Thursday, March 17, 2005

Ann and me. Terri, Tori?: Part 1

How I could have let something like this slip by me while it was fully in the scope of my radar for so long remains a mystery to me. Maybe in the days before I had broadband it could be considered acceptable - the download is pretty big, after all - but it's simply inexcusable that it's taken me so long to finally try out Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory.

The list of commercial games available on the Linux platform is growing, but it's still fairly minute. The list of commercial games available for free on said platform is considerably smaller. As you may already know, since the game has been out for more than a year, Enemy Territory was originally developed as an expansion pack for Return To Castle Wolfenstein. The project was canned and, thanks to some kind soul, released for free shortly thereafter.

In retrospect, it was probably Call Of Duty's multiplayer aspect that kept me from downloading Enemy Territory as soon as I was broadband-enabled. Anybody who's played COD multiplayer knows exactly what I'm talking about - it's as addictive as... well, something really addictive. I don't know if it's longevity will match that of COD but, at least for now, Enemy Territory has me pretty well hooked.

It's really nothing new. An objective-based multiplayer shooter with different player classes set in WWII... I can think of quite a few games that might describe. The execution of Enemy Territory is where it really shines. All the stock levels, while small enough to keep it fun with small groups of players, create an impression of being massive - even though, in actuality, they're quite confined. Where the genius is, when it comes to level design, is the inclusion of very well-placed chokepoints that ensure that most of the action is happening in no more than one or two particular areas at any given time. Of all the online shooters I've played, the only one that used chokepoints almost as effectively as Enemy Territory was, yes, Call Of Duty.

You may wonder why this post's title has a "Part 1" at the end of it. You see, the world of Enemy Territory includes more than just the one game. There are a few mods out there - from small server side mods that add a few nifty features, to full blown total conversions. In the next couple of weeks I'll be taking a look at those mods, so stay tuned.

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