Enemy Territory Quake Wars didn’t meet my expectations (Beta Review)

I really did have extremely high hopes for ETQW.  It was going to be the ‘next big thing’ in the FPS genre that would give me at least a month of solid gameplay like previous FPS games have.  Or so I thought.  Playing the beta now for a few hours I have this sick feeling in my gut that I can only describe as remorse.  Graev and I over the years have attributed that sick feeling in your gut as buyer’s remorse.  I really do try to avoid buyer’s remorse at all costs because there’s nothing more sickening than knowing you just spent money on something you really do not enjoy.  ETQW is giving me that feeling of remorse and I haven’t spent a dime yet – not a good thing.  The game is failing to deliver on a few points of major importance.

First off the graphics are lacking.  I asked myself out loud today “Do I set the bar too high?” and Graev said to me “Nope.  The bar has been set already”.  Looking back at ETQW’s biggest competition, BF2142, there are major graphical differences.  First off BF2142 looks smoother, more polished, and the texture’s are just better.  ETQW has gone with that “Look at the big picture” strategy that just doesn’t cut it.  If I want to run up to the wall and look at the bullet holes I should think they’re really there and not a texture slapped on with glue.  Unfortunately ETQW is the latter.

Performance in ETQW is also lacking.  I can run BF2142 on full settings without a single hitch or hiccup.  I can’t turn the settings up in ETQW beyond 75% on some of the graphic slider bars such as Specular and Anistrophy.   Perhaps that’s because I do not have one of those fancy 8800’s that can run DX10 and right now I’m “only” on a 7950 but regardless, I shouldn’t have to put up with the skippy lag on my system to make the game look playable.

Let’s talk details.  The two sides are fairly different because one is a creepy alien race and the other is your standard human.  The weapons for the “Strogg” match what you would expect from an alien race and the human weapons… are… I’ll come out and say they’re a huge disappointment.  There’s nothing advanced looking about them.  There’s nothing special about the weaponry or vehicles in any way.  In BF2142 it felt like each weapon was so unique and had so much detail put into them that you could actually have huge discussion and comparisons on them.  In ETQW you have the ones that shoot fast and the ones that don’t and the ones that spray fire.  Yep your Assault machine gun, your sniper rifle, and your shotgun.  Bleh.   I won’t even go into details on how when you zoom in with the Strogg weapons the game magically looks like you’re playing on a Super Nintendo…

The game’s basic gameplay is also something I am so absolutely disappointed about.  It feels like nothing more than a hallway runner fragfest without any of the cool features that a fragfest game should have (think Tribes).  It lacks depth, features, and honestly right now it’s lacking a soul.  I can’t see myself playing any more of the beta.  It’s too unpolished and lacking as I’ve already said many times.  But hey, it’s beta and these things are to be expected right?  I hope so because without what I thought was going to be a great game… what am I going to do until Warhammer Online?