Wednesday, June 27, 2007

And the beat.... er, beta... goes on

One of the more anticipated team and tactical based games coming out is now in limited public beta. Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is a game based on the Quake2 universe and runs on the Doom3 3D engine. However, its gameplay is fundamentally based on Return to Castle Wolfenstein's free add-on modification called Enemy Territory. As a result, the game is familiar to those who have played the first Enemy Territory. However, there is a group that are coming from the bug-ridden Battlefield series, which includes me. Having tried several rounds of gameplay, I am starting to get the feel as to what this game is intended to be and how it plays. Granted, it took me a while to adjust due to its immense difference in style as well as default key controls. But one of the top priorities of testing is to see how the weapons are designed and how it plays out in real combat.

The key element that changes everything is in the game's speed. It is fast. Maybe too fast. It may be due to my lack of quick reflexes or that they (the other players) are just simply better. Who knows? However, I stand firm on how I view it objectively, so that I can convey the experiences as a player coming from an entirely different franchise.

One of the interesting things about Quake Wars is the common set of weapons present in virtually all of the soldier classes. All but the Sniper class contains a standard-issued assault rifle and a shotgun. The sniper class gets a slightly modified assault rifle and a specialized sniper rifle. Each class has a specific role that can be used to complete a mission objective, which is required in order to advanced further into the round and potentially win it. This means it all boils down to having the right combination of soldier classes and enough skills and determination to get through. And because the entire round is based on completing an objective, getting the most kills won't matter.

A small, yet crucial, feature in Quake Wars is native widescreen support. For a while, I have been advocating and pushing both EA and DICE to implement this feature into the Battlefield games. To this day, I have heard nothing from them -- the silent treatment. I have posted on their forums many times and I have posted numerous times regarding the same issue. All of the responses I have received are either from those who also wish to see it implemented and those who believe that EA will sit back and do nothing about it. Multiple times I have received responses where the reason behind not supporting widescreen is unfair advantage. I have argued otherwise in a calm manner that such a reason is ... well, unreasonable. And multiple times I have pointed out various aspects of the game that would give any individual an unfair advantage in such scenario. Still, the responses have been silent from EA and DICE.

In the end, these are two completely different games with two completely different pacing. I do not know if I'll continue playing both games. Both have some good qualities while both have their faults. Sadly, if one were to tally the faults, EA/DICE's BF2 and 2142 games would come out on top.

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