Now I’m old enough to remember Wolfenstien 3D on the 486, and loved it back then. Obviously when Return to Castle Wolfenstien came out I was all over that, however I was able to afford to wait for Wolfenstein to come down to under the £20 mark before I bought it, due to having so many games in my “to play” list. Same as with Dragon Age : Awakening, I was browsing on Amazon, and saw it for £9.98
I played through the demo back in August last year, and wasn’t too impressed to be honest. In my eyes it seems more like a mod of Call of Duty : World at War, rather than a new game. Just from playing it, you can tell that this was the engine used, however they even used the same “compass type” navigation, with the same icons !, which did seem a little lazy.
There are however benefits to building a game on a solid engine, no dodgy glitches, so strange running mechanics (as in Condemned), and very smooth gameplay.
The game itself is set back in German in a town called Isenstadt, and you play a dude called B.J. Blazkowicz. You are basically an American…and trust me you get reminded of this over, and over again.
The gameplay is essentially Call of Duty : World at War, as in the fact that your running through German towns, fighting against the Nazis with olden day weapons, eg, (grenades, the MP40, the Kar98k, the MP43, the Panzerschreck, and the Flammenwerfer), which did feel very familiar at first.
After playing for 10 minutes or so, everything that’s familiar gets turned on it’s head. You gain access to an medallion which initially give you an additional ability of Veil sight. This sight basically turns everything a bluey/green colour and makes it easier for see your enemy, and also the ability to run faster. Another benefit of Veil site is that you can see hidden doorways, and hidden ladders. While in this mode you will see a number of floating….”things”….which if you shoot will send out a bolt of electricity and kill your enemies. However don’t kill too many, otherwise they’ll turn on you.
As the game progresses, you pick up another 3 “powers” for the medallion, “Slow down time”, “Shield”, and “Increased Damage” (in that order). If you use the medallion for anything but the Veil sight, the medallion depletes it’s energy quite quick. You could in theory have all 4 powers active at once, but you’d probably only get a couple of seconds. To recharge the, you walk over certain vents (which look like gas vents), or certain waterfalls, and even small voids on the wall. I found myself using the Veil sight for the majority of the game as this depleted the energy the slowest, and with so many “recharging points”, you could stay in this almost permanently. The benefit of this meant I could see all hidden treasures, ladders, doorways, had a speed increase, and could see enemies better, however the downside was the majority of the game was blue/green, meaning that I missed a some stunning visuals.
Now it seems that they tried to have a mix of FPS and RPG, however I found the RPG element a distraction. You would go and do a mission, then have to fight your way back through Isenstadt to get back to one of the Black Markets or hideouts. Once there you would pick up another mission, fight your way back through Isenstadt, and then only a doorway that would take you to the relevant place. This all seemed a little pointless to me, and kinda broke the flow of the game. 1 minute you’d be fighting your way through a location, and then next you’d be lost, looking at a map trying to work your way back. Personally I would have preferred mission after mission without the RPG element. The only bonus I could see, was that it gave you the option of upgrading your weapons and your powers, but I’m sure that could have been done on a menu instead.
The game itself had a reasonable story, which kept be entertained all the way through. There was 1 point where I felt the game was about to end, as I’d just taken out a HUGE boss, but no, it continued. This wasn’t a bad thing as the last half an hour of the game was pretty epic, however the end of game boss was a little annoying. It wasn’t as bad as the end of game boss in Wolverine (which nearly resulted in a broken controller), but it was pretty frustrating.
All in all a reasonable game, well worth the £9.98 I paid, but would have been slightly annoyed if I’d have paid full price.
Approx Time taken to beat – 7hours
Difficulty setting – Normal
Score – [Rating:3/5]
Games TrailerTags: Amazon, Bolt, Compass, Dragon Age, Flammenwerfer, Game Icons, Game Store, German Towns, Glitches, Grenades, Hidden Doorways, Kar98k, Ladders, Medallion, Mp43, Nazis, New Game, Panzerschreck, Return To Castle, Return To Castle Wolfenstien, Veil, World At War