Hands-On With the Demo for Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
Steve gave us all a heads up last week, and today was the day the demo for Enemy Territory: Quake Wars was unleashed upon the world to much rejoicing. FileFront has the official demo available for download now, which features the Valley map, one of the largest maps in the game. But you may be asking yourself whether you should bother with the demo, wait until the full release, or just skip the game altogether. So to help you out with that decision, I just spent the past two hours getting to know some of the finer points of the demo. And what do I think about the game now? It’s good…scary good.
I say that because this is already looking to be one of those “I should really go to bed…well, just one more round…wow, is it really 4 AM?” type of games; and this is just one level. Do you like Battlefield 2? Cause this game plays like Battlefield 2.5. Some parts may seem very familiar: you fight over spawn points, you all rush for vehicles, you can choose different classes and weapon sets, etc. But on top of this tried-and-true formula, they’ve added a lot of new elements. Aside from spawn points, you’ll also be fighting to complete a series of objective. There are general ones that apply to all your teammates, such as to protect a certain structure; and there are others that are specific to your class, like to heal someone or deploy a turret. Besides which, you can also accumulate XP throughout the course of a match from performing a myriad of tasks from fragging an enemy to healing someone to completing an objective. As your XP grows, your Rank also goes up, and eventually you gain access to new, more powerful weapons and gadgets. Everyone is also ranked at the end according to XP, so you really don’t have to be some expert shooter to have a chance of succeeding in the game.
You start out each match choosing whether to fight for the Strogg side or the human side. They may look identical on the surface — similar weapon types and classes — but there are a few key differences to ensure you’ll probably develop a preference. I personally took a strong liking to the Strogg for nothing more than their ability to fly the Icarus Drivers, which are basically grenade-firing jet packs. The game takes some getting used to, but once you figure out how to fulfill objectives it becomes a lot smoother. The controls never become an annoyance, as they are pretty much like any other FPS. You can hop into any vehicle and get it going where you want right away. The kicker is, the Strogg can’t pilot human vehicles and vice versa. That can get quite annoying when you, say find yourself in the middle of an abandoned cache of vehicles and you still have to hoof it all the way back to the fight.
All in all, if you’re a fan of online shooters and you’ve got some free time right now, you owe it to yourself to check out this demo. Right now there are hundreds of people already playing, and hey, its free. A word of warning though: you do stand the risk of losing a good chunk of your life with this one. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll be getting back to the game now.