Enemy Territory: Quake Wars Xbox 360 Review

May 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox 360, Xbox

If you’re more of a lone wolf, then the team based shooter may not be for you. If your entire team was made up of selfish people, it wouldn’t be much of a team now would it? It’s all about working to the strengths of your chosen class as you struggle with the opposition for dominance. Here, it’s the GDF versus the Strogg, human versus alien.

Lets begin with a history lesson for our loyal readers. Enemy Territory actually started life as a Wolfenstein game back in 2003, it wasn’t just any old game though, it was free to play. This visually ugly sequel is, of course, set in the futuristic Quake universe opposed to the alternate history of World War II, although it’s still team and class based, but sadly isn’t free to play. Damn.

Now the eight month old game makes it way across to consoles, just don’t allow anyone to tell you that Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is anything other than a multiplayer focused shooter.

As much as Activision like to sprout off about “powerful AI” the focus of the game clearly lies in multiplayer. That’s not to say that Activision were lying about the AI (well perhaps a little) as they do show off their intelligence, by completing tasks and protecting strategic objects of importance. It’s just the game is better when you’re playing over your broadband connection, or even through System Link, if anyone actually uses that feature any more that is.

Single player does serve as a good tutor, with an invaluable training mode as well as the very basic campaign to hone and test out your skills in. The latter doesn’t have any form of story sequences between levels, nor is it any different from what can be found in the multiplayer options. This presents the question, is Quake Wars overpriced? Simply put, yes it is.

So whether in single player mode or with and against real players, Quake Wars is an objective based shooter, with three modes, five classes, 12 sizeable maps (set over Africa, North America, North Europe and the Pacific) and a reliance of playing as a single entity, and by that I don’t mean yourself, but rather you and your team should have the same single mindset, sharing the focus of winning and helping each other out (yes you should even assist the bots on your team, they are always lending a hand, so be polite and return the favour).

Speaking of bots, if you’re playing online and games aren’t exactly filling up with other players, said bots can be brought in as substitutes (Sometimes I couldn’t be certain which were actual live players, as the AI was generally very good at fooling me). As the game is dwarfed by the online following of the likes of Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4, it’s certainly a handy feature to have.

So again, however you choose to play the game, you’ll be playing as either the GDF or the handsome strogg, then along come your orders. The GDF may be tasked with constructing a bridge for example, as well as hacking a shield generator or driving and deploying a vehicle, whilst the strogg aim to throw a spanner in the works to foil the GDF’s attempts at success. Other tasks include blowing things to kingdom come, picking up items and carrying them to a required delivery location, but the tasks are always the same, with each teams objectives being dependent on the map that you are currently playing on.

Each team has five classes to familiarise yourself with (individual names and a few differences set them apart), and obviously each class is adept at accomplishing different tasks as well as possessing their own individual equipment. Soldiers (or aggressors if you are playing as the strogg) can arm explosives and carry some of the heavier and more explosive weapons for example, whilst engineers (or constructors) are obviously handy with their hands and can repair and construct objects and vehicles, medics (or technicians) need little explanation, yes you didn’t even need to guess, they can revive injured mates and toss health packs to those who need them, although they can also request (or demand) supply crates to be dropped in from the sky (watch your head!). The final two include the Field Ops (or oppressor), who can restock others with ammo, as well as deploy fire support guns and even call in air strikes (again, be wary of that head of yours!), and Covert Ops (or the infiltrator), who are skilled in the art of stealth, enjoy sabotaging enemy electronics and favour the long range gun that is the sniper rifle, oh and they like hiding in and blinding their enemies in clouds of smoke, courtesy of some smoke grenades.

By pressing the back button you can actually switch to a different class whenever you feel the need to. Reinforcements are dropped in every 15 seconds, so if you switch to another class you could have to wait a little while if a fresh 15 seconds has only recently begun counting down, or you may not have to wait for very long at all if the countdown is close to expiring. This is similar if you die or opt to respawn when you are wounded and down on the deck, you’ll have to wait until the next timer countdowns to zero (you can change class or weapons during this time as well if you so wish).

The game also has a selection of vehicles for the above lot to hop into, everything from tanks, jeeps, atv’s, buggies, boats, and helicopters. The strogg have their own variants on these vehicles, but they also have a walking mech to stomp around in, as well as a jetpack to take to the skies with. Vehicles are controlled with the left stick, whilst decoys are ejected to fool incoming missiles by pushing the right stick inwards.

So when all is said and done Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is a well crafted multiplayer experience with much to like, although whilst the review may have come across as mostly positive so far, the game may be a little too limited for some. There’s three modes, although they share the same objectives and only have subtle differences to separate them from one another, so the price may be a little too high for what is offered. If you are willing to pay for a fine multiplayer experience, then Enemy Territory: Quake Wars might be it, although there’s games that do both a great campaign and multiplayer for the same price. My advice is to wait for the game to hit the bargain bins, you may be more appreciative of it at a more reasonable price.