PUBLISHER: Activision DEVELOPER: Splash Damage/id GENRE: Multiplayer First-Person Shooter RELEASE DATE: March 2007
Sparta’s phalanx halting the Persians at Thermopylae; the Confederate ironclad splintering sloop and frigate at Hampton Roads; Staudegger’s Tiger engaging 50 Soviet tanks at Kursk—tactical, numerical, and technological gaps make for good war watching. Multiplayer shooter Enemy Territory: Quake Wars applies the principle to war gaming. Hold up. History versus fantasy? Sure, but the firepower freak who cites his virtual CAR-15’s specs—30-round clip firing 11.6 rounds per second—isn’t just flashing his Soldier of Fortune subscription; he’s also measuring himself against
AK-47-armed opponents (where the one is interesting only in opposition to the others). That same artillery-nerd factor holds true, fact or fiction, Heckler & Koch or hyperblaster. “It was important to create classes that not only appear unique, but have well-accented roles and abilities,” says Splash Damage owner and ETQW lead designer Paul Wedgwood. “For instance, the Global Defense Force Engineer wears a distinctive helmet and has mines on a belt harness—
you can look at him and know how many he has left—whereas the Strogg Oppressor strikes a bold silhouette with the wing structure on his back. See it as a sort of communication array that animates up and into position as the Oppressor calls on fire support weapons.” We pull a page from ETQW’s imaginary military reference manual to study the GDF Engineer and Strogg Oppressor.
TACTICAL, NUMERICAL, AND TECHNOLOGICAL GAPS MAKE FOR GOOD WAR WATCHING.
“A strong defensive class armed with either the N22 combat shotgun or N80 assault rifle with an optional 45mm grenade launcher attachment, the Engineer constructs objectives, repairs vehicles and deployables, plants land mines, and defuses Strogg plasma charges,”
says Splash Damage owner and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars lead designer Paul Wedgwood. “He also deploys and maintains his own defense turrets such as the Crossfire antipersonnel, Ogre antivehicle, and Guardian artillery-interceptor turrets. Crossfire and Ogre turrets automatically detect and engage Strogg infantry and air/ ground vehicles, respectively, and can also be manned, allowing players to override automatic systems and engage targets of
Says Wedgwood: “The Oppressor is the Strogg offensive fire-support specialist. While only lightly armed with a standard Lacerator plasma rifle, he can inflict massive casualties on the enemies of the Makron, bringing colossal destruction to the battlefield. The Oppressor deploys
bombardment devices such as the rail howitzer, plasma mortar, and the terrifying dark-matter cannon, raining down fire on enemies by designating them with his targeting device. The Oppressor can also throw a beacon to bring down a catastrophic Violator orbital strike, a fearsome pillar of energy that burns across the landscape, destroying everything in its path.
He can also drop a tactical energy shield to provide his teammates with temporary cover from enemy fire.”