Elite Squad Arena Preview
Ice guns? Check. Flamethrower? Check. Crazy scientist and
his nuclear gun? Check on that, too. It's almost time for
Elite Squad Arena!
Whenever a new class-based mod shows up on the Quake scene,
the question is always the same: will it be different? Classics
like Team Fortress or Weapons Factory have always been hard
to beat, and many mod teams that set out to make a great class-based
mod often get held up to tough scrutiny against these bastions
of the Quake community. Will the mod be unique? Will it feature
new and different weapons, classes, and items? Which leads
to the real question:
a class, any class!
of course we all care. We always want new and different classes
and weapons. But the bottom line is this: is the mod fun to
Elite Squad Arena is hosted right here
at PlanetQuake and they'll be releasing their first beta next
week, we thought we'd take you on a little tour of what you
can expect from this mod, which we think will fit the bill
of being fun to play as well as bringing us some new stuff.
Classes and Their Arsenals
The Arctic Marine
Remember those guys in all the Bond movies that got to ski
down the sides of mountains, shooting at Bond with their machine
guns and just generally looking pretty kickass? I always wanted
to be one of those guys. But since I can't ski and look cool,
I guess I'll have to settle for being an Arctic Marine in
The Arctic Marine has some speed going for him as well as
a couple of pretty cool weapons: the ice gun, the ice rail,
and the snowball gun. Sure, snowballs and ice don't sound
deadly, but these weapons are special. These aren't the snowballs
you stuffed down your little brother's snowsuit.
Didn't think a scientist could be a bad ass, did you? I'm a
little partial to this one because of what I did in my former
life (although it wasn't nearly as cool as this). The ESA team
describes this geek as mostly a defense class, and he's responsible
for keeping the rest of the team in top health by throwing health
packs. His two weapons are the short range gluon gun, which
is described as being able to kill a lot of people in little
time. Rock. For long range attacks, he can fire nuclear grenades.
Now that's what a grenade should be.
The Heavy Marine
This class can fill the needs of both a "tank"-like
attacker as well as a solid defense. He doesn't just have
weapons, either -- he carries a set of infrared goggles, which
means that he can see anyone who's cloaked.
The Heavy Marine also carried with him a few different weapons
for different ranges. His MP5 machinegun fills the need for
a short-range weapon, while the shotgun is his medium range
weapon. The RPG allows him to fly a guided missile right up
the enemy where the sun doesn't shine.
So he's a camper...but he's a camper that's a better shot
than you are. Most people are pretty familiar with this class,
which is pretty much standard for any class-based mod. In
addition to his standard sniper rifle, he carries a shotgun
for those short range attacks.
flame soldier: "Fire...F-I-R-E!!!"
counterpart to the Arctic Marine, this is the class you'll
play if you're one of those people fascinated a little too
much by fire (you know who you are). Naturally he's got a
flamethrower, which is his short-range weapon, and the flame
rocket, which is his long range aresenal.
the guy that'll give the team its medium attack capabilities,
so it's a well-rounded class.
Another defense class, this guy carries the same MP5 machine
gun as the heavy marine, a grenade launcher, and his stock
in trade: remote mines that will stick to walls and can be
detonated from anywhere on the map.
Kill the enemy in style! You won't be fast as the assassin,
but you don't need to be. Your specialty is cloaking and sneaking,
and you carry a shotgun for those times that you're not being
stealthy, and a silenced pistol for the times you are.
ESA isn't simply a class mod. It'll be featuring a few different
game play modes to keep things fresh. These include CTF, Defend
and Deliver, King of the Hill, Team Deathmatch, and Flagtag.
I asked Zarq00n, the head guy on the ESA team, about these
new game types. "Defend and deliver is a completely new
gametype," he says. "f a team can keep their flag
at the base for more than 30 seconds, they'll get one point.
The other team should try to get the flag, and capture it
in usual CTF style for points. Flagtag is also a new gametype,
but a little inspired by Goldeneye for N64. There is one flag
which both teams should try to get. When you have the flag,
you'll get a point every 10 seconds, so you should work with
the rest of your team, and defend the flag carrier."
gotta keep this kind of info handy.
I also asked Zarq00n what he thought of the inevitable comparison
to other class-based mods. "We know that we'll be compared
to other class based mods. The difference is that we've got
a new idea. The others are just ports of the mod Team Fortress
for Quakeworld. We've got a lot of new stuff, and a lot of
variation in gameplay. I've never seen anybody using a snowball
gun before... :). When Q3F had only one gametype in their
first beta, CTF, we'll have at least four different types
in the first beta release."
So when will you be able to play Elite Squad
Arena? The team is planning on releasing the full version
of the mod around May 1, and a beta next week. The beta will
have lots of these features, but look forward to even more
great stuff in the final release. In the meantime, get lots
more screenshots over at the Elite Squad Arena website,
and make sure to check them often to keep tabs on when this
promising mod will be ready for you to play!
Questions? Comments? Random screaming? Send it all to