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Kommen Sie- Wolfenstein Review

Wolfenstein for the 360/PS3/PC Developer: Raven, Id, Pi Publisher: Activision ESRB: M

In the seventeen-year history of the Wolfenstein franchise, the series has often been steeped in innovation. 1981’s Castle Wolfenstein was one of the first stealth-based games, requiring players to clandestinely travel through the title’s network of rooms. Wolfenstein 3D, released onto PCs in 1992, introduced gamers to the first-person shooter, as well as confirmed the viability of the shareware business model.

The seventh and most recent addition to the franchise presents little originality, instead exhibiting an extremely competent and satisfying shooting experience. Simply entitled, Wolfenstein– the game’s production has spanned five years, and four developers. While histories as vagrant as Wolfenstein’s typically result in inferior titles, the game has fortuitously thwarted this trend.

Series star B.J. Blazkowicz returns to the fray, this time with a medallion that grants the American soldier paranormal powers in his fight to rid the world of the Third Reich. The talisman embeds Blazkowicz with ‘veil’ abilities that span from slowing time, traveling through specific wall, increasing the player’s defense, or even penetrating enemy forcefields, all accomplished with a quick press of the directional pad. These abilities are compulsory for the player’s intense battle with games Nazi’s and other supernatural foes. Although the title issues a few cheap shots from these antagonists- like making some opponents invisible, the game’s liberal checkpoints assure that not much headway due to shifty mechanics.

While Wolfenstein flirts with an open-world design, in execution the player typically chooses a mission and follows an on-screen compass, obliterating all enemies in his path. As the game progresses, players may supplement weapons, adding components to increase the muzzle velocity, or enlarge the magazine.  The game’s diverse arsenal is superbly pleasing; rifles and submachine guns mow down foes pleasurably, but the game’s Tesla gun and flame thrower make carnage truly enthralling. Unfortunately, the enemy A.I. is uneven, and often running into battle without a weapon readied.

Wolfenstein’s focus is the extensive and passionate single player campaign, but the developers included a middling multiplayer seemingly to entice those with a competitive streak. Combatants choose one of three classes; soldier, engineer, or medic, each with an individual veil powers.  Although the mode has three variations, Team Deathmatch, Objective, and Stopwatch, none measure up to the blissful fragging found in Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory.

Wolfenstein triumphs graphically with impressive texture work that allows both environments and people to be impressively rendered. Dimly lit locations are exceptionally evocative, from murky candlelit rooms to festering sewers dripping with waste. Most allies are eerily lifelike, as their eyes and bodies shift to keep the player in sight. Sadly, the game’s multiplayer arenas lack the main campaign’s aesthetics; competitive games use an inferior engine. The game’s framerate is remarkably solid during most firefights, only faltering momentarily when the title resumes from a previous checkpoint. Wolfenstein’s audio is complemented by a superb range of ballistic blasts, which transforma as the player augments each weapon.

Although the latest iteration of Wolfenstein offers little deviation from FPS norms, the title does offer a wonderfully pulpy experience evoking a summer popcorn movie. Those fatigued from ridding the virtual world of Nazis, will likely find themselves rejuvenated by the game’s gratifying gunplay. Although Wolfenstein has several niggling quirks, nearly all of them are forgotten when the player is gripping the controller with vice-like force, resolute on killing all of the Third Reich’s nefarious forces.

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

35 comments

  1. I see what you did with the title.

  2. I’m think I should have bought this instead of Guitar Hero5 today.

    Why couldn’t you guys have had the review sooner?!?!

  3. I don’t know if that review made me want to buy the game or go see Inglourious Basterds.

  4. One question:

    ARE THERE ZOMBIES?

  5. Shame about the mp. I heard the team that worked on that part was let go.

  6. I think it’s time to kill some “Naaa-Zeees” alright. Gimme a sale on this, and I’m there.

  7. I will probably check this game out at some point. I remember playing the shareware demo of Wolfenstein 3D back in the day.

    I didn’t realize there were 6 other games in the franchise…I’ll have to look into that.

  8. Wolfenstein 3D was the very first game I ever played. I need to at least rent this one.

  9. Is Hitler is the game? If yo get to kill him that could be worth it.

  10. Do they still yell ‘mein leben’ when shot? I almost made you fell bad for the filthy beasts.

  11. You haven’t lived until you’ve play Wolfenstein 5K; the game is 5,000 bytes of JAVA code.

    http://www.wolf5k.com/#

  12. I heard the game was great. MP was just icing on the cake.

  13. There are mutants and other crazy stuff.

  14. Which is better PC or 360 version?

  15. Looking at those screenshots leaves me amazed how far graphics have come over the years.

  16. I remember hearing about this game years ago. I bet Raven saved it from disaster. I might pick it up if I see a sale.

  17. Are there actually swastikas in the game, or are those banned?

  18. Thanks for the review. As a FPS fan, I’m going to have to try the game out.

  19. Any DLC for the game, or does it seem complete?

  20. I’ve heard positive things about the new Wolfenstein. I might have to make it mine.

  21. Totally agree with the review. Its a very fun throwaway game. A perfect weeklong rental.

  22. Hmm, get this or wait for Halo ODST?

  23. Is that what the old game would say?

  24. Killing nazis never gets old for me. I guess I got some of my grandfathers blood.

  25. I’ve been meaning to buy this. I just need some extra monies!

  26. Awesome review!

  27. I’d probably get Halo, the coop is going to be epic.

  28. Walker Texas Rapist

    Those Nazis look pretty damn lifelike.

  29. Great review. Thanks!

  30. Hmm, I wish the MP was great, not just OK.

  31. Just bought this yesterday. Man, this game get intense!

  32. This seems to be liked by most of the critics. I would have thought they would have hated another WWII themed game.

  33. It’s about this they got this game out. I remember hearing about AGES ago.

  34. $15 gift card if you buy it at TRU this week.

  35. I’ve been looking forward to the game for a while now. Glad it’s finally out.