- Buy the Game
Reviewed by Jason Thompson
hat should have been a pretty nice class-based tactical/first-person shooter game has instead turned out to be a bit of a yawn. Well, the console version of this game has. The original PC version of “Quake Wars” (released in 2007) was well-liked, well-reviewed, and attracted all those gamers who love everything “Quake.” Hey, I put in my share of time battling the Stroggs over the years as well, and so I initially looked forward to this game gracing the 360, having not played the PC original (I admit it, I like console gaming more). However, even I can tell you that this thing just seems to be lacking all-around.
Keep in mind that “Quake Wars” is not meant to be a first-person shooter. There is certainly that element, but when playing through the single player campaigns, you’ll be filling out all the roles from soldier to engineer to medic and covert ops. A brief tutorial seems to cover all the bases, and the game is pretty easy to pick up on after playing through that portion, but there are too many things going on here that aren’t fully explained, and a lot of times you can find yourself just sort of guessing at what to do next. Usually this is easily resolved by bringing up your to-do list and scrolling through each of the classes until you find the one that exclaims that a certain class can “complete the job.”
Granted, this game is meant to be played online, but let’s just look at the single-player aspect for a moment. Clearly “Quake Wars” and its bot AI is not up to snuff here. Whether you’re playing for the good guys or on the Stroggs’ side, you’ll quickly find yourself simply waiting for a medic to come rescue you after you’ve been shot down for the hundredth time trying to reach your mission point and build the damned bridge, repair a vehicle, or simply just wait out an attack. Too bad those medics are getting attacked as well, or are taking their own sweet time getting to your sorry ass vertical. More often than not, you’ll simply be re-deploying your character rather than waiting forever for nothing and wasting valuable time (the missions have a 20 minute time limit).
OK, so the game play is a bit frustrating and confusing at times. Sadly, this also carries over to the online aspect and can make the (up to) 16-player matches as tedious as the single-player campaigns. Great, so what else is there? Well, how about the complete lack of any personality on either side? The same guy voices everybody on the human side, and every Strogg basically just breathes annoyingly loud. Such fine attention to detail crosses over into the graphics as well, which while getting the job done, simply do only that and don’t go beyond it.
Still, there are people who are going to enjoy this game regardless of its flaws. There haven’t been a whole lot of tactical games like this to come out on the consoles, so the novelty factor is definitely a draw. Yet it seems that “Quake Wars” is the kind of game people will play more often with their friends, rather than random folks on Xbox Live simply to get “good” at it. Not that anyone could be blamed for the utter confusion that ensues during most skirmishes. Oh, and it probably doesn’t hurt if you happen to like the whole “Quake” series a bit as well, though it’s definitely not a requirement. This is definitely worth a rental for those into this sort of thing – just don’t expect hours of satisfaction.