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developer: Raven Software
|ESRB rating: M
release date: Aug 18, 09
|» All About Wolfenstein on ActionTrip|
Arriving just in time to dampen what's probably one of the longest and driest gaming summers in history, is the first-person shooter Wolfenstein from id Software and Rave Software. Given Raven's long track record of good PC and console games, Wolfenstein felt like it could be a fun ride. Mind you, I'm still having a hard time understanding why id invested their time into reviving this particular franchise. Maybe they were short on cash for their two current priorities - Doom 4 and Rage.
Two gay snipers arguing over one target. Pussies!
Cheerful little place.
Wolfenstein takes us to the fictional town of Isenstadt, Germany (okay, the country's obviously not fictional). During the height of World War II Hitler's Third Reich is looking for different means to conquer spread terror across mainland Europe. Himmler's SS started to explore an occult force known as the Black Sun. In the process, they've unearthed a mysterious new power and are now on the verge of becoming unstoppable. Special agent B.J. Blazkowicz, once again, the only one who can put a stop to all this, before it's too late. He won't be alone. There's a number of courageous citizens who have formed a resistance force, willing and able to fight the Nazi oppression.
Before we dig into the meat of the single-player campaign, let's take a minute to reflect on Woflenstein's multiplayer. You can choose one of the three classes: Soldier, Engineer and Medic. The interesting thing here is that the game allows players to climb ranks so they can unlock various perks (CoD 4 anyone?). These perks, of course, carry certain benefits that makes taking down opponents easier and, yes, more fun. Anyhow, the multiplayer combat depends greatly on the class you've chosen - Medics have the Healing Aura ability to aid teammates, Engineers can increase their speed, while Soldiers use powerful strikes that cause a lot of damage. There are 8 maps in total. Team Deathmatch is available, offering a rather standard dose of multiplayer action. There's the Objective mode with one team attempting to complete specific missions and the other trying to prevent them from doing so. Players are bound to spend some time with the multiplayer, seeing as it can be really enjoyable, even if it's not anything particularly groundbreaking.
The single-player campaign features a wide choice of main and side-missions, which players can initiate by exploring the many different areas of Isenstadt. You are given the freedom to choose which tasks to complete first and there are plenty of NPCs that send you on optional missions. Completing these missions isn't charity work, therefore expect to be well-compensated for your efforts. Cash is the main reward for most of the things you do in the game and you'll need it quite often. Black market dealers eagerly await your arrival. They offer weapon upgrades, ammo and such, making each visit worthwhile... providing you have some money to spend.
Now, Wolfenstein sees a more or less tradition selection of FPS weaponry. Apart from the usual WWII-based arsenal, a few sci-fi weapons were include such as the Tesla Gun, the particle gun and so on. There's also a powerful artifact obtained by the main character early on in the game. It brings a number of special abilities into play, making for a dynamic gameplay ingredient. When fully powered, the artifact provides four distinct powers: shield, increased weapon damage, veil detection (increases speed and alertness and allows you to spot areas of interest) and slowing down time. Initially, players can use only one or two of these abilities, but later on, combining all of them is where the fun is at.
The AI fights with resilience and isn't prepared to surrender or rush to its dimwittedly. On a few rare occasions, we saw soldiers getting confused and running in the wrong direction instead of seeking cover. This was infrequent and didn't bother us much.
A solid, well-balanced, nice-looking shooter, with a lengthy single-player campaign and fun multiplayer;
Hardly new and exciting, it's shooter you've played plenty of times before, graphics are a bit outdated.