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Return to Castle Wolfenstein

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Return to Castle Wolfenstein Review


screenshot from level of Wolfenstein
Hallway in the opening level of Wolfenstein
Return to castle wolfenstein puts you back in the combat boots of BJ Blazkowitz the Allie's meanest, toughest most bu11et proof hardcase on active service in WW11.
You as agent Blazkowitz have to fight through nearly 30 levels of enemy infested WW11 Europe. You're ultimate aim being to defeat their occult plans for an unstopable supernatural soldier.
Along the way you do battle in castles, catacombs, miltary bases, villages and other outdoor enviroments against not only soldiers but zombies and experimental bioengineered monsters. These are the result of experiments and research into the paranormal.
Most of these levels are interesting and fun to play through, though there are two or three slightly tedious examples in the game. Gameplay is tough but generally not unfairly so. At times though the enemy snipers seam a little too fast and accurate to be realistic. Then again bullet proof BJ can take more than one headshot without dropping.
Above average levels include a village where you have to sneak around and assasinate enemy officers, an excellent rendition of a chateau complete with carpets and wide staircase and a great level based in an experimental lab.
Weapons can make or break a first person shooter. Thankfully Wolfenstein has some great weapons for BJ to blow away the enemy hoards with. These are starting from the most puny;
  • The knife for close and silent work.
  • A couple of different pistols (Luger and Colt)
  • Sub machine guns, including the British Sten gun (silenced), German MP42 and the powerful Thompson.
  • A German assault rifle the FG42 (one of my favourite weapons).
  • Standard rifles including the Mauser with or without a scope and the special issue allie night vision snooper rifle (Highly Effective).
  • Granades both German and Allied
  • Panzerfaust rocket launcher
  • Flamethrower, this is superbly animated and highly effective.
  • Venom gatling gun. This minigun converts enemies into little red piles.
  • Tesla gun. A weapon of electrifying potential!
The chateau
Blazkowitz with with the Para assualt rifle in the Chateau.
Courtyard of Castle Wolfenstein
Looking out over the Wolfenstein castle courtyard armed with the German MP42 sub machine gun.
Many of these weapons are based on real ww11 pieces of equipment, others are purely resident in the Wolfenstein universe. Most of the weapons have a time and place while playing the game. Though most of the time you will be using one of the machine guns or the FG42 assault rifle.
The tesla gun will hit multiple targets at once but isn't a super powerfull weapon that lets you run into a room of enemy soldiers and expect to run out again. Likewise the Venom while packing a mean punch doesn't drop enemies so fast you can run around invunerable with it spinning in front of you. It also takes a second to spin up before it spits out bullets.
Grenades need to be used with care. The enemy sometimes throw them back at you and are equally good at running for cover when you toss a 'pineapple' their way.
The Sten over-heats quickly so you can only fire in short bursts and the Mauser has a slow rate of fire but with it's scope is a great sniper weapon.
The flamethrower is a fun gun. Great flame effects and the best weapon of it's kind I've yet seen in computer games.
The pistols are seldom used, they have no advantage except perhaps the fact you can use a chair as armour while weilding a pistol.
The tanks on your side
This tank is on your side and you have to provide support.
Enemies you will face range from the Luger weilding officers and MP42 equipped Soldiers through Mauser firing snipers, elite female guards with Stens, tough FG42 armed Paratroopers, Venom minigun soldiers, flamethrower soldiers and a few enemys grunts who think you're a Sherman and shoot Panzerfaust anti-tank rockets at you (too much even for BJ).
That's just the Regular army. You also have to go up against Zombies and robotic creations that would make the Terminator leg it and run for his mummy.
In the X LAb armed with a Venom
This is part of the brilliant X lab level. Here BJ Blazkowitz is armed with the Venom gatling gun.
Wolfenstein is really two games in one. The single player campaign and the excellent multiplayer game. The multiplayer is a polished piece of work and not a tacked on extra like with some other games. It uses a class system where the player chooses what role he or she intends to play. Be it soldier, medic, lieutenent etc. As with Team fortress this leads to a multiplayer game with depth and long lasting interest for computer game players. If you have a fast internet connection and like online gameplay then Wolfenstein is worth buying for multiplayer alone.

Wolfenstein uses a modified Quake 3 engine, and as such exhibits excellent graphics combined with smooth framerates and gameplay. Sound is well done as well though the music is repetitive. It's a pity the enemy soldiers speak in English however.
A lot was expected from the sequel to the ground breaking early 90s game Wolfenstein 3d. The game is a good one and is well worth a purchase but is not the classic that many people were hoping for (in my humble opinion that is).
The chateau 2
The Para assualt rifle is my favourite 'tool' of choice for most 'occasions' during the game. You can zoom in using the scope.
Wolfenstein SCORECARD

Graphics 9/10
Sound 8/10
Gameplay 8/10
Originality 5/10

Computer Games score 8/10

Great game but not quite an absolute classic