Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Asgath, Oct 4, 2003.

  1. Asgath

    Asgath Heavy-metal dwarf

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    Return to Castle Wolfenstien: Enemy Territory

    Return to Castle Wolfenstien: Enemy Territory was to be an expansion for the popular First Person Shooter: Return to Castle Wolfenstien. For whatever reason, this expansion became a free, downloadable stand-alone game, and I for one am very glad they did it. This game, similarly to Natural Selection, combines the best of team-based and personal play into one wildly fun experience.

    Background

    The game is based on playing one of two sides - the Allies or the Axis teams. Although they both have the same classes and similar weapon types, certain guns and weapons have different characteristics. Generally though, both teams have very similar weapons. One team is supposed to defend multiple objectives while the other is supposed to destroy or take them.

    There are multiple parts to accomplish the final task. For example, in one map a team is supposed to destroy two anti-tank guns in order to let a tank occupy an enemy base, but in order to do this, they first need to capture an enemy respawn (with help of repairing a water pump, if desired), then dynamite a wall / repair a second pump. After doing this, they need to get to the guns which are deep in enemy territory, right by the enemy respawn, bring an engineer classed character, drop and arm a dynamite, then hold off their position - twice. The battles are usually intense at about the 22 player level. More than that and things really start to become a zergfest.

    There are 6 maps divided into two campaigns of 3 maps each. Unfortunately this is a low number of maps, however they are fun to play and haven't gotten old yet (although I can see this being a problem in the future.)

    Your character gains levels over the campaign, earning extra skills, abilities and ranks. The skills are broken into 3 parts – Class specific, Battle Sense and light weapons. For example, if you, say build or destroy a lot of items with the engineers pliers or dynamite, then you will gain skills in engineering (class specific). These skills can be very helpful, and in many cases, such as a medic, can give you amazing longevity and speed.

    Graphics: 6/10

    Sadly, the graphics are not up to par, both in quality and application. But for a free game, I cant say this is to bad, it uses the old Quake engine, and has been generally unmodified other than things have been reskinned. The areas look blocky and generally poor in this day and age. Things don't seem 'real', and many areas/rooms look like they were made one at a time and connected up later, however this doesn't detract too much from the gaming experience, as cover is placed where intended, and vast halls work properly to aid in defense. In short, the lack of graphical quality does not hinder the gameplay, especially in a multiplayer only game.

    Sound: 8.5/10

    Sound is extremely important in a FPS. RtCW:ET uses sound very well, although I would not say as well as Natural Selection. If you pay very close attention, you can hear footsteps and their relative locations. You can tell when/where certain weapons are shooting, (enemy or friendly) where mines are being dropped, or artillery fired. Each weapon creates a different sound when firing, so with a bit of practice you can tell who's shooting what and from where. This is invaluable in an FPS and adds to the experience.

    Gameplay: 9/10

    The game does shines here. This game is extremely fun to play and has a lot of potential for professional tournament use as a combination game. You need specific classes in order to accomplish the objectives, and some classes work better than others in certain situations. Engineers can build posts to speed up your charge speed, and also create manual turrets, towers and other points of strategic value in set places on the map. Although personal skill matters greatly (more so than Natural Selection) team based skill is also very important, and with solid communication, some maps can be done extremely quickly. In general pub play, few people talk and even less people listen, so the game seems is more like a zergfest in these situations. Still, if you and a buddy are of above average skill and work together, the two players can often win the map easily on a pub.
    I'm having trouble trying to express how fun the game is, but I enjoy it tremendously.

    The only problem I have is with the relative ease of spam that a fieldops can create. Although the big blue/red smoke lifting up should give a warning to run like hell, sometimes the explosions (especially when the fieldops are high-leveled) are just so huge, it’s like an insta-kill button, and even if you are behind cover you may still get killed. The other problem with the fieldops is their ability to launch a barrage of artillery wherever they can see. So long as the fieldops uses his binoculars to look at an area, he can click the attack button, and spam the hell out of the area for a far too extended period of time. The game simply feels cheap with such tactics, but fortunately not too many fieldops level up enough, and few use the artillery through binoculars, probably because not many people know about it.

    Bugs

    Perhaps I haven't given the game enough time, however, after a few weeks of play, I have only noticed one gameplay bug (involving the tracks of the tank getting stuck on objects when it shouldn't have) which actually affected the game. It was minor though and has only happened once, so nothing to worry about.

    Conclusion: 9/10

    For the low price of $0, the game is worth 'purchasing', that's for sure. It really boggles the mind how completely free games can easily stand up, and in some cases surpass off-the-shelf $50 games which you'll play for a day and give up on. Perhaps the industry should learn something from these developers whom offer amazing games for free (learn something such as hiring them). I've had more fun playing this than any other game the last few weeks and if that isn't enough to convince you to try it, nothing will :D