Far from memorable, but good nonetheless
Wolfenstein is a first person shooter developed by a collaboration of Raven Software, id Software, Pi Studios, and Endrant Studios. It is based in World War II Germany, but thanks to bizarre gameplay mechanics and story twists, the game is much more unique than just another WWII shooter. The Wolfenstein franchise is somewhat of a cornerstone for the FPS genre. My experience with the franchise prior to starting up this game consisted only ofReturn To Castle Wolfenstein, which is a game I played a fair share of years ago. Not progressing very far in the campaign, I spent most of my hours playing the groundbreaking multiplayer that progressed the genre in ways that still makes its footprints visible in games today.
In Wolfenstein’s singleplayer campaign you play as American spy B.J. Blazkowicz. Your mission is to investigate Nazi activity in Germany. The Nazi’s discover an alternate dimension known as the Black Sun, but their discovery is what may lead to their downfall. The Veil, which is a pathway to the Black Sun, allows you to use abilities and powers that are only available once in the Veil. This is what makes Wolfenstein unique, and to be honest, the only thing worth playing the game for. By harnessing this new power, you’ll take down the Nazi scum and have a ton of fun doing so.
The game is an open world to wander, for the most part. You can search for gold, head to the black market, or continue on with the story. The black market makes available to you an array of weapons that you would normally find in World War II shooters such as the MP40, Kar98, rocket launcher, satchels, etc. Later on in the game you will begin to collect futuristic weapons that fire laser or electric energy. Weapons are upgradable as well as your abilities, which you either unlock as you move along or purchase using gold.
The singleplayer can be summed up in few words: short – solid – sweet. I finished the game in about seven hours, but enjoyed it quite a bit. It’s a solid experience that I didn’t expect to get out of Wolfenstein, but it’s not going to blow you away at all.
Graphics and Visuals
Wolfenstein uses the severely outdated Doom III engine that clearly shows it’s age. The game looks average, with its fair share of good and terrible looking moments, but I found myself encountering a minor amount of hiccups and choppiness. The visual effects of weapon damage and veil abilities look really cool and sharp, but it seemed as if the more I used Veil abilities, the more the game slowed down a bit. None of the issues were major though and overall the game looked good.
Shooting Nazi’s with the futuristic energy weapons disintegrated them, bringing even more enjoyment to the killing. The environments, including multiplayer maps, are well designed and as detailed as I care for them to be. The visuals could be better and more stable for sure, but none of the issues hinder the gameplay at all.
Wolfenstein’s multiplayer component is class-based and streamlined. There are three classes, the soldier, medic, and engineer, each with the strengths/weaknesses that you expect. They each have a Veil ability that is somewhat useful, but it left me desiring more choices.
You earn money during matches that can be used for various unlockable abilities which added options for your type of play style. There are eight maps that cover the standard World War II settings you’ve seen dozens of times already, but I can’t complain about that. Three game modes cover your basic team deathmatch as well as two objective based game types that were actually really fun.
The multiplayer is decent but I don’t see myself ever playing it again. Just as allWolfenstein games have their own community, this will as well. With so many better and more robust multiplayer games already on the market and coming soon, I don’t see many people investing their time in this game.
The summer is always the slowest season for gaming releases. That being said, Wolfenstein’s late August release date may just be a few weeks too late for some gamers. This fall is coming quick with it’s heavy lineup of games, and Wolfenstein’s time to shine may not be very long. If you’re looking for multiplayer specifically, I don’t recommend picking up Wolfenstein. However, if you are looking for a good campaign with a decent online component to mess around with, you will get your moneys worth.