One of the most influential games of all time, but not the first of its genre as many people believe, id's Wolfenstein 3-D was unleashed upon a stunned PC community back in 1992. To say this was a seminal breakthrough in gaming is like saying that water is wet and it speaks volumes that nearly a decade later, id Software is still on the top of the pack. This return to the classic though is not being written by id, it does not contain bleeding edge features and it will not require a PC upgrade to play. So what is all the fuss about? It's simple, the game just flat out ROCKS.
this point, I should mention my observations are based
on the recently released multi-player test. The multiplayer
aspect of the game as demonstrated in the test is
under production. Nerve Software is responsible for
adding the multiplayer code and has only been working
on it since June. It really is just a "test"
with one map, one style of play, 4 classes of player,
a limited range of weapons and no off-line bots.
first thing that strikes you, as you boot up this
66 MB taster, is really how well presented it is.
Already the menu system is fully working, glossy and
easy to use. There are a couple of omissions in the
in-game browser, such as the ability to see if a server
is password-protected, but generally, it works well.
on the Quake3 engine, its possible for regular Quakers
to go in and tweak the graphics to best suit their
specs. Some options are not supported but, no doubt,
the final release will be as fully configurable as
other Quake3 licensed titles. As mentioned earlier,
a PC upgrade is not mandatory either; any reasonable
PC from the last year or two should be able to get
a decent showing though, obviously, a powerful PC
is rewarded with richer visuals.
start the test by choosing your station in the game.
You can be the Allies or Axis with the option of being
an engineer, medic, soldier or lieutenant. Each class
has their own skills that are needed in the game.
choosing your class, you are placed in limbo waiting
your spawning into the game world. This is a nice
addition. You can view the action in a scaled down
window, check out the level's objectives, change your
team or class and, if you choose to be a soldier,
change your main weapon. Spawning takes place in waves,
a pleasant balance between sitting out the rest of
the game as in Counterstrike and the instant spawning
of Quake where, once dead, you frequently have to
wait over half a minute to rejoin the action.
spawning, it must be said the most exciting team to
play is the allied team. With an awesome feeling of
insurmountable odds, you start at a beach landing
and you have to race up the sandy beach whilst avoiding
barbed wire, heavy flak cannons and the constant firing
of the Axis mounted machine-guns. You must gain access
to the Axis stronghold, which involves the need for
an engineer to plant explosives at one of the two
entry points. Enemy bunkers are well placed to make
this difficult but then that is why you have grenades...
into the compound, the two teams can mix in close
quarters combat with a reasonable selection of authentic
weaponry. It must be said that it is best not to use
the flame-thrower in close combat. You can set yourself
on fire, as well as your opponent. The agonizing second
or two it takes the minigun to spin up is also exciting
as you face off with an enemy soldier. Overall, I
think the weaponry offering is just about right.
goal of the Allied team is to retrieve the documents
from one side of the compound and travel to the transmitter
room on the other side. It's nice to have a more complex
structure for team play. Games like Counterstrike
are fine, but it can be simplistic and easy to tire
of the singular goals of "rescue the hostage"
or "defuse the bomb". The Axis team, by
contrast, has the simple goal of preventing the Allies
feature worth mentioning is the sprint gauge. By holding
down a button you can call upon extra reserves and
run flat out for a short period, only slowing down
when you have to catch your breath. It's features
like this mixed with the incredible ambient atmosphere
that goes towards creating such a fun game.
easy to say, "This is going to be the next big
thing" nowadays. In the face of such stiff competition
as the upcoming World War 2 game Medal of Honour,
it might be foolish to say that. However, in Return
to Wolfenstein, I am confident this will be the game
to take over Counterstrike as the next big multiplayer
Return to Castle Wolfenstein PC Preview by Leigh