Surprisingly, it is the opposite of what we usually see in the games industry when a game doesn’t generate the expected online interest for a few years…
Many games have become entirely unplayable in recent years because they focused mainly on online gameplay. Two Overwatch rivals, Battleborn (from Gearbox) and LawBreakers (from Boss Key Productions, where Cliff Bleszinski aka CliffyB worked), were among them. And these are just two examples. There are plenty of cases where a game could be lost because it can’t be played offline.
The opposite is the case with Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, released by Splash Damage and available for free on Steam. The standalone Return to Castle Wolfenstein expansion was already playable in a peer-to-peer environment. Still, Bethesda has decided to give the game a new lease of life with dedicated servers. The six original maps and the default game rules are available without modifications.
“Though the community has hosted—and continues to host—servers with various mods and custom maps that we highly recommend, we also understand that many players are looking for a more nostalgic experience. We’ve set up servers across multiple territories to better ensure players from around the world can play with relatively low ping,” id Software said in a statement. There are four dedicated servers: the US has a dedicated server in Texas, the European Union in the Netherlands, Australia in Canberra, and the UK has a dedicated server in London, but don’t be surprised if you get ping around 90-100, which can be higher than usual.
The basic game rules are: the game type is Campaign, there is a maximum of 16 players (8v8), you can also hurt your teammates (friendly fire), Punkbuster has been turned off, anti-lag is activated, the maximum life count has been turned off, and there is no weapon restriction. Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory was perhaps the first free-to-play multiplayer shooter released as shareware by id Software in 2003. Splash Damage released the source code so fans could run their servers, and mods such as ET: Legacy could be created.
Let’s hope it will lead up to the Wolfenstein III in development at MachineGames because it’s still in the works…