ETQW Released, Dated For Steam

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars went on sale in Europe on Friday and on Monday and the US. Clearly RPS has been a little distracted with Team Fortress 2, but there’s every reason why we, and you lot too, should be playing ETQW. It’s ludicrously good.

Fortunately, should you (like me) be intent on remaining posted at your keyboard 24/7, you’ll be able to download the beast on October 5th in Europe and October 9th in the US: Steam is taking pre-orders for ETQW now. Why does it come out in Europe first? I have no idea.

In some ways it’s a shame that ETQW’s demo level was that particular map. It’s one of the more underwhelming designs that Splash Damage have come up with. Just in terms of the palette used, it’s rather middle-ground and didn’t really sell the game. The mission itself might have been representative of the game mechanics (and therefore good for beta testing) but part of ETQW’s appeal is the sheer beauty of its wartorn terrains, and some of the other maps simply have far more intense objectives built into them. The island (pictured) and the beach assault are particularly solid, while the Slipgate map… well, I’m going to post in detail on a couple of my favourites next week.

As fun as I’ve found Team Fortress 2, I think I’m going to be finding a more satisfying long-term gaming outlet in ETQW. With vehicles, larger maps, and absurdly varied selection of classes, it simply caters for a wider range of possible actions and experiences. It’s a harder, bigger, brasher game in all kinds of ways, and yet still pretty accessible, I think. Anyway, perhaps we’ll sort out some RPS Steam community games later in October. I’ll also be arranging an interview with Splash Damage to chat a bit about the community end of things, and what they’ve learned from clan gaming in the past.

30 Comments

  1. Martin Coxall says:

    It’s not ludicrously good at all. It’s a shoddy mess, made to look all the more pathetic by TF2 showing how this sort of thing should be done.

  2. Premium User Badge

    John Walker says:

    Have a more constructive perspective to put forward?

  3. Alec Meer says:

    I’m dead excited about this. It’s a real shame it and TF2 are so hot on each other’s heels.

  4. Jim Rossignol says:

    You are wrong Martin, as I’m certain time will attest.

    • Idle Threats and Bad Poetry says:

      Greetings, Jim! I come from the FUTURE! BEWARE! BEWARE! H1N1! Economic crisis! And ET:QW will be mostly forgotten while TF2 makes news, albeit for absurd reasons!

    • lePooch says:

      Holy crap.. I was wondering why this came up on the comments feed. Did you specifically BOOKMARK this opinion and then return to it today to go “HAHA IN YOUR FACE GAMES JOURNALIST!!”

      This made my day.

    • Psychopomp says:

      That’s dedication

  5. Premium User Badge

    John Walker says:

    I think the issue with ETQW will be its surprisingly threatening welcome to newer players. It’s remarkably daunting in a way TF2 is so defiantly not. I imagine ETQW will win the hearts of the MP regulars in a huge way. But I don’t know if it’s going to embrace the n00bs.

  6. Jim Rossignol says:

    I think the mission system and constant pointers go a long way to helping newbies. Most people don’t even read what’s in front of them. “Press M” is a big hint. ETQW provides you will personal missions, waypoints, contextual advice for every class. It’s a seriously big deal in terms of accessibility.

    Granted, it’s more complex and less cuddly than TF2, but I genuinely don’t think it’s any harder to play.

  7. Mr Wonderstuff says:

    First a first-timer in the world of massive online shooters its very welcoming (but still a bit of a headf**k when you start out initially). Kudos to Mr Carmack as the engine really works well given the scope and is very smooth on my ageing pc. Anyway that’s on the demo…have ordered it from amazon for £17.99 which I think is a bit of a bargain (considering Woolies had it for £34.99).

  8. Marco M. says:

    It’s finally coming to Steam too, I pre-purchased it this morning before leaving home (though I still have to figure out the purpose of pre-purchasing without any pre-loading in place on Steam – beside them getting the cash earlier, I mean).

    The different Steam release dates mirror the different retail release dates, most likely the agreement was to leave one week to retailers to get their sales on all markets.

    I see people comparing ET:QW and TF2 fairly often on the net (I’m not referring to this article), and I’m sort of puzzled: personal taste aside, they’re two different types of team based shooters, with clearly different designs and probably aimed at different audiences as well (which doesn’t mean those audiences may not overlap, I just see TF2 as more oriented to casual, pick-up games on pubbies and Quake Wars being probably more enjoyable in clans competitions).

    Personally I think that while for some time they’ll compete for my online gaming time, being released so close to each other, in the long term each of them will have its space in my multiplayer shooting diet.

    My only concern about Quake Wars is that I don’t know how long it will take for me not to be satisfied any more of pick-up pub gaming and starting to want to play it in a more organized environment: the time of three-evenings-a-week clan trainings, scrimms and ladder competitions are long gone I fear…

  9. Jonathan Burroughs says:

    If only I could activate the £10 copy I snagged thanks to a Tescos Online error on Steam. It’d just be tidier that way.

  10. Alex Hopkinson says:

    I’ve been playing since friday and loving it. Having the full breath of maps available really helps demonstrate how good it can get, and Slipgate is a very neat idea. Oh, and I love shooting hostile aircraft out of the sky with my rocket launcher/arm of death (always my favourite pastime in BF2 as well) .

    ETQW isn’t shoddy at all, it’s simply a very different game to TF2. Similarities begin and end with “multiplayer class based FPS”, I feel. ETQW is often more brutal, and definitely a faster kind of game but that doesn’t make it inferior.

  11. Jim Rossignol says:

    Additionally, if TF2 does get people into multiplayer FPS for the first time, ETQW makes the perfect logical progression to something a little more complex.

  12. John P (Katsumoto) says:

    Absolutely love it.

    Jonathan – I also have bought a retail copy, but you know you can add non-steam games to your games list now? Just as tidy! Well, almost. It does mean you have to shift-tab to your friends to type in the IP address of the server you’ve found manually, annoyingly. But too late, my order has been posted!

  13. daz says:

    I’m struggling with ETQW a little bit. It seems polished, and runs surprisingly well on my aging PC, but the “PRESS M FOR MISSION” pulls me straight out of things immediately. Which one should I be doing first? What’s everyone else doing? I don’t know? Also, it talks about fireteams, but I can’t seem to find these anywhere.

    I think once it beds down, it could be fantastic. It’s a little overwhelming at first. It doesn’t feel as tangible as BF2(142) either. Difficult to explain, but the running speeds and weapons feedback feel more arcadey. I think it’s just the sound effects. I did get more impressed once I started headshotting people with the sniper rifle, though.

    TF2 is an entirely different beast, though, in almost every way bar being online and shooting people.

  14. daz says:

    This bit from the TF2 interview explains my biggest problem with ETQW better than I can.

    “And we hate that because the more you fill the game with those sorts of things, the more people look at them and not the characters. Everything that’s most important in the world should be the characters. So you shouldn’t check someone’s team by looking at a radical above their head. You should look at the character and that should tell you. We felt that if we kept to that you’d be looking at the world first, and your HUD second. ”

    ETQW is the exact opposite, and suffers as a result. I’m looking for symbols and instructions rather than objectives and enemies.

  15. Martin Coxall says:

    ETQW is the exact opposite, and suffers as a result. I’m looking for symbols and instructions rather than objectives and enemies.

    And not only that, the HUD that is provided is pisspoor; confusing, distracting and overwhelming. The game seems to be lacking months of polish. As it is, it’s a bit of a shoddily thrown together mess.

  16. John P (Katsumoto) says:

    I’m shit at online games, but it took me all of 3 rounds to work out what everything was on the HUD. Obviously it just clicks with some people and doesnt with others.

  17. Jim Rossignol says:

    Yeah, there’s going to be a degree of expectation there. Reading a HUD is the same as reading anything else, I suppose. It has all the information I want, but if I didn’t know what I wanted it would seem confusing.

  18. Kieron Gillen says:

    I’ll have to second people who are arguing the demo’s unfriendly to new players. I’ve only put an hour in, and my main memories – apart from seeing a glorious strafing run and pretty much laughing my head off in sheer gaming glee – were:
    1) Its instructions flash up too quickly for me to read. And I’ve got a pretty decent reading speed.
    2) When you ran up to a vehicle for the firs time, it didn’t give you any idea of the key required to get into it. I had to pull up the options to discover it was G.

    Coming from Team Fortress 2’s incredible friendliness, it was a bit noticeable.

    KG

  19. Marco M. says:

    A certain reliance on overlays, HUD and map (with its symbols and instructions) is the direct consequence of the game being played on a much bigger battlefield than Team Fortress 2.
    You can provide direct visual feedback at a character level only when the game is played for the most part at close range, like in TF2, not when you deal with objects that can be a few hundreds meters away. Average distances between players and objectives is something that affect various aspects of the game, like for instance automatic, event-driven voice messages, which are present in Quake Wars too, but can’t have the same impact they have in Valve’s game.

    ET:QW is a bit more complex in terms of mechanics too, with multiple objectives being carried on at the same time, so the tools used need to reflect a certain degree of that complexity to be effective.
    Honestly, I don’t have any recent experience of class-based, objective oriented games to be able to say if things have been done better already, but coming from the Tribes world, the first impression of the QW demo has been of a game that guided you a lot in what you were supposed to be doing (and felt a bit restrictive at times, from a triber perspective).

    Of course, this doesn’t mean that some people may not prefer the immediate visual feedback and small scale combat of Team Fortress 2 over the more abstract information tools and large battlefields of Quake Wars.

  20. Thelps says:

    My main concern, as mentioned by Marco M. is that the game doesn’t seem to lend itself too well to public play. Too often everyone’s running around as one class, fighting over the vehicles, or getting completely lost and running miles from the objective. This isn’t so much a flaw of the game itself, its complexity and depth is one of its strong points, but players on a public server really seem completely clueless, much more so than my experience with, say, the Battlefield games, or the TF2 demo (which is almost the complete opposite, extremely well suited to public server play).

    Still though, ET:QW is a truly excellent game. I’ll gladly lacerate the hell out of anyone on this site if a RPS game ever comes to reality.

  21. The_B says:

    In relation to the what key to press problem, the G prompt has come up every time for me so far, so I’ve not personally had a problem.

    I am going to be a hippy and say that both games are indeed awesome and have their place. I will say though that – as it should be – QW is definitely an ET game and not say, TF or BF. Going into it with an ET mindset I felt was helpful to me, and I can see me playing it more than I did say, BF2142.

  22. spirit7 says:

    I thought the demo was excellent. It was refreshing to have a FAST outdoor, team-based shooter – my main problem with the BF series was that they always seemed too slow.

    I perhaps do agree that it’s a bit daunting to start off with, but given time it really is enthralling. The class balance in particular seems superb thus far.

    My retail copy has been dispatched!!

  23. Robin says:

    The HUD is overwhelming at first, but it’s a game that really does need to throw a lot of information at you to play effectively.

    The persistent ranking system (link to stats.enemyterritory.com) is fascinating to browse (it seems most players quickly gravitate towards specific classes and vehicles) and adds to the already horribly addictive nature of the game.

    I’ve never played an ‘outdoor’ shooter as deep or as well implemented as ETQW, but I’m sure Martin Coxall will be along again to point out that we’re all wrong and it is, in fact, shoddy! Because, erm, is just is. Right.

  24. arqueturus says:

    I had a go on the demo and didn’t have a clue what to do :(

    Seems far too complex and… dull looking?

    I’ll give it another go at some point.

  25. Thelps says:

    Spirit7 nailed ET:QW’s unique appeal, its speed. Yes, other games (TF2!) are just as fast but aren’t the kind of objective based, large-scale FPSes that ET:QW is mainly competing with, primarily the BF franchise. Being able to operate tactically, as a unit, across LARGE distances, a la Quake Wars, and doing so at what is basically Quake or UT speeds (ok, a LITTLE slower) is a pretty special blend, if you ask me. Seems to bridge the gap between the tactically minded, cover-hugging BF player, and the ADD suffering twitch maniacs from vanilla Quake or UT deathmatch.

  26. Homunculus says:

    Not had the time to try this yet. How does it compare to Planetside, which never failed to make me feel like part of an ongoing BIG WAR effort?

  27. Seniath says:

    Just spent an hour or so, took part in the African and US campaigns. Overall, am quite impressed, there seems to be a lot of depth here, and I’ve only just scratched the surface. The Obliterator, I must say, is very fun. But when isn’t blowing shit up fun?