So, the most recent iteration of Wolfenstein. I only recently learned that this was a thing. It was a big flop, and I'll tell you why. I ONLY RECENTLY LEARNED THAT THIS WAS A THING.
How bad is your marketing that I, a guy who plays video games every day and enjoyed Return to Castle Wolfenstein profusely, have no knowledge of the existence of this game? Sure I don't read many gaming websites, but who does? I knew about all of the other top games way before they came out. I know about the new Bioshock that's like 2 years away, Mass Effect 3, every new iteration of Kingdom Hearts, etc. I don't pursue knowledge of these titles, but they make themselves known to me. This is good marketing. But whatever you did for Wolfenstein just screwed up, and not because it's a bad game, because it's not!
In fact, I very much enjoyed Wolfenstein (This article is about the PC version, single player campaign). I liked it so much that I played it all the way through. Lately, for me, that's rare. One complaint I noticed on the web right away was that the mouse was screwed up, and they're right. But there's a setting to fix that, thankfully. If you're having trouble with up/down being much slower than left/right for mouse look, there's a config file that will let you fix this. Search your computer for wolf.cfg. For me it's in "C:\Documents and Settings\USER\Local Settings\Application Data\id Software\WolfSP\base
". Just open that file and change seta m_pitch
If you're getting crashes like I was near the end of the game, install Patch 1.2
. Worked beautifully for me.
Now, as for actual gameplay, if you're looking for a clone of Return to Castle Wolfenstein, this isn't that game. It still deals with the paranormal division of the SS, but it manifests itself extremely early, and half of your tools are of the paranormal/sci-fi variety. It's a lot like Bioshock in that you mix otherworldly power with conventional weapons. It's offputting at first, as it seems so ridiculous, but once you start to roll with it, you really find yourself enjoying it. In fact, I find it more ridiculous that a normal guy with normal weapons is somehow plowing down an entire Nazi army. At least with paranormal powers, you have less suspension-of-disbelief in that manner and are solidly in the realm of sci-fi/supernatural.
The guns feel good. I guess not much more to say about that. No pistols or regular melee weapons this time around. You start with a submachine gun and go up from there. I don't want to spoil anything.
There was only one portion of the gameplay I didn't like, but it seems all major first-person shooters are doing it these days. In old Wolfensteins, when you got shot, you lost health, and that health was lost until you found something to heal yourself. In this one, your screen becomes continually bloodier until you stop getting shot at, then your health quickly returns to normal. That's one of those things that I just don't care for. With the veil powers they introduced, they could have done a lot with regenerative powers and the like. But I guess you could cop out and say that the veil powers are always regenerating you (even though you don't get powers until the second or third area.)
Another complaint others had was how you were in one or two major city areas and you back-tracked a lot to all of the level locations. That was actually my favorite part. It almost gave it an open-world feel, but really it just let me do some mindless shooting of Nazis and playing with powers between levels. There were a couple extra missions lying around (they should have added dozens more. They missed out on the opportunity of reusing old levels) and you could find extra gold, intel and magic tomes in these areas. I think my favorite part of the game was just shooting through familiar areas that had enemies that kept changing with my advancement in the story.
The gold (as well as the intel and tomes) has a use now. I know we've kind of become spoiled with needing anything we collect to serve a goal, but really, if I get gold, I want to spend it. Here you can purchase weapon or power upgrades. I really enjoy this, as it adds a little bit of an RPG element, though I know that's not for everyone. I would like to see this game go full RPG shooter, but Borderlands got such mixed reception, I know not everyone is into that sort of thing.
The atmosphere was different from RTCW. RTCW seemed very serious and sometimes scary (especially in the catacombs). This one was more like a Saturday morning cartoon based off of the original movie. The hero was very action-hero-like, the Germans all spoke English in German accents, even when talking to each other, and the colors were very vibrant, not like the typical shooter fare these days. I found it amusing, and instead of scoffing, I laughed. I like to think that was the intention.
In the end, it wasn't the best game, and not all games can be the best. I can see why people would be upset with it, but if they had called it "Wolfenstein'd" as a semi-joke, it might have gotten a better reception because people would have a better idea of what to expect. It suffers from a joke being taken seriously, or maybe it really does take itself seriously. Either way, the gameplay was solid, I kinda followed the story but not really, and in the end, I got a lot of pleasure from it.