QuakeCon 2007: Enemy Territory: Quake Wars Updated Hands-On

With the game nearing completion, Quake Wars shines at id's annual gathering of its biggest fans.

DALLAS, Texas--QuakeCon 2007 was a big show for Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, the multiplayer action game by Splash Damage in cooperation with id Software. Todd Hollenshead, CEO of id, announced that the game would be released on Oct. 2, and the second beta test of the game was released to thousands of QuakeCon attendees and fans elsewhere, allowing them to get a fresh new look at the game.

The updated beta is a much more polished version of the original beta, but it contains much of the same content seen before. Played all across the convention's floor was the Valley level, which has the forces of the alien Strogg attempting to defend against an attack by human Global Defense Force. Coordination is required on both sides, as the GDF first attempt to repair a bridge and then move their mobile command post over it and through a tunnel, while the Strogg attempt to stop them by building defenses and engaging the enemy.

Meanwhile, the Xbox 360 version of the game was being played nearby by employees of developer Nerve Software, which is working in cooperation with Splash Damage and id on the console version. The Xbox 360 game won't ship on Oct. 2, like its PC cousin, and its release date is still to be determined. Spectators and attendees weren't allowed to play it, but we did get to see a new level, called Island. In Island, the Strogg have seized a key satellite facility that has important data on Strogg slipgate technology, which the Strogg use to invade Earth. The GDF must attack and reclaim the data, but to do that, they must first get power generators up and running to power the data vault. Then they must capture and reclaim the data before extracting to an observatory.

We caught up with Brandon James, president of Nerve Software, as well as Paul "Locki" Wedgwood, the owner and creator of director of Splash Damage to get their thoughts on the game. Wedgwood noted that the new beta introduces persistent stats to the game, including a persistent rank system that's focused on rewarding team play, not particularly individual play. "In other games you get a reward for camping on a hill for six months [and sniping]," he said. However, to get rank promotions in Quake Wars, you'll need to rack up achievements, and you get achievements by doing things that assist your team in winning a mission. If you have a high rank in the game, it "reflects something worthwhile" he said.

James showed us some of the new user interface improvements that have been made, particularly to the Xbox 360 game. For instance, the "limbo screen" that allows you to switch between different character classes and such has been entirely redesigned to be user friendly if you're playing with an Xbox 360 controller. More importantly, there's a new mission area in the top left of the screen that basically tells you what you could be doing to help your team, and it changes depending on your class or your situation. This should help focus the efforts of a team, rather than having a bunch of heavily armed individuals running around randomly.

Another aspect of the game that James touched on was the performance of the bots, which are computer-controlled characters. You can play single-player with bots, or multiplayer with a combination of other players and bots, and we were impressed with what the bots can do. Wedgwood gave an example of how one bot, playing as a covert ops class, used a jet pack to fly to a good spot on the map and hide. When an enemy went by, the bot emerged, stabbed the bad guy in the back, and then stole his identity to disguise himself to infiltrate the enemy base.

Quake Wars is a game that's been four years in the making, so it's exciting to finally see it entering the home stretch. The PC version looks very polished at this point, and the Xbox 360 game also looked good, though it sounds like it needs a bit more work. While the date for it has yet to be announced, it wouldn't surprise us if it slipped a bit into 2008. Still, if id, Splash Damage, and Nerve can deliver, it should be an impressive game. PC players won't have to worry, though, because Quake Wars ships on Oct. 2.

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Discussion

41 comments
PhoenixVenom
PhoenixVenom

this is gunna be sweet. hopefully there is a single player campaign to play and not just online

nate1222
nate1222

Damn it! I want a 360 version. Like yesterday. Hopfully, it'll support bots and/or split screen for those who can't get XBL. Otherwise, I'll still be rocking PD:Zero and UT3.

wheater
wheater

This game is going to be awesome. Cant wait.

alex20077
alex20077

and they don't even mention the Mac version either.

MadDog1250
MadDog1250

no mention of the ps3 version??? bit strange tbh

hornycorny69
hornycorny69

word valttu! good multiplayer experiences is where it's at. i can tell this is going to be a good one.

Crack-21
Crack-21

This game is very good but my favorite is still unreal tournament 3. I think with its full speed gameplay and graphics (unreal engine 3) ut 3 will be the best online action game!

Balidanny
Balidanny

This game will Rule them all!

valttu
valttu

This game seems great! Teamwork FTW! I might be buying this one, so I get a great multi player experience.

Santiago_Loco
Santiago_Loco

I think it will look really great when it finaly see the light

JB2B
JB2B

I'm really looking forward to this game. It seems like it's going to be a little bit different from other multi-player shooters. I'm very happy that they are taking good care of bot dev. Bots was what I really missed in GOW. I agree with KyanMehwulfe that I forrest map would be nice.

KyanMehwulfe
KyanMehwulfe

It's shaping up great in beta. The new watercraft feels excellent. Final release better include a massive rivers, creeks, and waterfalls forest map of some sort.

GunGriffin
GunGriffin

I hope they took out that damn I hit somthing sound from old Q3 arena. Man that was the most annoying thing ever and was a cheap way to shoot and get kills without even thinking. That and I hope the gun sounds are way better. The Gun sounds from Quake 4 were sweet! I hope the sounds in ET:QW are that good in the final release.

wando77
wando77

@xxrebel666xx How can somebody say its stupid to buy the 360 version of a game if you own a 360 and a ps3????? ESPECIALLY with a game like Quake that relies on its online play for lastability. PS3 is without doubt NO competition for 360 when it comes to online play so where is your logic in that???

JPMcferran
JPMcferran

Cant wait this game looks impressive

komet999
komet999

These last few weeks are going to go by soo slow. What class is everyone looking forward the most? I want to play as a covert opps.

SpazH3d
SpazH3d

booties in dis game? oops i meant bots* :}

xXrebel666Xx
xXrebel666Xx

Typical of gamespot, the Ps3 version never exists... PC one looks hell nice, but i want more on the Ps3 version, its stupid buying 360 software when you own them both.

nth1739
nth1739

the beta2 is a step up, I mean no beta is perfect, but beta2 is getting closer to the goal. It is hard to get a feel for the depth to the classes since most beta players are just learning how to shoot, how to drive vehicles. But I can tell there is a good game here. The objective based missions and auto-designated missions help integrate you into the setting. I have pre-ordered the game so I really hope I am right hehe. :)

mach-stem
mach-stem

Whoever was under the impression that ET: QW will have 64 player support, do your research. The 360 version was rumored to have a 24player cap on it...not sure the validity of that, since what, 3 weeks ago? Either way, I didn't enjoy the game mechanics as much as I'd of liked. It was fun to play for a little bit, but definitely not something that I could consider a direct competitor to the BF franchise. It's seems more of a Quake vs. Doom vs. UT type of competitor. PEACE

Rob_101
Rob_101

Beta 2?!? the first was so-so ..... I hope beta 2 is a lot better, going to get it now :D

JDog007
JDog007

I've played both betas of Quake Wars, beta 1 was horrible, but 2 is extremely better in both aspects: gameplay and graphics, however I am more of a console player and I hope Nerve can deliver Quake wars on X360 before the end of the year, I don't want another GTA 4 situation, speaking of which does anyone know when they plan to release GTA 4 in 2008, like what month?

dsunshine
dsunshine

the beta 2 is awsome, it is a must buy

igl
igl

Beta 1 was a bad move, It wasnt really good or at least not "ID quality". Beta 2 makes up for that, still needs work but they take their time. EA would have released it already hehehu.

Betaslayer
Betaslayer

The game is looking good, just hope us 360 users get it no later than early '08

Alexmon
Alexmon

I've played the Beta Test 1, and currently playing Beta 2. This game is extremely fun. I just hope many of the technical issues I've seen are cleared up b4 Oct. 2.

SpazH3d
SpazH3d

Hurray for bot-support! :D

-HCMF-
-HCMF-

Man I hope this is better than everyones saying it is....

sergio_afonso
sergio_afonso

I played the first beta. Go see it in my blog what I thought.

Gruug
Gruug

Been reading what some of the beta testers are saying about QW. It is not looking good. Many are saying "don't buy it". That is never a good sign.

113871999
113871999

Yeah I can't wait for this game, I've been an avid player of BF2 for a couple of years now and I couldnt really get into BF2142, so this should be a thrilling game. There are both positive aspects to both the Xbox 360 and PC versions of Quake Wars, with the 360 version having Hi-Definition visuals and Multiplayer over Xbox Live and the PC version having an even bigger online experience with 64-players. I just hope my PC doesn't die as soon as I install it *Crosses fingers*