Enemy Territory: Quake Wars

Reviewed by Dave Linger, Posted on 2007-11-08


Developer: id Software Publisher: Activision
Release Date: October 2, 2007 Also On: Xbox 360

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is a modern interpretation of 2003ís Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, set in 2065 instead of World War II, and with characters, weapons, and other property from the Quake series. Unlike the original Enemy Territory, Quake Wars is not free, but also packs in many more assets and replay value. The game is based on the Quake 4 engine, which is of course based on the Doom 3 engine. So if you consider that itís based on an engine from 2004, itís held up quite well. The game is a sort of team-based, mission-driven shooter, in which each map contains dozens of possible missions for each team.

You start by choosing a faction, either Strogg (Quake franchise evil alien race), or the GDF (Human military race). You then choose your role, which varies depending on your team. You get choices like soldier, medic, engineer, etc. Each role can contribute to the teamís main objectives, as well as having missions specific to that class. The game plays as you would expect from most other first person shooters. Left click fires, space jumps, shift sprints. There is a large variety of vehicles for both factions, each with different functionality, spanning both land and the air.

There is a fairly large variety of maps in Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, which span the entire globe and all of its climates, from deserts to forests to frozen tundras. Each map is incredibly balanced, and have lots of areas for each class and type of vehicle to work well. There is always somewhere to find good cover, somewhere to snipe, and some open land to use the vehicles.

As far as the engine is concerned, as I said, it is based on the Doom 3 engine, so the system requirements are not incredibly high, but of course in return, the graphics are not the best. They are not bad by any means, but they do look quite Doom 3-era. A problem I ran into while trying out Quake Wars was the bug for dual-monitor users. I have 2 monitors both running at 1280x1024, and all of my games always use my primary monitor, and have no less performance than using one monitor alone. When I tried out Quake Wars, however, I got a solid 3 frames per second, regardless of my game settings. Ends up I had to add an exception to my dual-monitor settings to fix this problem. Keep in mind that no other games I have tried have this problem, and it is not mentioned in any of the gameís documentation.

Once that problem was fixed, however, I got the performance I expected from this engine. It has updated textures certainly and updated sound engine since the Doom 3 era, supporting the latest in Creative EAX technology. The only signs of age are the somewhat awkward animations and the muddy up-close textures.

The game has some kind of elaborate back story about how the Strogg have invaded Earth to harvest our resources, but because the game is multi-player only, it is quite irrelevant. Sadly, they wasted some of that disc space on a story intro video instead of a nice tutorial video, which I personally would have found quite useful. I was dumped into a level without the slightest idea of what to do. It honestly took me a couple of games to really begin to understand what needed to be done, and how to do it. For the first bit I just tried to stay alive and kill any enemies I saw (which I guess worked somewhat). A good example of a five-star tutorial video is the one on Battlefield 2142, if you are wondering exactly what I mean by that. It explains the game mode and shows how it is played, so there is no wandering around being killed.

Overall, though, Quake Wars is a very well-made game. Every map, team, and vehicle is perfectly balanced with the other teams, and once you know what to do, you get a great feeling of importance to your team, and a sense of responsibility that is rarely felt in first-person shooters. Of course because it is based on the tried and true Doom 3/Quake 4 engine, just the running and gunning feels right. Unfortunately, though, if you want to talk with your team mates, you will have to organize and find your own voice server. Quake Wars has no built-in voice chat feature, not even for teams. That is too bad, especially considering how useful it would have been in this context. Regardless, if you are into first person shooters with a little more to them, Quake Wars is a great game to check out.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 9
Final: 8
Written by Dave Review Guide

Reviewed by Dave Linger