Beyond The Veil Of The New Wolfenstein

Posted by Brad (2874 posts) -
When you hear someone is working on a new Wolfenstein game, there are a few essential questions that spring to mind, and I got to answer all of them when I saw Raven's upcoming addition to id Software's irreverent World War II franchise last week at GDC. Is B.J. Blazkowicz still around? Check. Will anyone shout "Mein leben!?" Yes. Are there Nazis in robot suits? Sort of. Do you fight Hitler at the end? Well, no--Hitler's already dead, dude. But that doesn't mean there aren't plenty more weird paranormal German soldiers to kill!

This game--called simply Wolfenstein--happens directly after Return to Castle Wolfenstein, with you as Blazkowicz joining a resistance movement in the fictional German city of Eisenstadt. You're tracking down the wily forces of the Third Reich, who through some lucky excavations have managed to harness the power of the Veil, a sort of extra-dimensional energy layer that sits on top of normal reality and hides some weird, supernatural secrets. Surprise: You'll quickly find an amulet that lets you get your Veil on, too. It's a good thing, too, since you'll probably need all the help you can get 

Wolfenstein uses very familiar first-person shooter controls and gameplay concepts--until you drop into the Veil, that is. The environment immediately takes on an eerie green sheen, which lets you move faster and highlight enemies in brighter colors. You can also find some hidden doors that are only visible in Veil-space, and there are some floating creatures that you can shoot within the Veil to act as exploding barrels against normal enemies. You have a Veil meter, naturally, that ticks down over time, but there are also widespread pools where you can recharge. Lastly, you'll unlock a few specific Veil powers over the course of the game. The only one I saw was Mire, which slows down time. Those powers will be used both in combat and puzzle-solving scenarios, of course.

The biggest surprise about Wolfenstein to me is that it isn't just a linear action game; there are significant open world elements involved. You'll move between hub areas within Eisenstadt where you'll take on story and side missions from the resistance. There will be Nazi opposition in the streets as you move from one mission giver to another, but there will also be underground routes you can find to avoid unwanted combat. Overall, it sounds like you'll have some freedom to tackle missions in the order you want--and to customize your combat experience by earning gold and buying weapon upgrades, like scopes, bayonets, and stripper clips as you complete those missions. That kind of freedom makes me instantly more interested in playing this game than if it had merely ended up being a bunch of action levels strung together in sequence.

Check out this trailer to see some footage of just about every aspect of the playable demo Activision was peddling. It's almost like you were there! The game uses the Doom 3 engine, which admittedly didn't sound too exciting at first, but I think Raven is doing a decent job of making this game look modern on five-year-old technology.

  


I'll only add that the Ghostbusters-looking gun you see in there, the Veil-powered particle cannon, is a ridiculous amount of fun. Something about running into a room and disintegrating the soldiers in there in a matter of seconds is pretty empowering.


Like all id Software-affiliated games, you can expect Wolfenstein to drop "when it's done."
Staff
#1 Posted by Brad (2874 posts) -
When you hear someone is working on a new Wolfenstein game, there are a few essential questions that spring to mind, and I got to answer all of them when I saw Raven's upcoming addition to id Software's irreverent World War II franchise last week at GDC. Is B.J. Blazkowicz still around? Check. Will anyone shout "Mein leben!?" Yes. Are there Nazis in robot suits? Sort of. Do you fight Hitler at the end? Well, no--Hitler's already dead, dude. But that doesn't mean there aren't plenty more weird paranormal German soldiers to kill!

This game--called simply Wolfenstein--happens directly after Return to Castle Wolfenstein, with you as Blazkowicz joining a resistance movement in the fictional German city of Eisenstadt. You're tracking down the wily forces of the Third Reich, who through some lucky excavations have managed to harness the power of the Veil, a sort of extra-dimensional energy layer that sits on top of normal reality and hides some weird, supernatural secrets. Surprise: You'll quickly find an amulet that lets you get your Veil on, too. It's a good thing, too, since you'll probably need all the help you can get 

Wolfenstein uses very familiar first-person shooter controls and gameplay concepts--until you drop into the Veil, that is. The environment immediately takes on an eerie green sheen, which lets you move faster and highlight enemies in brighter colors. You can also find some hidden doors that are only visible in Veil-space, and there are some floating creatures that you can shoot within the Veil to act as exploding barrels against normal enemies. You have a Veil meter, naturally, that ticks down over time, but there are also widespread pools where you can recharge. Lastly, you'll unlock a few specific Veil powers over the course of the game. The only one I saw was Mire, which slows down time. Those powers will be used both in combat and puzzle-solving scenarios, of course.

The biggest surprise about Wolfenstein to me is that it isn't just a linear action game; there are significant open world elements involved. You'll move between hub areas within Eisenstadt where you'll take on story and side missions from the resistance. There will be Nazi opposition in the streets as you move from one mission giver to another, but there will also be underground routes you can find to avoid unwanted combat. Overall, it sounds like you'll have some freedom to tackle missions in the order you want--and to customize your combat experience by earning gold and buying weapon upgrades, like scopes, bayonets, and stripper clips as you complete those missions. That kind of freedom makes me instantly more interested in playing this game than if it had merely ended up being a bunch of action levels strung together in sequence.

Check out this trailer to see some footage of just about every aspect of the playable demo Activision was peddling. It's almost like you were there! The game uses the Doom 3 engine, which admittedly didn't sound too exciting at first, but I think Raven is doing a decent job of making this game look modern on five-year-old technology.

  


I'll only add that the Ghostbusters-looking gun you see in there, the Veil-powered particle cannon, is a ridiculous amount of fun. Something about running into a room and disintegrating the soldiers in there in a matter of seconds is pretty empowering.


Like all id Software-affiliated games, you can expect Wolfenstein to drop "when it's done."
Staff
#2 Posted by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -

Is id even involved in any way? Raven's developing it, some whoever is publishing it, the engine is not id's, so what's id doing?

#3 Posted by Absurd (2934 posts) -

meh

#4 Posted by Coltonio7 (3156 posts) -

More Wolfenstein...still looks generic. I'll give it a shot, but it better go ALL THE WAY with the Occult Craziness.

#5 Posted by LtColJaxson (1137 posts) -

Even though the character models don't look the greatest (something about the helmets looking weird), when it was in motion and all the effects going on... it looked like great fun. Can't wait!

#6 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11471 posts) -

Actually looks decent. I am surprised.

#7 Posted by Origina1Penguin (3500 posts) -

Hell yeah.

#8 Edited by Civraz (392 posts) -

I am liking the almost RPG like customization elements. Earning gold to updgrade weapons? Sounds interesting...

#9 Posted by hellknight8619 (33 posts) -

sounds unfair to call it irrelevant.  i'm looking forward to it.

#10 Posted by Conker (770 posts) -

Thats the Doom 3 engine? Wow, looks decent enough for sure, can't wait to get my hands on this.

And to Al3xand3r- raven is developing because id is involved with rage and doom4 now, but they are working very closely with id, according to a gametrailers tv episode.

#11 Edited by stephengotlost (703 posts) -

I love weapon upgrades in first person games. I think that Medal of Honour: Airborne was very underrated, because each level had many objectives that you could tackle freely from any order and from any location. The weapons also leveled up as you got more kills that resulted in new attachments, or more ammo (along with a visibly larger weapon magazine).

#12 Edited by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -

Oh, it is the Doom 3 engine then, neat. Though it doesn't look quite as good as Quake Wars. Great game that, shame it didn't attract many.

#13 Posted by spilledmilkfactory (1842 posts) -

i'm looking forward to this game despite myself. there isn't a single original concept in the game, but yet it looks very fast paced and entertaining, sort of like a popcorn action flick.

#14 Posted by Media_Master (3283 posts) -

Liking the trailer!

#15 Posted by MichaelBach (876 posts) -

Not convinced.. but the open world thing like Jeff says sounds interresting. 

#16 Posted by Hector (3355 posts) -

AWESOME!

#17 Edited by Colonel_Cool (808 posts) -

Doom 3 engine? I thought this used id's Tech 5 engine?
edit- A quick Wikipedia search confirms that this is on the doom 3 engine. Kinda strange, I thought this would have used id's new engine. Also according to Wikipedia, the game takes place in 1943, so there should be room for an appearance from Hitler.

#18 Posted by iAmJohn (6108 posts) -
Colonel_Cool said:
"Doom 3 engine? I thought this used id's Tech 5 engine?"
Rage is the only game using iD Tech 5.  I don't think the engine will even be available for licensing until Rage is out.
#19 Posted by DualFayte (128 posts) -

Lookin' foward to it

#20 Posted by TheFrostedGamer (296 posts) -

Trailer didn't really do anything for me. I also want to say I think its a curious choice to use the Doom 3 Engine in 2009. It can be done, sure, but... I duno, draws alot of skepticism out of me. Also it seemed like a lot of the gameplay was choppy in the trailer. I'm not an expert on PR or video editing, but if you're going to sell people on a Doom 3 Engine game in 2009... smooth gameplay?

#21 Posted by TomA (2531 posts) -

Yes because we all know the Nazi's were the only ones to commit war crimes during that time.

#22 Posted by sofakingcool (354 posts) -

WOW that looks like SHIT! 

#23 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4238 posts) -

I was wondering why things looked a bit stiff, but I guess since they're actually using an older engine they should get props for that.  I always liked that Soul Reaver mechanic where you could switch between worlds and find things you couldn't otherwise.  Stuff like that should be used MORE.

#24 Posted by Landmine (525 posts) -

Looking good. imho.

#25 Posted by piropeople13 (399 posts) -

I didn't see the PC logo at the end?  Is this not coming out for PC?!?!  This series was born on the PC for crying out loud!

#26 Posted by Winternet (8004 posts) -

Well..I'm kinda low on this one..Is it out there a real need for Wolf??..I'm probably thinking no, but hey..It's a game

#27 Posted by Osiris (497 posts) -

That trailer was petty cool tbh

#28 Posted by TheSmilingDude (92 posts) -

That's a pretty boring trailer, and the Doom 3 Engine? What's up with that? Well I'll just wait and see how that turns out, but a graphical behemoth isn't something we should be expecting :P

#29 Posted by Tordah (2471 posts) -

Awesome, looking forward to this!

Online
#30 Posted by CitizenKane (10502 posts) -

Looks awesome.  I absolutely loved Return to Castle Wolfenstein.  The MP was one of my favorite game experiences of all time.  I am stoked about this newest installment.

#31 Posted by DiGiTaL_SiN (1789 posts) -

Looking forward to this game! But it still needs a little bit more polish. RTCW was an awesome game, and definitely a technical feat at it's time, so It's pretty hard to live up to people's expectations.

#32 Posted by DevilishSix (102 posts) -

Although it would look better on a newer engine I can see the gameplay is set up to be pretty fun and the story seems to put a twist on the tired WW2 themed games by concentrating on Nazi experiments, that could be really interesting. 

#33 Posted by Xiemos2 (226 posts) -

looks like it could be pretty cool, I won't discount it yet

#34 Posted by giyanks22 (2681 posts) -

Looks much better than I expected. .

#35 Posted by Winternet (8004 posts) -

First impressions: nothing catch my eye

#36 Posted by Doogie2K (216 posts) -

That Veil-o-Vision sounds a bit like the soul-charge mode from Painkiller.  Could be interesting.

Also, from the trailer, those face models are totally Raven: they look exactly like the faces in RtCW, except higher-res.  Let's hope they animate alright.

#37 Posted by Reverseface (1221 posts) -

HECKA NAZI'S

#38 Posted by unholyone123 (198 posts) -

It might be a modified version of the Doom 3 Engine, which squeezes a little more graphical power.

#39 Posted by Colonel_Fury (453 posts) -

It looks a lot cooler than I thought it would. I'll definatly check it out.

#40 Posted by buzz_killington (3532 posts) -

great, but BRAD, you didn't tell us what u actually think of the game...

#41 Posted by Grilledcheez (3943 posts) -
Winternet said:
"Well..I'm kinda low on this one..Is it out there a real need for Wolf??..I'm probably thinking no, but hey..It's a game"
Yeah, if they can make twenty call of duty's why not another wolf?  I for one definitely want the game. :)
#42 Posted by Bulldog19892 (1795 posts) -

I just started play Return to Wolfenstein. Hopefully this one will deliver too.

#43 Posted by theMcNasty (741 posts) -

I'm not sure how to feel about this yet.  Excitement is filling in the emotional gap though.

#44 Posted by SuperfluousMoniker (2907 posts) -

Sounds kinda like Far Cry 2, only with supernatural weirdness. I liked Far Cry 2. Except that every mission was exactly the same. I was a fan of Raven's Quake 4 so you better believe I'm gonna be playing this.

And don't rip on the Doom3 engine guys, Half Life 2 Episode 2 looked great on Source, which is even older technology, albeit updated (of course I assume this is an updated build of the Doom3 engine). The best graphics I've ever seen all have 60/60 in the corner of the screen.

#45 Posted by Roy42 (159 posts) -

I think I might get it, hell, it sure beats playing WW2 games that have been going on for longer than WW2 and keep focusing on America's last good deed as a nation.


Still, in comparison with many other games, the story seems to be the only invigorating thing, the gameplay looks to be very stock standard FPS at the moment, actually, I probably won't get it, RTCW will still satisfy me for long after this flops.

Regards,

≈Roy
#46 Posted by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -

Wouldn't expect any MP to the level of ET for those eager for that. If you want that sort of thing, get Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. Same engine, but it looks better too. Splash Damage aren't involved with this. I do wanna see what Raven do with this though, they used to be a pretty solid developer and made some of my favorite games (Jedi Outcast rocked). Maybe they've been granted enough freedom and budget to make something good again.

#47 Posted by TomA (2531 posts) -

It's a WW2 game that isn't just storming Omaha beach and using M1 Garands untill your eyes bleed. So that's enough to warrant me giving it a shot.

#48 Posted by bulletbeast (191 posts) -

looks like an interesting idea but in the end its just another first person shooter

#49 Posted by killdave (1073 posts) -

Hmmmm

Maybe because killing Nazi's is always cool but ... Im bored of WW2 shooters atm.

Give it a year.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.