"We wanted to try to take the Doom technology and move it outdoors, with vehicles, multiplayer ... the whole nine yards." That's id Software designer Kevin Cloud's summary of Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Activision's promising take on high-tech, massively-multiplayer warfare. In other words, there's a lot of people playing the online action wargame Battlefield 2; how can you get them to play something Quake-flavored instead?
First, give the people familiar environs ... to a point. Enemy Territory takes place 60 years into the future, offering a blend of futuristic conventional weaponry and the boomsticks of an alien culture. And we're using "culture" loosely - the bad guys in this scenario are the Strogg, the hulking, ill-tempered cyborgs that perforated players in Quake II and Quake 4. The game unspools much like a World War II shooter would, replaying the famous battles that launched the war between the human Global Defense Force (GDF) and the merciless Strogg. The main difference between Quake Wars and Call of Duty, of course, is that we all know how WWII went down; this one's wide open.
Enemy Territory focuses closely on objective skirmishes - "each map has its own story," says Cloud. In one battle, the Strogg have poisoned the water supply and intend to take over the whole area. To stop the nefarious plan, the GDF has to build a bridge, get into Strogg territory, set up an outpost and then ultimately take out Strogg HQ with fire support. Plot progressions always keep the front line close and the focus remains on team play. After all, if you want to go stomping off and be a solitary hero, fire up Quake 4.