Considering the new Wolfenstein has been announced I thought it would be a great idea to have a look back at the previous titles in the series. So let us journey back to year 1992 where it all started.
Wolfenstein 3D (1992):
Wolfenstein kicked off the FPS madness in the 1990’s and is hailed even today to be the first modern first person shooter. The thing about first person shooters back then is that they didn’t really have a story line, you just shot anything that moved. The gameplay was basic because all you could do was walk forward and backwards, look left and right, and shoot. This game was revolutionary because it used a ray casting effect, it was not true 3D compared to games like DOOM. It wasn’t the first time that they used this engine to display a 3D illusion. They used it in their previous titles such as Hover Tank 3D and Catacomb 3D but it didn’t really get recognised until Wolfenstein.
This game, like the other FPS’s, was surrounded with controversy because all it involved throughout was gunning down countless waves of Nazi’s and it’d probably no surprise it was banned in Germany because of the use of Nazi symbolism, and of course the boss being a chaingun wielding Hitler. Even today this game is still controversial; When it was released for the iPhone and iPad it was banned in Germany and Switzerland. This game paved the way of what was to come in this great decade of PC gaming, such as Duke Nukem 3D, DOOM, Quake and of course Half-Life. If you haven’t played this game you can pick up on XBLA for 400 msp or you can buy it on steam £2.99. If you are an American it will be $4.99 of your hard earned coin.
Return to Castle Wolfenstein (2003):
id Software stepped back from the Wolfenstein series and let third party game developer Grey Matter take over. Grey matter went later on to be known as Treyarch. This game was released on a breath of plaforms such as PC, PS2 and the Xbox but it wasn’t as well received as the original. Maybe it was because id didn’t make it themselves or maybe the first person shooter was starting to get stale because at this point there were countless WWII shooters. But I loved this game because it wasn’t a serious WWII game because as well as the usual shooting down of Nazi’s you could shoot monsters. id were known for their terrifying games because DOOM 3 would be released a year later.
But this wasn’t the first time that they out sourced the franchise to another game developer. It spawned another game within the game, Enemy Territory was originally planned as an add on for the original game but became it’s own entity. The game is a multiplayer team based game which influenced Splash Damage to make the fantastic PC multiplayer game Quake Wars Enemy Territory. After this game the series went really quiet for six years and we wouldn’t see another Wolfenstein game until 2009.
Like Return to Castle Wolfenstein this game went to third part developer Raven software. This isn’t the first id game that they developed, they had developed the not so good Quake 4. Raven software are alsoknown for helping Infinity Ward with the Modern Warfare series since the second game. This curious title baffled me, was it intended to be a reboot because you do play as the same main character from the other two games, but this one feels like a Call of Duty game with an Indiana Jones style story.
Don’t get me wrong it’s a fairly decent game it has the same terrifying elements as Return to Castle Wolfenstein. For example there is one level where you are in a hospital and there are these super natural Nazi’s that go invisible. They had this creepy laugh which got me every time they did it. The story of this title is that you come across a strange artefact that can be used to make Nazi’s disintegrate (sounds like Indiana Jones) or you can use it to walk through specific walls. The Nazi’s try to harness this power and that’s why they have their supernatural soldiers. This game has the same generic weapons like the other titles such as machine guns and rifle, but it has one of my favourite guns ever the Particle Cannon. This gun basically lets you take an entire room full of Nazi’s and turn them into dust and skeletons and it’s really satisfying weapon to use but unfortunately you can only get ammo of the big brutes that also use it which they can be a difficult to kill on a much higher difficulty.
So here we are, a new Wolfenstein title has been announced set in an alternate universe where the Nazi’s win the war and take over the world and have a mechanical army. This game isn’t actually set in WWII it’s set in the 1960’s hence why BJ sounds a bit croaky and old. What do you think? Do you think that this a bad move from Bethesda to resurrect an old series that to some people seems a little out dated? Or are you like me, a hardcore fan of id’s work and want to see this series succeed. Who knows maybe this might a breath of fresh air in the FPS genre which has been milked for the past ten years, we’ll have to wait and see. Give me your thoughts in the comments below.