One of the lead Quake Wars developers summed it up best as we were basking in a post-playtest glow of fading adrenaline. “I think we’ve found the perfect balance of chaos.” After three hours of matches on some near-complete maps, it’s hard to disagree.
There were worried murmurs when it was revealed the game’s vast maps would be optimized for a scant 24 players, but this isn’t a problem. Quake Wars even works with three players to a team, because like Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, matches are all about the objectives: repair this bridge, drive this vehicle to here, defend this terminal. Each completed objective takes territory away from the defenders, pushing the frontline back across the map and changing how the game plays in the process.