Developer: Raven, id Software
Release Date: 8/18/2009
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The Good: Looks great, decent story, not so linear, upgrades are great, powers are useful
The Bad: Little enemy variety, graphics are a bit bland, can be pretty hard at times, pretty much the same throughout
id Software is famous for creating the FPS genre with Doom, Duke Nukem, and Wolfenstein. Wolfenstein is a little different from your typical WWII game. The game is wrapped around the paranormal, so you’re not going to get another Call of Duty or Medal of Honor. The game is entirely fictional, so it lets the Raven use fact and fiction and kind of mix them. You play as BJ Blazkowicz who is an American secret agent trying to stop the Third Reich from using the Black Sun as a weapon to rule the world. Sounds cliche? Well, it kind of is, but it’s interesting enough and has a very small plot twist at the end that makes the whole story worthwhile. You are working for to resistance factions known as the Kraisau Circle and the Golden Dawn.
Wolfenstein isn’t just a linear run and gun shooter. In fact, the game is a bit sand boxy in the sense that you can choose your missions and get to them requires running around the city, fighting your way through Nazis, and getting the right sections. While I found this kind of pointless since there are only half a dozen side missions, but it makes it different from most shooters. The game has four different powers you can use as well as a whole new weapon upgrade system.
The four powers consist of slowing down time, shield, Empower, and your basic passive power that can let you go through certain marked walls, climb hidden ladders and see energy pools, as well as highlight enemies in the dark and reveal bigger enemy’s weak points. You will use all these weapons, but not as often as you’d like. You can upgrade your powers at the Black Market buildings, but finding gold is a pain since it’s all hidden and the only way t upgrade everything 100% is to find every sack of gold in the game and there are over 200. The same goes for intelligence files and Tomes that let you unlock more power upgrades. I just find hidden items in shooters pointless since you’re concentrating on not dying yet you’re also supposed to hunt for crap? I don’t like it. The powers must be used during boss fights and to get through some enemies.
Upgrading your weapons are really fun since we have never had a WWII game that uses real WWII weapons that can have silencers attached to them and scopes. Of course, there are fictional weapons such as particle cannons, tesla guns, and a flak cannon. All these are slowly acquired as you play the game and each weapon is fun to use and the way the weapon’s efficiency is solely up to how you upgrade.
The levels are pretty varied, but they all look the same. The graphics are very nice, but there’s not really an art style here. All the levels are pretty much laid out the same: Kill these Nazis, figure out how to get past this obstacle, kill more nazis, blow this up, kill the boss. Rinse and repeat for about 8-10 hours. This doesn’t mean the game gets boring since all the is scrambled up quite often so you get the illusion that it’s not the same thing over and over again.
There is some enemy variety in the human form. Each is the same except some are wearing different uniforms, but it’s the super natural enemies that you should worry about. There are assassins that will sneak up on you and slash you to death if you don’t use your powers to spot them quickly. There are powerful generals that shoot fireballs and pound the ground and they will kill you fast. You have sexy Nazi chicks that do extreme melee on you unless you’re fast. There are guys with flamethrowers and particle cannons that use must find the weak spots on to defeat. That’s about it though and you can throw creepy monkey dogs in there too. The enemy variety is a bit thin, but these guys work.
The boss fights are pretty amusing and some are just down right hard. You just figure out there weak spot and what weapon works best then it’s easy from there. So overall the structure of the game is sound with your main missions branching off the city of Isenstadt where you go get your missions from the two resistance factions. The game is well worth the purchase, but you won’t really come back to this and not even for multiplayer since no one’s even playing, and even if there where it’s pretty generic.
Wolfenstein offers great game play, a decent story, and just a good solid 8-10 hours, but you won’t be coming back to this one unless you really want to find all the hidden items.