You’ll notice that each mission objective requires a different character class. As you help your team - either by scoring kills or completing objectives - you’ll gain experience and weapon upgrades. This encourages players to form a more diverse team, since an army of soldiers would fail to pass the first objective in this mission.
We’ll be honest, when it comes to online shooters, it’s not unusual for us to die from a rocket to the back of our head seconds after spawning. But that doesn’t matter in ETQW because there’s so much going on and you always feel like you’re contributing to your team. If strafing fire fights usually end with someone tea bagging you - as they dance around your corpse - both the Strogg and GDF have a wide selection of powerful air and ground vehicles. From our brief time with the game, our favorite was definitely the Strogg’s Goliath Heavy Walker. This monstrous mech made mincemeat out of GDF’s tanks, ensuring that it never sat idle in our base for long after spawning.
There’s also an art to deploying mines at chokepoints and placing turrets in strategic locations, making the Engineer, Field Ops, Technician, and Constructor classes a worthwhile choice. Add weapon upgrades - like faster target locks with rocket launchers - and you’ve got a system that rewards you for perfecting your play with your favorite class. As wimpy as it sounds, even reviving fallen comrades as the Medic class felt great. Bringing the flopping corpse of an Engineer back to the land of the living, so he can finish constructing that bridge is no small feat.
The fact that we still managed to have a blast while receiving repeated deliveries of death from the opposing team, really says something. Expect ETQW to appeal to both casual shooting fans as well as the hardcore voice-chatting vets. While the game doesn’t look as good as the DirectX 10-fueled Crysis, graphics should take the backseat to gameplay for tactical shooters, and from what we’ve seen so far ETQW has that in spades. The game’s been three years in the making and was originally scheduled for a 2006 release, but according to our interview with exec-producer, Kevin Cloud, the title should ship for the PC sometime this year with 360 and PS3 ports to follow soon after.