The battle of the year is about to start

Like I said on my preview a few months ago, I believe the biggest tipping point for gaming this year will be the release of Enemy Territory:Quake Wars, Unreal Tournament 3, and to a lesser extent, Team Fortress 2 (which is also a multiplayer game offering class-based teamplay, but in a league of its own).

Yesterday we got another step closer to the race start, with the announcement of the first details on the public beta test of Enemy Territory:Quake Wars. Basically, it will start soon, it will be open for everybody, and 60,000 keys will be distributed, with a few spots reserved for FilePlanet subscribers.

If rumors and speculation are correct, we’ll see this public beta officially starting this next week (as the installation file is actually already available on FilePlanet). With the attention of both BattleField 2142/2 and Wolfenstein:Enemy Territory players drawn, this public beta will be crucial for those communities to find out if Quake Wars is indeed the next big thing they’ve been waiting for. Hopefully we’ll see the Quake Wars line appearing on the graphics soon, and even with a total limit of 60,000 players, fluctuation over the public beta time will probably be a good indicator of whether this is the second coming or not.

Then, taking clues from previous developer interviews, we’ll probably see the final game released 1-2 months after the public beta start, so right now I’m going to bet on a July-August release.

And finally, we still don’t know for sure when is Unreal Tournament 3 going to be released, but the date for Team Fortress 2 has been set: October 9, 2007. While Team Fortress 2 and Quake Wars have a lot of differences – infantry-only versus infantry and vehicular combat, flag capturing versus objective driven gameplay, symmetrical versus asymmetrical maps and teams, zany cartoons versus realistic-futuristic characters – there’s some kind of overlap on the way they’re played; it also suffices to say that Quake Wars’ developers, Splash Damage, started out as a Team Fortress clan, evolved into a mod team that created a Team Fortress mod for Quake 3, and then into a full-fledged game development house; the influence of Team Fortress gameplay is still visible on their work (and that’s a good thing).

Many players – including myself – are expecting both games eagerly, and with the impeding release of Unreal Tournament 3 and its Onslaught mode (offering some gameplay similarities to the one offered by Quake Wars), this is sure to be a clash of titans, with the bonus side fight of seeing how Team Fortress 2 will fare against other Valve games such as Day of Defeat and Counter-Strike. I can’t predict the outcome, but I know it will be interesting to watch.

One Response to “The battle of the year is about to start”

  1. Dr.Death Says:

    Yeah it sure is going to be fun to watch.

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