Ah, Enemy Territory. The game that started it all for me. The game where I got my first headshot, my first nade kill, my first everything and anything one can do in an online first person shooter. For me, Enemy Territory was, and still is, the Mecca of all FPS games. Sure, I may cheat on it occasionally for a wild blood-spilling, throat cutting, and let’s not forget the undeniable ‘lagging’ (Why else would we have gotten killed?) filled weekend with Battlefield or Counter-Strike. But dammit, I always go back to this eleven-year-old game with a new-found love for everything it is. The graphics are irrefutably sub-par and the hit boxes are questionable i.e. three headshots for a kill. There are a number of glitches and bugs, and let’s not even start on some of the ridiculous mods you’ll find. But there’s just something about it.
So let’s look at the facts. Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory is a free, (yes, I said free) open source multiplayer FPS video game for PC. It’s set during World War II and was, initially, supposed to be released as an expansion pack to Return to Castle Wolfenstein but, you know, stuff happened. Due to problems with the ‘multiplayer’ aspect of RTCW, it was released as a freeware, standalone game in 2003. The gameplay itself is pretty straightforward: Axis or Allies. Or, if you’d prefer not to have the labels attached, defending or attacking (except for one map where the Axis actually gets to attack for once.) I personally prefer to attack, defending is just… boring, but it boils down to personal choice. The class and ranking system is also rather straightforward. They include Soldier, Medic, Engineer, Covert Ops and Field Ops.
Each class has their own unique weapon or ability, with the Soldier having the wider choice of weapons (Panzer, MG, Flamethrower etc.) Each class has their own respectable role to play. Once again, personal choice is the biggest factor here. If you prefer scoping out your enemies, then choose Covert Ops and pwn with a K43 Rifle. Want to rain death and destruction down on them? Choose Field Ops and navigate airstrikes and artillery support. As a Field Ops you’ll also be responsible for giving ammo to your teammates, and the rest of the team (especially Medics) will get pissed pretty quickly if you just stand there keeping all that damn ammo to yourself.
If you’re more of a ‘getting the job done’ type of player, choose to be an Engineer. Planting dynamite, fixing tanks, constructing MG’s, and building command posts can give you and your team the upper hand.
If you prefer being a support character, then be a Medic (my favorite class). You’ll be vital to Engineers and you’ll need to be quick with the revive needle. If not, you can just go Rambo, screw your teammates, and get all the kills for yourself. I mean, with your own supply of med-packs, why the hell not?
It’s not just the gameplay experience that I find enjoyable about Enemy Territory though. It’s the community too. In 2004, Splash Damage released the source code for the game logic to the public, meaning anyone (yes, anyone) can make a map, and there are thousands. Maps exist where all objectives get thrown out of the window and the only mission is to get as many kills as one can! Maps have been created wherein all one has to do is get the flag and keep it for as long as possible. There are even maps where you need to keep a certain song playing on a giant radio situated inside a fast food restaurant for as long as possible; hell, there’s even a basketball-type map where all you must do is get the objective through the hoop! The possibilities are endless. Creation is not just limited to maps though. Mods can be made too. Aside from the default Jaymod, No Quarter Mod and the ETPro Modification, there have been a number of other releases each with their own exciting and entertaining features. S!lentmod, n!tmod, ETNam Mod and interestingly: Bastardmod. There is even ETJump mod which allows players to trickjump, an act similar to the popular ‘Surfing’ on Counter-Strike.
There is a tome full of pros and cons I could say about this game and an endless list of anecdotes I could include that helped shape some of the best memories and experiences I’ve had while playing the various hilarious mods and maps. But it is up to you to see if you could find room within your little gaming hearts to give Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory a shot. It has entertained me for hours on end and even though many players will tell you it’s a dying game, it’s definitely kept my love for first person shooters well and alive.