The Nazi war machine rolls back into townVersion Reviewed: Xbox 360
What's it about?
Readers of a certain age may remember with great fondness the re-birth of the Wolfenstein series back in 2001. Return to Castle Wolfenstein (RTCW) was a game that soon adopted a cult following, whereas its predecessor, Wolfenstein 3D, was famed for introducing some of the features that are now taken for granted in many online first person shooters. This latest iteration in the series is Wolfenstein, a supernatural-themed first-person shooter that goes back to its RTCW roots by delivering a familiar fast-paced, run-and-gun experience that features bouts of wizardry, alongside the occasional boss battle.
The story of Wolfenstein takes place in 1943 and follows special agent B.J. Blaskowicz who joins an underground resistance group intent on stopping the Nazi war-machine taking a grip over mainland Europe. Fans of RTCW will be aware that the storyline in Wolfenstein doesn't follow the standard first-person shooter blu-print, but instead follows a supernatural-theme, which sees the Nazis attempting to harness a supernatural power, known as the Black Sun, in order to secure and maintain their dominance over Europe. Your task is simply to stop them before it's too late.
The German town of Isenstadt acts as a free-roaming hub from where you can pick up missions from resistance leaders and side-objectives from other targets. There's no real surprises that, just like its predecessor, the main bulk of the gameplay involves killing waves of re-spawning enemies. As well as having access to a range of familiar World War II weaponry, such as an MP40 SMG, you can also utilize occult weaponry, such as the particle cannon which fires a twisted lazer beam that disintegrates enemies on impact. New to the franchise is Blazkowicz’s ability to shift between the real world and an alternate dimension, called the Veil. Here, he wears an amulet that holds special powers allowing you to use supernatural abilities such as improved sight so that you can find objects or spot snipers from a distance. Other unlockable veil powers include slow-mo, an impenetrable shield, and bullets that cause more damage than normal. Veil powers are only available for a certain time, when they run out you need to find re-charging points to power up the amulet.
Aside from killing the bad guys, you can also search through abandoned buildings on the hunt for intelligence documents, books and gold that you can use to upgrade your weapons. Outside of the main storyline there's the obligatory multiplayer mode to get stuck into. Three game modes and eight maps are available, with up to 12 players able to chose from one of three classes: Soldier, Medic, and Engineer.
Wolfenstein 3D was praised for its innovative approach to the genre, but does Wolfenstein do the legacy justice?
Gameplay impressions overleaf...