience. Whether you’re calling down an air strike, sneaking behind enemy lines, or simply healing a team-mate – using each classes strengths to help complete your objectives is oddly satisfying.
The levels themselves are thankfully quite diverse, with varying climates and layouts. Obviously some maps are more interesting then others, but this is generally always the case. Whilst they may not feel like they’re in a particular region, (For instance, the ‘African’ maps don’t always seem very African.) the architecture is sound.
Even though the single player can be enjoyable, it pretty much exists as one big tutorial that sets you up for the main event: Online. Unfortunately, nerve (the 360 developer) has managed to screw this up as well. Loading times and odd hosting rules can make getting a game started up difficult, but once you’re in, the fun begins.
As is always the case, working together with real people beats a bot any day. The cooperative element really shines when you’re online, and even the repetitive objectives can become interesting as you work together to make sure the enemy is beat.
A Strogg technician, making repairs.
A diverse range of vehicles can lead to some interesting fights.
Provided you can look past the games failings, the two modes combined give this game a remarkably long life-span. However, it’s just a matter of time before you’ll be trading it back in because the next Battlefield game has come to claim its throne.
ENEMY TERRITORY: QUAKE WARS VERDICT
At the end of it all, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is one of those games you want to like, but can’t. You want to say “Hey, it’s not you, it’s me”, but you can’t do that either. Just about the only thing you can do is play, enjoy it as much as you can and give it a pat on the back for trying.
TOP GAME MOMENT
Volcano: Laying waste to the Strogg as they try to assault the beach fortifications. Artillery, anyone?