Quake Wars

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (ET:QW) is a first-person shooter video game, and is the follow-up to Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. However, it is set in the same science fiction universe as Quake II and Quake 4, with a minimal back-story serving as a prequel to Quake II. It is the second multiplayer-focused game in the Quake series (after Quake III Arena). Quake Wars features similar gameplay to Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, but with the addition of controllable vehicles and aircraft as well as multiple AI deployables, asymmetric teams, much larger maps and the option of computer-controlled bots. Unlike the previous Enemy Territory game, Quake Wars is a commercial release rather than a free download.

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars was developed by Splash Damage for Windows using a modified version of id Software's Doom 3 engine with MegaTexture rendering technology.

It was announced on February 13, 2007 that Enemy Territory: Quake Wars will also be released for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 in summer 2008. On May 21, 2007, it was announced that Aspyr Media would be releasing the title for Mac OS X. On March 18, 2008, the Mac OS X version started shipping.

Gameplay

Quake Wars is a class-based, objective focused, team-oriented game. Teams are based on Human (GDF) and alien (Strogg) technology. While the teams are asymmetrical both sides have the same basic weapons and tools to complete objectives. Unlike other team-based online games (such as the Battlefield series) the game play is much more focused on one or two main objectives at once vs spread all over the combat area. This allows for much more focused and intense combat situations, similar to the original Unreal Tournament assault mode.

Each player class from each side normally has new objectives show up during game play, many times based around the specific capabilities of your class. The game also has the capability to group players into fireteams for greater coordinated strategy. These fireteams can be user created or game generated depending on the mission selected by the player.

The game has an experience points (XP) rewards system in place. It rewards every player some points depending on the mission completed. This accumulated XP later leads to unlocks which may vary from availability of new equipment/weapons to abilities like faster movement or more accurate weapons. These rewards are reset to zero after the completion of every campaign, which consists of three unique maps, all with a common locale/region.

Online and offline play modes are available with different modes for computer and console players: PC/Mac and Linux versions let you play individual campaigns/maps/stopwatch games against bots while the console versions have full single player campaigns (The single-player allows for combat as both sides over the course of the game.) The Human weapons and vehicles are based on modern combat weapons/vehicles but updated for the futuristic time period of the game. The Strogg have alien weapons and vehicles, some similar to what the humans have and some unique.

Asymmetric teams

While Quake Wars features asymmetric teams, there are corresponding classes and weapons for each side. Some of the major differences are as follows:

Health, ammo, weaponry and vehicles

The GDF use health and ammo packs distributed by Medics and Field Ops, respectively.

The Strogg feature one source of both ammo and health called stroyent. Stroyent can be seen running through the weaponry of the Strogg and only picked up from one source, the Technician. One Stroyent cell gives you a combination of 18 health and 40 ammo. You can also replenish your ammo or health supply by sacrificing one surplus to the other using a technique called "Stroyent Swapping". Due to their unique health supplies, their reviving techniques are much different (see the Medic/Technician section below).

While the Strogg and GDF feature similar weaponry there is a key difference in weapon usage. The GDF have a limited ammo supply and must reload on emptying a magazine. The Strogg do not have to reload, but prolonged fire can lead to their gun overheating.

Likewise, there are significant differences among the vehicles made available to the Strogg and GDF. While the vehicle classifications are inherently similar in implementation, there are substantial differences. Typically speaking, Strogg vehicles are of a higher "tech-level" than those of the GDF and offer more overall tactical flexibility. Strogg vehicles are also more heavily armed than their GDF counterparts and some GDF vehicles are devoid of weapons completely.

Classes

Soldier/Aggressor

The Soldier and Aggressor are the standard grunts of each army. They get a health bonus and the widest array of weapons to choose from (Assault Rifle/Lacerator, GPMG/Hyperblaster, Rocket Launcher/Obliterator, and Shotgun/Nailgun), as well as a much stronger sidearm (Machine Pistol/Lightning Pistol). They are key players in taking out deployables and vehicles, or taking out objectives that require explosive charges. The GPMG and Hyperblaster do the same amount of damage; the Hyperblaster is more accurate when fired in long bursts or while moving, but requires a spin-up time before it can fire. Like other Strogg rifles, the Hyperblaster does not require magazines, but if fired continuously for a long period of time, will require time to cool down.Field Ops/Oppressor

The Field Ops and Oppressor play a major supporting role. Each side can place offensive indirect weaponry such as the Hammer Missile/Dark Matter Cannon, Rocket Artillery/Plasma Mortar or the Artillery Cannon/Rail Howitzer. These must be fired by the Field Ops/Oppressor by spotting the desired target. Both can place colored smoke grenade beacons that call in further indirect fire: a Vampire bomber air-strike for the Field Ops, and an Orbital Strike beam for the Strogg. Field Ops can give out ammunition packs, while Strogg Oppressors have the ability to place temporary tactical shields to keep themselves and their allies out of the line of enemy fire.Medic/Technician

The Medics and Technicians play a further supporting role. Medics can give out health and revive team mates instantly, at 50% health, using the defibrillator paddles. They also have the ability to signal via a colored smoke grenade for a Supply Station to be dropped that includes both health and ammo. Also, for each Medic on the team, the health of all members is increased by a small amount. The Technicians can give out Stroyent, which replenishes both health and ammunition. The Stroyent tool can also be used to revive a fallen Strogg, but unlike the Medic paddles, it is not instantaneous and takes a few moments. Finally, Technicians can also inject Stroyent into a fallen GDF soldier, turning him into a "Spawn Host" which, when claimed by a fellow Strogg, will cause them to spawn at the location of the Spawn Host, instead than their usual location; but this can only be used once, and after spawning at the Host, it disappears. Spawn Hosts can only be destroyed by Medics with their paddles.Engineer/Constructor

Engineers and Constructors are primarily defensive and strategic units. They can place anti-vehicle, anti-personnel, and anti-artillery turrets. Along with turrets, up to three proximity or trip mines can be placed. Engineers and Constructors have the ability to repair all friendly vehicles and turrets, as well as build certain objectives or useful outposts. This class is also privy to a special weapon unlock, a single shot Grenade/Plasma Launcher that is affixed beneath their Assault Rifle/Lacerator (which replaces the alternate "iron sights" fire mode).Covert Ops/Infiltrator

Covert Ops and Infiltrators can both hack enemy deployables and objectives, disabling them for 60 seconds and damaging it 50% if held long enough, as well as use EMP/Scrambler Grenades on turrets and vehicles for a 30 second disable. Both of these classes can steal enemy uniforms as well, taking on the name and appearance of the enemy, and then use their powerful back stab attacks to take out unsuspecting enemies, killing them instantly. The disguise is removed, though, if the player attacks an enemy in front of another, if they attack an enemy from the front, use their ranged weapon, or use the hacking tool. The Covert Ops has a Smoke Grenade and a Third-Eye Camera that allows them to create a localized radar, enabling friendly forces to have the upper hand in a close quarters battle. This Camera can also be used to view its surroundings, and can also be detonated remotely. The Smoke Grenade will block all visual and radar images of the soldiers; Constructors' deployable are not foiled by the smoke screen, however. The Infiltrator also has an explosive Flyer Drone which allows the Infiltrator to scout and harass enemy positions remotely; if this Drone is destroyed prematurely, however, the Infiltrator will take damage. The blast radius is smaller than the third eye camera, but can be maneuvered into enemy positions. The Infiltrator also has a Teleporter Beacon, used for getting into key sniping positions or taking objectives with ease. Finally, both classes can deploy Radar/Psi Radar, which are capable of detecting enemy units within a wide range. The main sniping weapon from both sides (Sniper Rifle for the GDF, Railgun for the Strogg) both leave trails, though the Sniper Rifle's trail is less visible than the Railgun's.

Vehicles

Light vehicles

The Strogg and GDF inherit similar vehicle classes, but with many differences. The game's two light vehicles, the Strogg Icarus Gravpack is a wearable anti gravity ground-effect vehicle. Originally intended for use in zero or low gravity the Icarus is only capable of hopping under Earth's gravity. The Icarus fires Stroybombs which explode a certain amount of time after launch. The Icarus is very common and a hellish foe. The GDF Husky Quad is the GDF's main light reconnaissance vehicle. Although the Husky can only hold one person, it is very fast and can dodge small arms. However the Husky is very easy to destroy.

Medium vehicles

The game has two medium vehicles, the Strogg Hog is an armed reconnaissance and can fit a driver and a gunner. The Hog has a devastating ram attack and when using the ram a shield appears in front of the Hog and can destroy almost anything in its path. The GDF Armadillo is a light armored transport capable of carrying a driver, a gunner and three passengers. The Armadillo is a great vehicle for hitting the enemy from behind and deploying infantry to capture forward spawn points.

Heavy vehicles

Heavy vehicles are not so common as light and medium vehicles but have enormous fire power and can withstand most types of fire, only weak to grenades, rockets and other explosives. The Strogg Desecrator is a hover tank capable of flying over water. The driver has access to the plasma cannon and when in siege mode has a faster rate of fire at the loss of maneuverability. The passenger fires the mounted gun on top of the tank and is fully protected and effective for protecting against infantry. The GDF Titan tank is a heavy tank with the Driver controlling the main tank gun. The tank is less maneuverable than the Desecrator but is faster at standard speed and does more damage than the Desecrator's main gun. However the Titan cannot enter siege mode and it's cannon is limited to an effective range. The passenger mans the gun on top of the hatch and is exposed to the elements.

Very heavy vehicles

The game has two very heavy vehicles and both may not always be available. The Strogg Cyclops is a two legged heavy walker which may only spawn at Strogg bases. The Cyclops has dual Plasma Cannons and when in siege mode can fire both very fast at the expense of mobility. The Cyclops can also perform stomp attacks to knock down any nearby infantry. The Cyclops is large and quite unmaneouverable. The GDF MCP (Mobile Command Post) is only available when setting up a firing position for an SSM. The MCP can be disabled like deployables but cannot be destroyed. The driver commands the vehicle and has access to a Machine gun. The MCP also has a gunner position mounting a Minigun on top of the vehicle. If the MCP moves off course from the objective it will self destruct and another will be dropped in.

Aerial vehicles

Aerial vehicles have a necessary role - Supporting attacks and providing support for infantry. Aerial vehicles are weaker than ground vehicles but more maneuverable. The Strogg Tormentor is a heavy hover plane with the pilot at the controls of homeable Strockets and plasma cannons. A direct missile hit can destroy a tormentor. The passenger mans a plasma gun on the belly of the ship. The GDF Anansi is the GDF's main Copter and can fire missiles and rockets at the disposal of the pilot and a machine gun under the nose at the control of the gunner. The Anansi like the Tormentor is weak to explosives and most sorts of arms fire. Also like the Tormentor the Anansi is VTOL (Vertical Take-off and landing). The GDF also have access to the Bumblebee helicopter, with the driver commanding an MG and with two side gunners and two passengers, perfect for dropping infantry behind enemy lines to capture spawn points. The bumblebee is slower than the Anansi but has more armor.

Amphibious and naval vehicles

There are two human vehicles which fit into this category - The Trojan APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) is capable of travel on land and sea. The Trojan fits in between the medium and heavy vehicle categories and can survive a direct plasma cannon blast. The Trojan driver has access to an MG, the gunner has access to AA missiles which can also be used against ground targets and three passengers, which makes the Trojan a good vehicle to flank the enemy from the water and hit them from behind. The Platypus armored boat is a water only vehicle, and can run distractions and drop troops at beach heads. The Platypus driver has limited cover and can be easily taken out and the gunner is also weakly protected. Although there are no positions in the vehicle up to four people can stand on a platypus while in operation but can limit view for the driver. The Strogg have no true naval vehicles.

Deployables

Engineer/Constructor

The GDF Engineer and Strogg Constructor have access to three different defensive deployable turrets - The Anti-Personnel Turret (APT), Anti-Vehicle Turret (AVT) and the Artillery Interceptor Turret (AIT). The APT will engage any enemy Infantry that comes within range and visibility of the turret and will give the engaged target a lock on warning. The AVT is like the APT but will engage any manned vehicle within range and visibility of its Missiles. The AIT will not engage infantry, vehicles or air strikes but will instead engage artillery bombardments in its defensive area with great results. Sometimes, bases of either team come with an AIT mounted on. Unlike all other defensive/offensive deployables, AIT is an instant hit deployable. Any target in range, regardless of objects in between the AIT and target, will be destroyed.

Field Ops/Oppressors

The Field Ops have access to offensive deployables in the game. The Artillery Turret/Rail howitzer can effectively fire a salvo of 10 shells into a specified area and is a great counter to infantry and deployables. The Rocket Artillery/Plasma Mortar can fire up to six rockets at a designated area or can lock on to enemy vehicles or deployables with great success. It can also be re-targeted "on the fly" while firing if the person who deployed it uses their targeting laser to designate a new target. The hammer launcher/Dark matter cannon are the most impressive of all the artillery types. Both only fire one round before needing to be reloaded but the explosion area will kill any infantry, destroy any ground based vehicle, and disable (or destroy) any deployable in its area effect which is about 50m. If a unit is under cover (in a building, for example) during the explosion they won't be injured. The round launched from the hammer is the same as that of an SSM. There are three ways to counter artillery, with number one being intercepting the rounds with an AIT, number two being to destroy the artillery before it is launched and number three being to use a flyer to get between the artillery and it's target (normally a flyer).

Covert Ops/Infiltrators

The covert ops and infiltrators have access to the radar and psi radar respectively and provide radar range of up to 120m once deployed and will give infantry within its range a layout of enemy infantry vehicles and deployables. Radar range & capabilities are unlockable upgrades for the classes.

MegaTexture

MegaTexture is a texture mapping technique developed by John Carmack of id Software. The technology allows maps to be totally unique, without any repeated terrain tiles. Battlefields can be rendered to the horizon without any fogging, with over a square mile of terrain at inch-level detail, while also providing terrain-type detail that defines such factors as bullet hit effects, vehicle traction, sound effects, and so on. Each megatexture is derived from a 32768×32768 pixels (1024 megapixels, or a gigapixel) image, which takes up around 3 gigabytes in its raw form (with 3 bytes per pixel, one byte for each color channel).

Beta release

The public beta opened to FilePlanet paid subscribers on June 20, 2007 and to nonpaying members on June 23, 2007. There were also beta keys given out for a limited time exclusively at QuakeCon 2007. The public beta ended on September 25, 2007.

The initial beta release contained one map, Sewer. This pitted the two teams against one other in a fight to dislodge the Strogg from their sewer lair.

A second build of the beta was released on August 3, 2007. It features a new map entitled Valley to replace Sewer and several changes to the game code to improve performance and implement new features. This map was featured in tutorial videos released prior to the beta, and was the map made available to play at QuakeCon 2006.

A PC demo for Windows was released on September 10, 2007 and for Linux on October 16, 2007 also featuring the map Valley. The full Linux version was released on October 19, 2007. The Mac OS X client is now available.

An updated PC demo was released on February 10, 2008 Adding new things which was added into the 1.4 Patch Including a new Training mode.

On June 9, 2008, the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions of the demo have been released on Xbox Live and the Playstation Network, respectively.

Critical reception

Compiler Aggregate score
Game Rankings
84%
Metacritic
84%
Publication Score
GamePro
4.5/5
GameSpot
8.5
IGN
8.5
Game Informer
8.5
Edge
8
EuroGamer
8
Yahoo Games US
4.5/5
GamePro US
4.5/5

As of February 9, 2008 on the review aggregator Game Rankings, the PC version of the game had an average score of 84% based on 55 reviews. On Metacritic, the game had a score of 84 out of 100 based on 52 reviews. Kevin VanOrd of GameSpot gave the game a rating of 8.5/10.

Other reviews are generally very positive, scoring Quake Wars in the 8-9 (out of 10) range.

For the week ending September 29, 2007, Quake Wars was the best selling PC title in the United Kingdom according to the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association.

And on October 17th, 2007, after its top of the charts sale in the United Kingdom, Quake Wars debuted at a familiar #1 spot yet again in the United States. According to NPD group's top 10 best selling PC game charts, it managed to take the #1 spot.

On October 30th, 2007, version 1.2 was released as a patch for Windows. The patch includes full VoIP support. A 1.2 patch was released for Linux the next day, but did not include support for VoIP. VoIP was added in a later release on November 19th, 2007.

On May 21st, 2008, a major patch was released to update the program to 1.5 for both Windows and Linux. The patch included many more customizations and improvements to bots, as well as various fixes.

The Developer of the Mac OS X version, Aspyr, is highly criticized because of several things. The 1.5 update was released almost a month later than the Windows and Linux version. This port also requires the DVD to play which the Windows and Linux versions won't require since the CD-Key is checked in the servers. Even being an Intel-only application the performance is worse than the other versions tested on the same hardware via Boot Camp.

Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 reviews for the game were generally much less positive, with IGN giving the 360 version 6.1 and the Playstation 3 version 5.3, citing game issues and slightly inferior graphics to the PC version as causes for the lower score.

References

External links

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