Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The First of our FPS

Now, to kick start the First Person Shooter blogs, I've decided to dust off one of my old favorites: Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. This is the latest multiplayer version of the Wolfenstein series, and features six maps for players to fight on. The basics are simple: You are an Allied or Axis soldier, and each map has objectives. Invariably, these objectives are defensively or offensively related. For instance, in the Gold Rush map, the Allies are striving to break into an Axis vault and steal their gold, and the Axis are trying to stop them.

I like this system because you can choose one of five classes every time you respawn, and you gain experience and bonuses as the campaign rolls on. There are even modded servers that keep your experience even after the map cycle resets, so you can get every single bonus. These bonuses range from Improved Stamina to better Gun Control, and my favorite, Dual Wield Pistols.

The classes in game are all available to any player, but a mix of classes provides the best fire team. Ideally, a team will have at least one of every class, and be heavier on Engineers and Medics (depending on the mission).

Soldiers are the grunts on the front line. They carry the big guns and can do the most sustainable collateral damage. A single well supplied Soldier with a MG-42 can hold critical chokepoints, and a solder with a Panzerfaust (bazooka/RPG) can wipe out an entire squad. Soldiers get upgraded with better fire control and the ability to use their weapons more (either by reducing gun overheat or reducing the amount of the power bar they use). Oh, and while in the begining they can only lug around a pistol and their big gun, at max level, they get a Thompson/MP-44 and their big gun, which just makes them even deadlier.

The Medic is the class that keeps the team alive longer, and that means more enemies are killed and more objectives are completed. The medic class can only carry a submachine gun and starts with a small ammo load, but they aren't in the fight to kill, they're in the fight to heal. The medic does get some killer abilities, though. The get upgraded with additional ammunition, a full revive, and self adrenaline, which turns them into unfeeling killing machines for a period of time. A good medic is almost an assurance of victory.

Engineer is probably the most used class, and every player will play as an engineer in their career. Why? Because blowing stuff up is fun, and vital to the war effort. In every mission, an engineer is needed for something, and engineers have access to the widest array of explosives. Land mines, dynamite, and rifle grenades are unique to this class. Their upgrades are nice too. They get loaded down with even more grenades, improved demolition speed, and their final upgrade is a flak jacket that greatly reduces their damage from shrapnel and bullets.

Field Ops is another very fun class, as you carry a radio that lets you call in air and artillery strikes. What's better is that you carry ammo packs, which means you have virtually limitless ammo. The downside? None of your abilities are that good until about lvl 3 in Signals, and by then you've been playing the class for a bit. The upside? By then, Ammo packs take almost none of your power bar, artillery strikes for two rounds, and air strikes are twice as powerful. The downside again? At max level you get Enemy Recognition....which is like opening a box full of socks on Christmas. If it weren't for the last upgrade, I'd play this class 24/7.

Finally, Covert Ops is the last class you can play as. Now, when selecting the class almost every player thinks it's a sniper class. Fact is, it's probably easier to snipe with the SMG than it is with an actual sniper rifle. Since so many of the Sniping Positions on the released maps are known, they are usually blanketed with fire every time someone steps near them. The good news is that the class was actually designed more for sneaking around than sniping, and you can take enemy uniforms and pose as their team, open enemy doors, and cause confusion. Oh, and you have Detonation Packs, which make for some fun ambushes. The rewards for Covert Ops aren't that great, basically you get more bullets, less special cost on smoke grenades and det packs, and better gun handling. However, the final upgrade allows you to insta kill anyone with your knife, if you're attacking from behind. It's a good ability, but frankly you can kill anyone with two quick knife strokes to the back, so fighting through 4 levels of covert ops for that seems tedious to me.

This is a fun and free game I suggest anyone at least try out. Lately, I've been using it with a mod called Bobots that creates a group of skilled bot opponents. It eliminates the need to find a server with enough players and low lag, and also greatly improves your skills, as these bots are deadly accurate and have great vision. Don't know quite what I'm reviewing next, but I have been playing around with the COD 4 demo.

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