Enemy Territory: Quake Wars - hands-on

Despite warnings of incoming tremors - that will surely thin out Battlefield and Counter-Strike server populations around the globe - seismologists continue to show no concern over id’s next big Quake. But fragging fans, waiting to stress their systems and fingers on id’s upcoming title, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars would do well to prepare for this year’s next big team-based shooter. We recently had the opportunity to score some time with the beta version of the game, and it’s looking good, really good.

Set as a prequel to Quake II, ETQW depicts Earth’s Global Defense Force’s (GDF) attempt to stave off the Strogg’s alien invasion. Like Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, ETQW will be a strictly multiplayer game, placing a higher priority on teamwork, and strategy - which utilize the various classes and vehicles of each faction - over scoring the highest kill count.

Each map contains a series of objectives for the offensive and defensive teams that are a step up from the usual clear-the-area-and-capture-the-command-point ones. Most of our time with the beta was spent on the maptitled, Valley. In this map, the GDF are trying to push their way through the Strogg’s defensives to a contamination device the Strogg are planning to use to poison the local reservoir.

In order to stop the Strogg from contaminating the population, the GDF will first need an Engineer to work his way to the frontlines and construct a bridge to advance their position. Then, they’ll have to advance through a claustrophobic tunnel with the Mobile Command Post (MCP), a giant tank capable securing the spawn point on the other side. Once the GDF secures their forward position with the MCP, they’ll need a Covert Ops unit to infiltrate the Strogg’s defenses to disable their shield generator. Once the shields are down, the MCP will bust through the facility housing the Strogg’s contamination device. The last objective will need to be completed by a Soldier, who can plant a high explosive charge on the nasty poison-pumper.

On the flipside, the Strogg must do everything they can to stop GDF from achieving their main objective before the time limit is reached. They’ll need to use a well balanced combination of units and vehicles to slow the GDF’s advancement as well.