Enemy Territory: Quake Wars Preview
You have to love this whole next-generation thing, with the release of new console comes the release of PC games previously unplayable on dated hardware. The PlayStation and Nintendo 64 gave us Quake. PlayStation 2 gave us Unreal Tournament and Quake III. And now the PS3 and Xbox 360 will be offering us Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. Fusing elements of Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, and incorporating it into the Quake universe, Quake Wars looks to deliver in all aspects.
Quake Wars will consist of a mission-based core, where you will have the choice to play as the Global Defense Force (humans) or as the Strogg (invading aliens). Both races have their own mix of toys which is completely unique to them. Humans have certain classes, vehicles, and weapons to choose from that the Strogg don't, and vice-versa. When in combat, the game will offer you military-style objectives in order to defeat the opposing team on the battlefield. One of the objectives includes: taking out a key defense opponent or structure. Essentially, these objectives have one goal: to create non-stop chaos for each team to fend off. Sounds exciting.
Combat will have an emphasis on teamwork, placing strategic elements to the action. The game will provide 10 "asymmetrically-designed" classes, in order to shape a unique combat squad. Likewise, because of this, both races will demonstrate completely unique qualities in their strategies and actions. Rewards will play a role in the campaign which you will receive for working effectively as a team to complete objectives.
To further add to the strategy, much like Wolfenstein, your squad's officers will be able to heal you and protect you as you make your way through the campaign. Other classes of combatants will aid your progress by building bridges and infiltrating nearby enemy bases. Clearly, veteran Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory players will be immediately comfortable with Quake Wars, where as Quake fans will likely have to adjust to the strategic elements. Additionally, your combatants will gain new capabilities and experience, as you fight throughout the campaign.
id Software promises a flexible command assignment system that'll increase accessibility to the game. Likewise, pilot controls will be toned-down to still feature precision and feel, but to also allow unfamiliar gamers instant access. Adjusting the game's curve while maintaining a proper balance seems to be a very pivotal aspect to Quake Wars. While the game will be balanced, don't forget that experienced Quake Wars players will grow faster than the inexperienced ones who don't play as often. Meaning, someone who plays Quake Wars for 3 hours a day will have a better combatant than someone who plays for 30 minutes. This kind of balance can currently be seen in Resistance; as players who don't play the game's story mode will not have access to weapons or defensive-armor when playing online.
Lastly, Quake Wars will be incorporating a first for the FPS genre...as in: it'll be a game that doesn't use the Unreal Engine to power it. All kidding aside, id Software has designed visual achievement they call "Megatexture Technology" that can render a full-fledged battlefield featuring a square-mile of terrain in superb detail. It'll be interesting to see how well the PS3 and Xbox 360 developers (Z-Axis and Nerve, respectively) will be able translate this into the console versions. Seeing as how Activision has a lot riding with the franchise, it's not very likely that they'll let a sub-par product of a high-profile game go into production. Enjoy these screenshots of Quake Wars running on PC hardware. It's certainly a good looking game, and the console iterations should look every bit as good.
No release date for Enemy Territory: Quake Wars has been set yet, but we're banking on a fourth-quarter 2007 timeframe. Look for it sometime at the end of the year.
2/20/2007 Arnold Katayev