Enemy Territories: Quake Wars – PC

Online only gaming is the future. That’s been the calling from a hefty chunk of the gaming world for around about a decade now. The only problem is, outside the incredible World of Warcraft, and the addictive Halo series, there’s been no real poster boys for this new world order.

Now id Software have decided they fancy another pop at this gaming style of the future. These shooter kings have decided that they know how to make online gaming even bigger, and they’ve choose to make use of their Quake lineage for their next online-only title.

Starring both the humans and the alien Strogg, these online match-ups are as brutal as they come. With tonnes of maps, loads of different weapons, and masses of different weapon types, there’s a huge chunk of gaming goodness to sink those fangs of yours into.

Quake Wars is pure online shoot-em-up action, but not quite as you know it. Think of online gaming, and you’ll think of ye olde Quake/Doom titles, with dozens of mad man running around levels, spewing bullets like they’re going out of fashion.

That kind of action ain't going to win you many fans in these heady days. We all crave a little brains with our brawn. Less Arnie, and more Snake Plissken for us.

First, you create your own online account. It’s only a username, but it’ll keep all your stats and achievements nicely stored for you to brag about to your fellow gaming pals as often as you wish.

Getting online is as easy as pie. A huge number of servers are currently on the go what with this being a brand new release, and no subscription fee’s to shell out. It’s just a case of clicking the one you fancy joining up with, and heading straight to the lobby screen.

From the lobby screen, your choices are plentiful. If you want to, you can take a peek at the action currently on the go, either flying around the map anywhere you wish, or flicking through the online combatants, and spying what they can see.

Jumping right into the action is what you’ll be craving after a 5 minute viewing. You’ve a simple choice to make straight away between the GDF (Global Defence Force) or the invading Strogg. Your basic goodies versus baddies.

That’s not the only choice you’ve got however. It’s only once you’ve picked a side that you’re forced to choose a particular brand of soldier to become, from your standard foot soldier, via medics, engineers, field ops, and covert ops.

Don’t go jumping right for the boring old soldier option though. They might pack some heavy weaponry, but they’re just about the most dull characters to be. The engineers for example are the only characters who can deploy defensive turrets to defend your base, and disarm any explosive charges your enemy might place on one of your important structures. The field ops characters, however, have the nifty talent of calling in heavy air strikes to bomb the heck out your enemies. Always a handy skill.

Each online map consists of various objectives. Every one see’s one side defending various spots, and the other frantically trying to take them over using any means necessary.

These objectives are nicely varied. One might be to blow the main gate into an enemy structure. Another may be to claim a forward spawning point, allowing your killed chums to respawn closer to the front line. There’s a whole heap of variety across these 12 starting official maps. Each only achievable by a certain brand of character. Real teamwork is needed here.

The maps themselves are huge enough to warrant lots of vehicles. The GDF vehicles are your standard sort, from jeeps, to tanks, and helicopters. The Strogg, however, pack a nice little jet pack that allows to fly over the map short term, and pick off some enemies from a huge distance away.

It even manages to look blooming gorgeous too. Even those of you not packing the latest bit of tech can enjoy some cracking visuals trundling along at a fair old lick. Even Mac gamers can join the fun!

Handily, there are some intelligent AI bots if you fancy some offline training. Pick your map, your objectives, and your side, and off you go without the need to worry about logging in and being blasted to pieces by some talented sorts. You won’t gain any achievements, and your stats won’t update with this offline info mind you.

Verdict

Its hint of tactical genius make Enemy Territories: Quake Wars the game it is. It might not be quite as fun as Halo 3 online, but for PC and Mac gamers, this is the best out there at the moment.

Get online, and get fragging.