Enemy Territory: Quake Wars Review

Title: Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
By: Anthony Rice (Rice_King)
Developer: Splash Damage
Publisher: Activision
Consoles Available: PC, Xbox 360, PS3
Number of Players: 1-32
ESRB Rating: Teen
Review Rating: 8.5
Website: www.enemyterritory.com

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Enemy Territory: Quake Wars was released by id Software in 2007 and is a child of the Free Multiplayer game Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory (ET) that was released in 2003. It is not so much a sequel to ET because ET was based in WWII. It is mainly an online multiplayer game, but it can also be played offline with bots. The point of the game is to enter into a campaign where there are multiple maps and you either have to defend a main objective or attack the main objective. There are many small objectives – such as building a bridge, or destroying generators – that you must first complete before you even get near the main objective. There are two sides you can choose, GDF (Global Defense Force) or Strogg – the alien invaders. Within both of these sides you have five character types you can choose from. Basically you can choose from an ammunitions supplier/target painter, spy, medic, soldier, or engineer. Many of the objectives can only be completed by a specific class, so the teams have to be balanced with classes in order to succeed. For example if you have to build a bridge or repair a vehicle, only the engineer can do this.

Strogg Lightning Gun

For a game that was released two years ago, the graphics are very clean. The humans are very realistic, while the Strogg, who are abominations of flesh and metal, look quite evil. The game is great in the way that everyone who plays gets to play a part in the success or failure of the team. You can choose your class in-game so you don’t get stuck with the character you chose. You can also gain campaign experience which will give you abilities like faster arming of mines or more clips of ammo. Now it’s not the eternal war between the US and the Nazis, it’s the other eternal war between alien oppressors and humans is just as good when executed correctly.

Strogg Infiltrating

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars has a strong Evolution factor because of its strong class based objective game play. The very fact that it forces cooperative game play and you to need to either support the people fulfilling objectives or be the person fulfilling the objectives gives a strong sense of teamwork and community that bring many gamers back for hours of fun. The replay value of Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is very high; every campaign you play will bring new and refreshing experiences. Many people still do play this game; I was surprised to see how many servers were full when I first logged on. Now you can find this game for less than ten bucks on Amazon, I definitely recommend spending the cash to get this game.

RATING: 8.5

Evolution Factor: High

Cyclops

Left 4 Dead

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By Mario Garcia

Developer: Valve Corporation

Publisher: Valve Corporation

Review Rating: 10

Website:  http://www.l4d.com/

Left 4 Dead is a first person shooter zombie survival game. However in my opinion it is more of a zombie movie simulator.  The premise is Four Survivors trying to escape from the relentless hordes of undead infected.  They fight their way across farms, hospitals, subways and city streets.

We have to start with the true stars of the game the Infected. The normal infected are fast moving cannon fodder zombies, not at all tough 1-2 shots puts them down but there are a lot of them and its easy to get overwhelmed. Then there are the specialty infected. The Boomer, a disgusting blob of gelatinous gross. The boomers have 2 attacks one is a vomit attach in which they projectile vomit bile which attracts infected and the second is getting within range and then getting show so the bile spray out all over any survivors in the vicinity. The Smoker is a Gene Simmons wannabe with a tongue that can be used to entangle survivors who then need to be rescued by their teammates. The Hunters are fast and vicious pouncing on any survivor foolish enough to stray from the group and again once pinned you will need your teammates to rescue you. The Tank is a huge hulk that can throw cars and chunks of concrete as well as easily knock survivors across the way or off a rooftop. Finally The Witch who is the toughest of the infected. Luckily she just hides and cries to herself until she is startled by a flashlight or is shot at.

There are four Survivors, Francis the tough biker, Zoey the college student, Louis the working man, and  Bill the grizzled old war veteran.  They are pretty much interchangeable with no special powers or difference in abilities.  They all have access to a good variety of weapons.  The basic pistol has unlimited ammo though the reload time can be your undoing.  A second pistol can be found in places and the characters can dual wield.  Then there are shotguns, hunting rifles , uzi, and machine guns that can be used to dispatch the various infected. The respawns are also interesting since you have to be rescued from a closet by the other teammates rather than just dropping back into the combat that offers a nice extra bit of realism.

There is a hidden character that really makes this game stand out. The AI/Director changes elements in the game dynamically.  The changes can be made to locations of enemies or extra weapons.  The AI calculates the perceived stress levels of each characters and adjusts the difficulty accordingly.  The 2 shambling zombies that were in the subway tunnel last round can this time be a horde of zombies that come charging from the tunnel without warning.  The Director portion changes the music to increase and maintain a great level of tension.  Playing a fast paced soundtrack while fighting waves of zombies and brass hits when attacked by a smoker or hunter and the somber death music when you are taken down and killed and finally the triumphant ending music if you make it to the rescue.

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Freakin awesome. This game is one of the most fun First Person Shooters i’ve played in a very long time.  It is exciting and fresh and truly a cooperative multi player game.  Zombies shooting is always fun. Playing with friends or a pick up group is a blast, whether you are playing survivors or infected.  I really like the fact that you can play ths game for a quick log in an blow stuff up session or play for a long time with a group of friends and have a good time.  Valve should be releasing the SDK for it soon too so look for mods in the near future.

Red Alert 3

Red Alert 3


By Mario Garcia

Manufacturer: Electronic arts

Review Rating: 8

Website:  Red Alert

Welcome Back Comrade.  Time travel has once again altered the course of history.  The Soviets finding themselves losing the war against the Allies have travelled back in time to try to save themselves and killed Albert Einstein before he can create weapons the allies can use to defeat the Soviets. Now a new faction rises from the east the anime inspired Empire of the Rising Sun threatens the world.  Command and Conquer Red Alert 3 is the next great RTS chapter in the Red Alert universe.

Continuing the trend from Command and Conquer 3, a third faction has been added to the traditional 2 of allies and soviets. The 3 factions Allies, Soviets and Empire of the Rising Sun are varied and fun to play.  The Soviets with their industrialized mega Apocalypse war tanks and Kirov Airships and armored bears decimate enemy forces. Allies take a more high tech approach using dolphin troops with devastating sonic attacks Mirage Tanks to mask their true numbers while Cryocopters Freeze enemies solid to be shattered with the next shot.  The Empire of the Rising Sun is the new faction taking definitely Anime inspired with psychic schoolgirls and Giant robots like the King Oni and transformable helicopter/walkers.  Another new addition is the Co-Commander you may either team up with a friend for online co-op play or with one of the computer controlled AI allies. So no matter what, you always have an ally during your mission   This definitely makes for interesting gameplay and adds an extra element to the strategy have your ally take out one of the targets or flank the enemy forces. The building portions seemed a bit slower than CNC3 and there was a few levels that were nearly infuriatingly challenging but overall the combat was fun and exciting.

One of the best parts of the Command and Conquer games are the live action sequences. Red Alert 3 did not fail to deliver.  With a fantastic scf fi packed cast starring Tim Curry, George Takei, Gemma Atkinson, Peter Stormare, JK Simmons, Jonathan Pryce, Jenny McCarthy and Kelly Hu.  The live action cut scenes bring the story to life like no narration could. They are a bit cheesy but that is part of the charm. The Collectors edition came with a bonus DVD and Soundtrack CD.  The DVD came with a large collection of concept art, blooper reel, “Making of” and Women of Red Alert 3 featurettes.

The gameplay is fast and furious.  The story is a lot of fun to play through with great performances from the whole cast. Cooperative and Competitive multiplayer makes the game last far beyond the single player campaign. The great RTS gameplay and fantastic live action cut scenes make this addition to the command and conquer franchise a must have!

 

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