Updated: June 07, 2008 (Created May 31, 2008)
An ET review from a medium-skilled player who enjoys the game
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory (or ET for short) is a FPS (First Person Shooter) game, native for Linux, which borrows concepts from Return to Castle Wolfenstein, and uses the Quake 3 engine. The idea initially was to develop it as a new commercial RtCW mod, but, ultimately, it was released as a free standalone, multiplayer game, after the developers abandoned the development of the single player part of the game.
It was released in May 2003, and ever since, it is one of the most played online games. It features several modes like Jaymod or No Quarter, and 6 default maps playable in two available campaigns, the Central Europe campaign (including Wurzburg Radar, Fueldump, Railgun) and the South Africa campaign (including Siwa Wasis, Seawall Battery, Goldrush). Each campaign puts two forces face to face, Allies and Axis, and each team has to accomplish certain objectives (or keep the other team not to) in order to win.
Each team benefits of 5 types of classes (Soldier, Medic, Engineer, Covert Ops, Field Ops) and each class has its own special features. For example the Covert Ops can steal enemy uniforms, or the medic can heal and revive friendly players.
The good thing about the class types is that this way you will have to take a different approach for each of them. For example, the medic will let soldiers go into the middle of the battle, and supply them with health packs and revive them when it's the case, keeping out of enemy fire if possible. Don't mind the frags: you receive experience for objectives you accomplish, including healing friendly players.
The online playing experience is awesome: weapons which need real skill in order to be used at full potential, grenades of all kinds (a new weapon introduced in Jaymod is the Cocktail Molotov). You can find servers with active players nearly at any time, and most of them have a system to never reset the experience points (not a very good idea if you ask me, but some players like it that way).
Many more maps and skins are available for download, and usually all the major modes include some interesting new feature. The game does not receive updates any more, but the available modes are in constant development and improvement.
Particular aspect: trickjumps
It is also known for its videos and demonstrations of the so-called 'trickjumps', which can be mastered only by practising and playing for a long time. One famous example would be a bug in the Oasis map, where you could jump over a wall using trickjump, despite the fact that the developers never intended to have it that way. There are servers dedicated only to trickjumps, running maps specially designed for it. Mastering trickjumps is a way of getting respected by other players and be regarded as a highly skilled player. Of course, trickjumps are not everything: you have to be a useful team-mate and struggle to be part of a team. If you ask me, I never liked those players who only play as medics and usually heal no one but themselves, making points while their team loses (medics in new versions of Jaymod cannot use healthpacks any more, so this is no longer an issue if you play Jaymod).
The well-known, commercial game Enemy Territory: Quake Wars borrows lots of concepts from ET.
Documentation and support
Enemy Territory is no longer updated, but the mods for it are, which keeps the game evolving constantly. There is plenty of documentation and websites dedicated to ET on the Internet, like the following:
Enemy Territory - Planet Wolfenstein
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory Strategy Guide
Enemy Territory at Jolt.co.uk
ET and RtCW at Jolt.co.uk
The best thing about ET is that it's free and the second is that it easily competes with any commercial online FPS game. Overall, this is one of my all-time favourite games: it offers a great online playing feeling, the multiplayer part is complete and can keep you playing it for hours.