GameplayEnemy Territory: Quake Wars
is an online multiplayer game and while there isn't a single player campaign to speak of, there is an option to play offline using bots. Still, that's not the best option and nobody would ever buy an online game only to play with bots. At least nobody in their right mind.
That said, the single player option is a useful introduction to the different classes and the overall flow of the multiplayer game.
There are five different classes available to play, with each class having equal human and Strogg equivalents. As well as the usual soldier, medic, engineer and spy classes, there is also a Field-Ops class that is able to call in artillery and missile strikes.
The game is tuned towards rewarding play according to your class, so you'll gain less XP for shooting an enemy as an engineer than you would as a soldier. Unfortunately, XP is reset between games unless you're involved in a campaign match, which is at a fixed length of three maps.
There are twelve possible missions, with each based around a set of objectives for each opposing team, usually three or four primary objectives. These tend to consist of one team defending an object while the other team tries to destroy that same object. This ensures that both teams meet each other in the same area, and you're not left twiddling your thumbs guarding something in some remote corner of the map. The problem though is that all these missions are a variation on that theme, and that’s all there is to play.
To spice it up, there's also a range of vehicles available, some of which are essential to completing the missions. You'll find that there are a number of aircraft available, although you're probably best off leaving these alone. The controls for flight are awkward and counter-intuitive – by the time you've worked out how to take off and point the aircraft in the right direction to fire at something, you'll already have been shot down.
Strangely, vehicles will also self-destruct once you leave them for more than a few moments – so when you exit a vehicle, you'd best be sure you won't need it again.
The one area where Enemy Territory
on the PS3 really falls down though is the online aspect – which is a fairly major glitch for a game that relies on online play so very much. How could there be such a major faux pas
? Well, the problem is that games are hosted by individual players, not through PSN. This means that online play can be flaky and if the host decides to quit then you all quit. I can't say whether this is the case on the Xbox 360 version, but it is quite a showstopper on the PS3 version.
There is a belief among PC gamers that FPS games are superior on the PC when compared to console equivalents. Sadly, this would appear to be the case with the console version of Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
You'll never be able to match a mouse and keyboard combo with a console controller, I think most of us agree. Even allowing for this though, Enemy Territory
's controls are often awkward and confusing. Weapon selection involves multiple presses of the shoulder button and takes up valuable time during which you'll probably be killed or at least maimed, and team communication involves an awkward combination of pressing the right analogue stick down and in a direction.
The graphics, while satisfactory, are not stunning and don't quite match with the areas they're supposed to portray. As is common with many previous id games, there's a profusion of brown all over the place.
The game itself rewards team play and a certain amount of role playing, but I'm not sure whether your average foul-mouthed teen-aged console online gamer is capable of that level of control. In a way, this is not so much a criticism of the game, more a criticism of the kind of player you find in online console matches. Which, again, since there's no single player, you're likely to encounter all the time.
PC gamers may be rubbing their hands in glee, for Enemy Territory
confirms what they've believed all along – if you've already got the PC version, there's absolutely no reason why you should torture yourself with the console version.
In fact, even if you don't have the PC version, there's still no reason why you should torture yourself with the console version.
Awkward control, repetitive missions, strange XP rules and uninspiring graphics mean that you should only really pick this up if you're really
desperate for some online gaming.