When we think of Quake games, we think of fast-paced deathmatches in their purest no-nonsense form. In Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, the latest iteration of the shooter franchise, that visceral run-and-gun experience still makes up the foundation of gameplay, but the integration of deep teamplay tactics and mission objectives makes this a whole new multiplayer animal. The meld of cooperative squadplay and frenzied firefighting makes for compelling matches, but both deathmatch and tactical purists may find themselves in slightly unfamiliar territory.
We fought for possession of Earth across 12 battlegrounds as both GDF and Strogg forces, each round structured in an assault and defend format. Up to 32 players fill the battlefield, contributing to the fight in one of five roles: Nothing special here—you choose between the typical assault, medic, engineer, field ops, and covert ops classes. What’s unique is the asymmetry that Quake Wars applies to the two sides. While the GDF rely on conventional bullets and ammo, the Strogg use an energy source called Stroyent that doubles as ammo and health. Strogg can also use the bodies of dead GDF soldiers as remote spawn points. With the addition of other weapon and special-ability differences, we had to adapt our tactics to accommodate the advantages of each side.
Helpful tooltips give each player sub-missions and goals unique to their classes, leading Aggressors to plant explosive charges at vault doors and Infiltrators to hack computer systems. Quake Wars’s map objectives are some of the most diverse we’ve seen in a multiplayer game. On the Slipgate map, the GDF team has to commandeer a forward control point, hack the eponymous gateway, escort a Mobile Command Post through the wormhole, and finally demolish a Strogg Nexus tower.
Awesome objectives aside, we weren’t impressed with the graphics of the “Megatextured” game, which suffered from overused browns and last-gen lighting. But once we got past the superficial deficiencies, we were in for a fresh multiplayer experience worthy of the Quake name.
Fast-paced combat; new objectives; unique class objectives; furious fun.