Enemy Territory: Quake Wars PC Games and Downloads
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Released on 28/09/2007
Gamers choose to play as Human or Strogg in one of five unique character classes. Employing an arsenal of weapons, vehicles and deployable armaments, players engage in an action-packed test of skill and coordinated teamwork through a series of combat objectives. Persistent character growth and achievements reward players for teamwork, while clearly defined mission and class objectives guide new players to meaningful contributions on the battlefield.
In development at Splash Damage, co-creators of the award winning Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, and in conjunction with id Software, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars employs id Software's new MegaTexture graphics technology, delivering large outdoor battlefields of unrivaled detail. These life-like recreations of real-world environments are designed specifically for objective-based team combat and include realistic terrain, lighting, special effects and atmospheric conditions.
- Team-Based, Strategic Missions - Gameplay in Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is all about conquering and securing enemy territory, and pushing forward or holding your team's front line. Players must work together using their vehicles, deployables, and character class abilities to complete objectives, defend valuable installations, or execute massive assaults. The gameplay is designed to allow players of every skill level to jump into a match and make a sizeable contribution to the overall mission. Every player's choice of character class, along with their actions play a critical role throughout as they gain rank, upgrade skills and provide specialist abilities necessary for victory.
- Unique Teams and Character Classes - With asymmetric gameplay, the characters of both the GDF and the Strogg look, move, and behave uniquely. Bases, characters, vehicles and weapons demonstrate the different technologies and behavior of each side and require distinctive approaches to combat from each player. For example, a GDF Medic can heal and quickly revive injured or fallen soldiers on the field, while the Strogg Meditek may use a GDF corpse as a host body for a waiting Strogg reinforcement. Similarly, the GDF Field Ops will deploy and call-in a laser-guided strategic strike missile, while the Strogg Opressor peppers a GDF convoy with his Plasma Mortar. Players can choose one of five character classes unique to each force, including the GDF's Soldier, Field Ops, Engineer, Ranger and Medic, or the Strogg's Tank, Opressor, Constructor, Infiltrator, and Meditek.
- Weapons, Vehicles, Deployables - The weapons, vehicles and deployables in Enemy Territory: Quake Wars are much more than standard issue equipment. Each selection truly affects gameplay and is integral to a team's success or failure. Set in the relative near future, the Human arsenal is based on ultramodern updates to today's conventional Earth arsenal, while the Strogg utilize a more advanced technology suitable for conquering vastly different alien worlds. The GDF use weapons, and vehicles such as machine guns, rocket launchers, armored personnel carriers, and hover-copters, among others. Conversely, the Strogg's technology is built on the manipulation of energy and gravity and includes assets like the Hyper Blaster, Lightening Gun, a giant mech-walker, a hover tank, vertical take-off and landing Hornet, and more. Players will also utilize unique strategic assets like radar, auto targeting anti-personnel or vehicle turrets, artillery or strategic strike missiles - all of which are realistically deployed onto the battlefield when and where you choose.
- Ground-Breaking Technology - Using id Software's new MegaTexture rendering technology, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars renders large, highly detailed and un-tiled outdoor environments all the way to the horizon. Outdoor dynamic lighting allows for every battle to be fought during day or night, with accurate simulation of shadows, atmosphere, vegetation, and weather. Advanced real-time physics, and all new network code support large-scale military combat for up to 24 players through real-world locations, including deserts, glaciers, mountains, and countryside.
Iain offends plumbers and the Strogg, but probably not Jimmy Carr.
Online first-person shooting is quite popular apparently, and although this won't be the most objective of statements coming from someone like me, who spent the best part of their latter teenage years up to the eyeballs in newly dead (or alternatively, as was usually the case, waiting to respawn) it's easy to see why. Unfortunately, despite new shooters coming along by the metric shedload, very few of them ever stick, with the old classics Counter-Strike, the Battlefield series and the now four year old freebie, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory regularly clocking in more man hours than a stadium full of plumbers at a "How to Add VAT to Everything" conference.
And now the developers of one of the most popular online shooters ever have been let loose on the franchise that for many people, started it all. That's a hell of a pedigree.
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is set before the events of Quake II, with the Strogg forces attempting to invade Earth, which is being bravely defended by the Global Defence Initiative (GDF). Stripped down to it's very basics, robbed of any nuance or points of difference, you play a troop on one side attempting to kill the troops on the other and complete an assortment of different objectives across a variety of maps set all over the planet.
It's not quite that simple though (it never is, is it,) now to apply the points of difference. First of all, the teams are not the same. I don't just mean visually either (which, as one team is a human-flesh-wearing, mechanised alien race and the other bears a disturbing resemblance to Jimmy Carr wearing body armour at a paintball event, should be a no-brainer.) No, the teams play very differently to each other as well, yet from what we've seen they maintain the all-important element of balance, as each team has a series of strategies, foils, counter-foils etc open to them at any one time. It's classic rock, paper, scissors gameplay where if the scissors aren't careful they could find themselves on the receiving end of a nasty paper cut.
Classic rock, paper, scissors gameplay where if the scissors aren't careful they could find themselves on the receiving end of a nasty paper cut.
Now for the maps and the objectives. Other online shooters aren’t always that friendly towards new players (newbies, newbs, noobs, n00bs, nubs etc), and team-based games with specific objectives are even less accessible for the nubs, often just dumping you on a team and telling you to capture some distant arrow on your HUD and pointing you in the general direction of the enemy with the gentle advice that getting shot in the face isn't going to win the war. This will inevitably lead to a certain amount of getting shot in the face repeatedly while running in the wrong direction, blowing yourself up, and getting called nasty names by a 13 year old. Enemy Territory: Quake Wars manages to alleviate this very deftly through the mission system.
At all times you will have at least one main objective to complete as a team, be that blowing up a power generator to disable the enemy shields or activating a mining laser to blow the doors off a hangar (blowing something up usually features quite heavily), each map has it's own series of unique objectives. However, with a simple press of the M key, you will be assigned a smaller, more minor mission that is tailored specifically to your character class. For example the GDF Covert Ops class can construct radar towers which will locate and display nearby enemies for you team to see on their compass. Hit M, bring out your placement tool, find a suitable spot, construct radar, job done, mission accomplished.
This simple device makes it really easy for new players to find out exactly what they’re supposed to be doing and be useful to their team with a minimum of headless-chickening. And hopefully avoid the angry 13 year old. That may be too much to hope for though. This is not to say it's been dumbed down at all though. These accessibility features are completely optional, and of course, there is plenty here for the hardcore player as well.
With all this in mind, it's clear that Enemy Territory: Quake Wars has the pedigree, the looks, the accessibility, the depth and the heavy ordnance to be the "next big thing" in online first person shooters. Time, as they say, will tell.
Review by: Iain Thomas
Review Published: 29.06.07
id and the evolution of the shooter
This week sees the release of Rage, and the enormous post-apocalyptic shooter marks id Software's first game since Doom 3 back in 2004. Why is this a big deal? Because without id, there arguably wouldn't even be a first-person shooter genre. Not only did the Texas-based studio invent the shooter as we know it today, it's been behind almost every technical advance the genre has made.
Id first came to prominence with Wolfenstein 3D in 1992. Essentially a maze game with guns, its shamelessly pulpy wartime romp was eclipsed just eighteen months later when id dropped Doom on an unsuspecting world.
The first 3D game to include staircases and multiple floors, Doom also set the precedent for outrageous amounts of gore in shooting games. With a rogue's gallery of hellish creatures just waiting to be carved into sticky red mush and satantic symbols galore, the game acted like a dog whistle to those who would portray games as a fast track to teen damnation.
Not that many players cared too much about that. They were too busy finding the secret areas hidden in the labyrinthine levels, and blowing each other to bits as the giddy world of multiplayer deathmatches rose in popularity. Doom was so successful, and so ubiquitous, that long before the term "FPS" was used, first-person shooters were simply known as "Doom clones".
Doom showcased id's dedication to the homebrew tinkerers and bedroom pioneers. The game's engine, id Tech, was designed to be as open source as possible and was coded in such a way that fan-designed levels and campaigns could easily be distributed and added to the game. This approach to fans and shared technology has continued up to the present day, with all versions of id Tech ultimately finding their way into the hands of enthusiasts.
Doom was also instrumental in revolutionising game distribution, offering the first chapter as a free shareware demo, with the rest of the game unlocked after purchase. The company retained this system for its next major release, Quake, in 1996.
Popular legend has it that Quake was so eagerly anticipated that the release of its demo version caused the internet to grind to a halt. That wasn't entirely true, but Quake was certainly the first game in its genre to spread its wings beyond the arena of local network matches and start offering online gameplay. It was also, of course, the first truly 3D shooter, with polygon built levels and enemies that offered more depth that the flat sprites and optical tricks that made Doom's worlds feel three-dimensional.
Quake swiftly became the default shooter of choice for multiplayer fans, so much so that id took the unusual decision in 1999 of making the third game in the series multiplayer only, ditching the single player campaigns that had been the centrepiece of the original games.
By this time, and despite having only released six full games since Wolfenstein, id was very much the pioneer of what was becoming the dominant gaming genre. Unsurprisingly, other developers wanted to use the id Tech engine to give their games that familiar polish. Over the years, games such as Hexen, Solider of Fortune, Star Trek: Elite Force, Star Wars: Jedi Knight and even a scrappy little WWII shooter known as Call of Duty 2 built their worlds on id's foundations.
As always, it was up to id to push the envelope, and in 2004 they kept the world hanging on for Doom 3. Teased by impossibly real screenshots of slimy beasts, and eagerly anticipating the return of the masters of the form, the game arrived to a mix of adulation and disappointment. Adulation for its phenomenal technical prowess, but disappointment that the game wasn't really pushing the genre in many other areas.
After seven years in development, it seems that Rage may quell those fears that id's role as the pioneer of shooters was at an end. Yes, there's shooting but there are also vast sandblasted landscapes and visceral Mad Max style vehicle races. Deep within its DNA, Rage is clearly still a shooter from the id stable, but it's also so much more than that.
Perhaps what is most exciting is what the development community will do with the new id Tech 5 engine, once id has finished using it for Doom 4. Since id was bought out by Zenimax Media in 2009, it's been announced that only developers in their corporate group will get to play with id's latest toybox. Bad news? Not really, since that line up includes Fallout and Oblivion developer Bethesda, as well as Tango Gameworks, the latest venture from Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami.
What's most interesting about id Tech 5 is that it is no longer just a tool for making first-person shooters. Speaking with CVG in 2007, id's Steve Nix explained that it was their goal to see id Tech used in as many genres as possible. "The way the rendering works, there are no more texture limitations. Any game can take advantage of that," he said. "In a massively multiplayer game, texture constraints are a big problem. Even a fighting game where you're trying to get the ultimate detail in a smaller arena, texture limitations tend to be one of your number one limitations. Not only do we think people can make games outside the action-shooter space with our technology, we encourage it. We'd actually like to see those games made."
So would we, Steve. So would we.
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars Preview (29/06/2007)
Iain offends plumbers and the Strogg, but probably not Jimmy Carr.
Online first-person shooting is quite popular apparently, and although this won't be the most object…
This week sees the release of Rage, and the enormous post-apocalyptic shooter marks id Software's first game since Doom 3 back in 2004. Why is this a big deal? Because without id, there arguably would…
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