September 13, 2007

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars - Initial Impressions Part II

Click here for Part I of my Enemy Territory: Quake Wars initial impressions.

I left off my last post talking about the objectives system built into ET:QW and how, for a new player, it can be confusing. I don't want potential players to be discouraged. I am not stating that ET:QW's objectives based system is a failure. It works, but at a cost of being a major barrier to entry.

ET:QW is a tough game to pick up and have fun with right away. For the purposes of a demo, that baffles me. I expected better from this game. It feels like the team at Splash Damage wanted to highlight too many aspects of their game in the demo, instead of providing a streamlined demo to introduce players to the game. A simpler map, with simpler objectives would go a long ways to improving early opinions about this title.

Moving on, the action in ET:QW far surpasses that of any Battlefield title, in both speed and veracity. Battlefield games are notorious for having a bit more relaxed style of play with an emphasis on wide open game play. ET:QW does a much better job of focusing players onto a single objective. Spawn points are usually up close to the action, and often times will drop a player right into the middle of the fight. This minimizes the need for a team to spread themselves across an entire map. Teams and players can focus on the current area and progress from there. I have found no reason to go backwards on the demo map so far, except to grab a vehicle.

Speaking of vehicles, they are fairly well done in ET:QW. There is no "vehicle specific class", so any player should be able to hop into any vehicle and go to town. I've never really enjoyed vehicles in these type of games, so I have not tested them very much. So far, I have not been camped at a spawn point by any flying vehicles, always a plus in my book!

My final area of concern for ET:QW is the lauded: "What the fuck just killed me?" There are so many new tricks in ET:QW, that I've found myself more than once trying to figure out what just killed me. Players die fast. Once the damage starts, it rarely ends in survival. As the game play is faster, it stands to reason that players are likely to die without seeing the cause. It can become annoying, but hopefully with time players will have enough experience to know what owned them.

Part III has been posted here.