One of the most successful FPS games of all time returns for a brand new entry into the long story. The last game, Return To Castle Wolfenstein: Tides Of War, was one of the most successful Xbox Live! games ever and it served as the bridge between Halo’s 1 & 2.
I remember when this game was released and the amount of traffic for this game was just huge. At that time I never really seen such traffic for online shooter game outside of SOCOM US Navy Seals. This was the true definition of Killer App since it was an exclusive game at the time for the Xbox and the online play on the Xbox version was unmatched on any other platform. It was also one of the most successful class based shooters on a console. You had all sorts of weapons to arm yourself as well as a Medic and Solider who will both supply health, ammo, and revivals to downed allies.
It was also one of the first shooter games that had teammates downed rather then just killed once there energy ran out. This game was more known for its online play rather then its single player since there was no Achievements system back then. The only added benefit of the Single Player was the unlockable items that you can use in the Multiplayer. You can also learn more ways of eliminating your enemies and practicing up on your Sniper Kills.
The graphics at that time were great, it was definitely one of the better looking shooters on any of that generations consoles. The controls were tight and felt good since it felt like it was actually mapped for the Xbox. You can play the multiplayer locally with friends as well as sign them into the online player. You can also change your screen name during gameplay as well as class and team. Tides Of War is still to this day one of my favorite shooter games.
Now fast forward almost ten years later, the newest Wolfenstein game in the series tries its best at eclipsing that games success but comes up way short. The new game continues the story of William “B.J.” Blazkowicz and his pursuit to eliminate the Nazi Empire.
This new game continues the story but now the game takes a turn into the Occult with its newly added gameplay element, the Veil. This item allows you to transverse through a world that only those who follow the occult known as the Black Sun. When you transverse between worlds, you will find many things that are hidden, you can also find hidden doors and weaknesses in your enemies as well as find slow down time or create a shield. The Veil contains 4 power ups, one of each is unlocked when you find there corresponding crystal. The first power up is given to you when you find the veil itself. This power up allows you to travel between the dimensions.
There are some drawbacks to this feature. For starters, why are we still doing this whole light world and dark world stuff? Its like the boys over at ID Software were playing Tides Of War and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. You can travel between worlds for brief periods of time to find everything and anything that is hidden. The amount of time is limited at first since the amount of energy that each power up takes is huge due to the fact that you haven’t gained full control over the Veil. As you progress through the game you earn Gold which can be used to purchase upgrades for your Weapons and Veil.
The Veil upgrades allow you to use the veil for longer periods of time, silencers for weapons, sniper scopes, and so many other upgrades that are unlocked later on into the game. There are areas of this game that you cannot go to until you reach a specific chapter in the game. The chapters of the game are in so many different locations throughout the Country but whats odd is that its one of the only shooter games currently that features a Home World or HUB that serves as the launch pad for all of the chapters in the game.
The HUB features many different locales as well as shops and tons of hidden items to be found. And once you unlock the veil, you can even climb buildings you could not since the ladders were hidden by the magic of the Black Sun. However, unlike Mario, the HUB is not all safe all the time. It is in a war zone and there will be enemies that attack you. So your not safe, even in your HUB. This is a completely different perspective to the HUB World which is a nice welcome since so many people think it’s all safe and quiet.
Inside The Veil: http://i29.tinypic.com/14aixw1.jpg
Another interesting aspect of being inside the Veil are the creatures that live in it. You can see that you would normally see in the human world like the buildings, soldiers, cars, etc but only when your inside the veil do you see creatures that exist to feed on your life. They only attack when you attack them. Its interesting to think that no matter where you go, your surrounded either by Nazi’s powered by the occult or by monsters created in the Veil World. While inside the veil, it shows you weaknesses in the heavily armored Nazi’s. There are even enemies that can see that your using the powers of the Veil and break your powers and send you back into this dimension.
This ability makes the game more challenging since one of the power ups for the Veil slows down time, making it easier for you to eliminates enemies or get out of harms way. By having enemies that you can only see in a specific dimension, it makes you feel like your being followed which increases the sense of terror in the game. I like this aspect very much, I just wish they got more in depth with it rather then simply having it as a gameplay mechanic. There are doors and walls marked with the symbol of the Black Sun, much like how ELB was marked on a piece of wood where the Delorean was hidden.
Only in this case you don’t have to travel to 1955 to find a way into these doors marked with the Black Sun, you simply switch Dimensions and walk on in. The Veil’s power is shown as the White Bar circling the bottom corner of the Veil icon on your screen. When the meter empties, make sure you are not in between a marked wall and the outside world or inside the building that is beyond the marked door, you will reenter your dimension and be killed since your stuck in between two different worlds.
Terminator Nazi’s??: http://i28.tinypic.com/qye4k2.jpg
The single player of the game is rather short, the first hour into it I was already over 5% done the entire campaign. I wasn’t expecting that one bit. There is a ton of hidden items to collect which helps increase this games replay value, but the game itself is very basic and gets boring very quickly. Even the online multiplayer is boring and basic. There are only 3 modes in which to play. Its as if they felt that the success of Tides Of War would create instant sales for there newly released Next Gen Wolfenstein.
The online multiplayer has lots of servers most of the time with little to no lag, but the repetitious nature of the game modes and maps brings down the experience very quickly. There are even servers with very uneven teams which creates problems with having fun online. There are customization elements in the online mode just like in the previous game but at the end of the day, you cannot bring over your classic maps from Tides Of War. Also in regards to the online portion, you can use your veil powers online. This makes the single player worth playing since you unlock more of your veil power during the single player, it makes the online that much more interesting. But if your playing this game strictly for the multiplayer, your going to be outclassed very quickly since the singles player is very easy to play and ends quickly.
You use the gold you earn in the single player to unlock and upgrades you weapons in the online game. You even earn separate gold in the online mode which purchases those same upgrades again, why separate the two? Its as if they are forcing you to play the single player only to tell you in the end its ok if you don’t. What a confusing message. The classes remain he same in the online play from before, you can be a Medic and drop medical kits and revive enemies, you can be a solider and use heavy weapons and drop ammo, or you can be an Engineer and you can build and create turrets, bridges, and other items in the multiplayer that requires some Bob The Builder skills.
Flamethrowers Return: http://i28.tinypic.com/21485s6.jpg
The graphics and the overall experience in this game are very basic and bland. The controls are not as tight as before, the button placement is very different from the previous game, also since we gamers are playing so many shooting games are minds are making us think about those games controls since were playing them so much. It is such a downside to this game that while I have anticipated this game so much to be let down is such a big surprise.
I remember when this game was announced and the reaction I saw for it was tremendous. Finally, a new Wolfenstein game on a next gen system, but in the end it is just a very basic and very dated game. This is more of a rental then it is of an actual purchase, thats is why we have Gamefly folks. Even the Xbox Live Arcade or Playstation Network download of he classic game with its special rewards do not make this game anything close to what its predecessor was.
The biggest improvement this game has is the quality of the cut scenes. The cut scenes in this game are fantastic. The voice work and the musical score are very well done. It brings a strong sense of danger and suspense to a World War II game. I just wish the rest of the game had as much production quality.
Wolfenstein is now available for both the PS3 and Xbox 360 for an MSRP of $59.99. Rated M For Mature.
-Fantastic Cut Scenes
-Veil Magic Is A Nice Addition
-Lots Of Hidden Items To Collect
-Multiplayer Mode Can Use The Veil Magic
-Travel Through Dimensions To Find More Hidden Items And Locations
-Graphics, Controls, and Online Multiplayer Are Very Dated
-Way Too Short
-Online Multiplayer Is Very Basic
-Single Player Gold Does Not Combine With Online Gold, There Separate Golds
-ID Software Relied Too Much On The Success Of Tides Of War
-Feels Very Rushed And Unpolished
-Collision Detection Is Horrendous
-Its Old School, But A Little Too Much Old School
-This Game Is Forgettable Since There Are So Man Better Shooters Out Now And Coming Soon
Wolfenstein Rating: 2 1/2 Stars Out Of 5
Click Here to rent Wolfenstein from Game Fly
Buy the Wolfenstein Signature Series Strategy Guide (Brady Games) by clicking here.
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