Enemy Territory: Quake Wars Review - The Next Level

Game Profile

Release date:
October 3, 2007
Splash Damage
1 - 16
First-Person Shooter

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars

While id's away, Splash Damage comes to redeem Quake.

Review by Valerie Hilgenfeldt (Email)
October 23rd 2007

Back in the mid-90s, cruising through the young and innocent World Wide Web at a speed of 28.8kb/s was the usual. The folks who did were known as HPBs, whom 'net's elite laughed at while they stroked their 56k modems or crème de la crème ISDN connections.

For years, LPBs and HPBs alike helped the Quake community thrive, producing hundreds of homemade maps and models. Like id's Wolfenstein 3-D before it, Quake was known as one of the finest FPS the gaming world had to offer. A success it was, but even pioneers don't get to bask in their spotlight forever.

Other developers followed the path of Quake, giving rise to franchises and one-shot stars. There were the Bond-licensed GoldenEye 007. Quake II was released between that and Half-Life, which trumped it. If you count all the games that are related to HL, like Counter-Strike, and its sequel, you'll have a list of incredibly popular titles that dominate the genre.

What happened to Quake after that?

Although the series had other releases, id's top-dog position was lost. Enter Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, a project whose development began in 2005, the same year Quake 4 was released. It's here to rekindle the love that those HPBs and LPBs once shared with its ancestor by turning some new tricks.

If you've enjoyed the Quake franchise, and any FPS that employs strategy, Quake Wars may be enough for you.

Built by Splash Damage with id's aid, ETQW isn't as simple as the other Quakes. Just look at its Engineer, for example. In the original Team Fortress, they could build sentry guns. Now, they can call in a full-fledged anti-personnel turret from the skies, which will lay waste to anyone who steps within its range. Additionally, there are anti-vehicle and artillery interceptor equivalents.

If you're opposite those armaments, you aren't out of luck. Covert Ops can disable those turrets' controls, leaving them defenseless against a destructive hail of grenades and timed charges. Naturally, that sort of ground-level sabotage just asks for attacks from above.

Within aircraft, any able pilot can send a shower of gunfire crashing into unsuspecting foot soldiers below. They can rule the skies until their enemies' anti-vehicle turrets recover, possibly destroying them in a flash of AA missiles, and showing how the whole strategic element of the game comes full-circle.

All of those fancy new toys wouldn't do if the game's controls weren't up-to-par, since a lot of brilliant ideas suffer and die due to poor execution. It's a crime oft committed in the gaming world that ETQW doesn't dirty its hands with. Somewhat arcade-like and responsive controls will inspire jaded FPS gamers to remember their best times in Unreal Tournament, with unlimited running and bunny-hopping galore. That establishes ETQW's firm footing in the FPS genre, but there's one more "greatness" ingredient needed: Maps that are fun and good-looking.

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