Wolfenstein Results

7.5
Wolfenstein
  • Smooth gameplay
  • Impressive graphics
  • Great attention to detail
  • Very little replay value
  • Disappointing multiplayer
  • Lacklustre musical score

Wolfenstein

October 6, 2009 by Susan Taylor  
Filed under PC, Playstation 3, Reviews, Xbox 360

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Overview

 

Title: Wolfenstein

Release Date:18th August 2009 (NA), 19th August 2009 (AU), 20th August 2009 (EU)

Developer/Publisher: Raven Software, id Software, Pi Studios & Endrant Studios / Activision

Genre: First Person Shooter

Platform[s]: Microsoft Windows (PC), Xbox 360, Playstation 3

Storyline

 

The SS Paranormal Division (based loosely on the Ahnenerbe) are back in full swing and so are you Agent Blazkowicz (aka B.J). You’ve conquered Return to Castle Wolfenstein, so now it is time to take control of your sequel, Wolfenstein, and stop those damned Nazis and their supernatural ways….again.

The tale begins when you come to hold a special medallion of great unusual power. You are sent deep undercover to the town of Isenstadt to learn more about what you discovered. Your cover is quickly blown and you soon release that the town has been overrun by your German foe who are intent on obtaining powerful crystals that are needed to access the “Black Sun”. Thankfully you have allies in many shapes and forms in Wolfenstein; the Kreisau Circle, a group of resistance fighters who want the Nazis out of Isenstadt; the Golden Dawn, a collection of scholars who study the occult and hand their knowledge of the “Black Sun” and the “Veil” over to you; the Black Market, a self-explanatory band who are useful when you need to purchase upgrades and ammo.

It is up to you, Agent B.J, to help free fictional German town of Isenstadt from the clutches of the Nazis, their inhuman creations, and to put an end the madness, once and for all.

Gameplaywolfenstein.02.lg

 

Single-player

Wolfenstein is a very smooth first-person shooter. At lot of FPS games can feel quite stunted in movement and feel very “sluggish”, but like the top games of out shooting generation (name Call of Duty), Wolfenstein is very much up there. You can freely explore the town of Isenstadt through scaling walls, jumping across rooftops, exploring the sewers, sneaking through houses or just walking the streets with your gun at the ready.

Isenstadt is very much the main area of the game. As you progress through the story you are loaded onto vehicles and cast off (through the powers of a loading screen) to a variety of locations such as a dig site, a church, a hospital, a farm, the SS Headquarters, a Paranormal base, a General’s home, an airfield and a large Zeppelin. All of which are very linear-based and generally “Get from Point A to Point B to achieve Objective X”.

Wolfenstein offers up an arsenal of eight weapons, five of which you will find in the history books, three of which are supernatural and, unfortunately, non-existent in the real world. The history-book weapons include an MP40, an MP43, the Kar98k (my personal fave), a Panzershreck and the Flammenwerfer. The fictional weapons include a Particle Cannon, a kick-arse Tesla Gun and the Leichenfaust 44 – the ultimate weapon of destruction and mayhem.

Aside from your array of weaponry, you also hold the Thule Medallion. Through this you can enter the Veil, a barrier between our dimension and the elusive “Black Sun” dimension that your Nazi adversaries want to master so badly. With this you are given four new abilities, which unlock as you progress throughout the game and that can be upgraded through collecting material that I will explain later and heading to the Black Market to part with your hard-earned gold.

Veil Sight – The ability to see hidden pathways, doorways and secret treasures. Once upgraded you can also see through walls.

Mire - A very useful skill that allowed you to slow down time.

Shield - Very handy to have when up against a wave of bullets. Once upgraded those bullets will bounce back.

Empower - This talent gives you a significant increase in the damage caused by your weapons.

wolf3All of the above will become very important to you once you realise just the type of enemy you are up against as you move through Wolfenstein. Gone are the days of taken on just human soldiers, you are now facing a powerful army of specialised foe. There are assassins, who are invisible; scribes. who can shield themselves and non-supernatural soldiers, and large brutes wielding powerful weapons (which you can pick up upon killing them).

The pack-rats of the gaming world will love the collecting aspect of Wolfenstein. Throughout Isenstadt and the various other locations you must conquer, there will be Intel, Gold and Tomes of Power for you to find. Gold is an obvious collectable and without it you would not be able to upgrade your weapons/powers and purchase ammo when needed. Intel provides you an interesting background to the story, plus weapon unlocks. Tomes of Power unlock Veil upgrades.

Multiplayer

Eight multiplayer maps are offered up with three modes for you to choose from.

Objective - You have an attacking team and a defending team. The one on the offensive has to achieve certain objectives to win.

Stopwatch - Both sides take turns in trying to complete the listed objectives, the team that does it in the least amount of time wins.

Team Deathmatch -  You should all know this one by now. Team A versus Team B – Have at it!

There are three classes available, the Soldier, the Medic and the Engineer. Each class has a specific role to fill, such as the Engineer who can rig/disarms bombs. Each class also have their own Veil Powers, for example the Medic has the “Healing Aura”, which would replace “Mire” which is found in the single-player. Your weapons and Veil Powers can be upgraded the more you play the MP side of Wolfenstein and the more experience you earn (which is converted into money).

As for playing as a Nazi or a Resistance Fighter? It does not really matter as there are no noticeable differences between the two sides, which is very disappointing to say the least. Each side has the same weapons and the same classes. I would be a lot more excited if the developers decided to mix things up a little and give each side something unique.

Graphics

 

The single-player graphics are very much on par with what we picky gamers demand from our games these days. I have to admit I was not expecting this, but from the moment I had control of Agent B.J, I was very impressed. Nothing is jagged or pixelated, running water looks very realistic and even affects your vision if you stand underneath a stream of it. The physics are top-notch in the SP side of the game and really add to how impressive this game is.

Wolfenstein’s environment has great attention to detail and you really feel as though you are in a war torn German town. From the multitude of propaganda posters through the town to destroyed tanks scattered throughout, you can tell that the developers really put effort into creating a believable world.wolf10

There is a downside to the pretty eye-candy. I found that the game could be a tad laggy at times, even the loading screen would lag ever so slightly on occasion. This is easily overcome however by downloading the game to your hard drive. I had no lag issues with the single-player of Wolfenstein, and it’s purdy graphics, once I’d it was on my 360’s hard drive. I cannot comment on the PC/PS3 versions of the game.

Having read the above praise, you may be saddened to hear that the amazing graphics of Wolfenstein do not carry over to the multiplayer. The quality drops significantly and your world suddenly becomes very blurred and quite choppy. Unfortunately we are not going to see an improvement in the look and feel of the multi-player as the team behind it was quickly laid off soon after it’s release.

Audio

 

I am always very nervous when it comes to voice acting in games as it can be the make or break for a title. Thankfully the voice actors hired did good and Wolfenstein has successfully jumped a difficult hurdle. You have a mixture of accents throughout the game – American, German (speaking German & speaking English) and Russian. All NPCs will talk back to you, when you are in a group there will be commands shouted out to you and even the Intel you pick up has a voice over, which was a nice surprise and adds a nice element to the game.

As for the musical score? There is nothing noteworthy about the music of Wolfenstein, which is a shame. I really enjoy games which have a soundtrack that will create anger, instil fear into you and get your heart racing. Although I love the work of Bill Brown, of Rainbow Six and CSI: New York fame, there is a lack of atmosphere from the music. It can really get lost in the background and is very unnoticeable.

52627_Wolfenstein-07_normalOverall & Replayability

 

I have to admit, I did not get my hopes up with Wolfenstein, but I was pleasantly surprised and will be the first to say that it is a very enjoyable game. The single-player is sexy, smooth and perfect for any FPS fan looking for a solid game to get their teeth into.

Wolfenstein was severely let down by it’s lack of attention to the multi-player aspect, but all it needed to do was look at any Call of Duty review to realise that multi-player is extremely important nowadays.

 

As for the achievements/trophies? They are pretty typical of the latest FPS games – Kill W amount of people using X weapon or in Y fashion, complete campaign in Z mode, and so on and so forth. The achievements seem split 50/50 between the single player campaign mode and the online multiplayer.

In conclusion, a very solid single-player FPS game which I would recommend to any FPS fan (or lover of the Wolfenstein series), but do not purchase if you are looking for a game to jump online with.

Comments

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