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'Wolfenstein' plays like a relic

Sept 18, 2009

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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WolfensteinOnce you are in enemy territory, you are gonna be doin’ one thing and one thing only in ‘Wolfenstein’...killin' Nazis.

You will shoot them. You will stab them. You will beat them. You will incinerate them. And, that’s pretty much all you will be doing.

‘Wolfenstein’, the sequel of sorts to ‘Return to Castle Wolfenstein’, is not as clever or as revolutionary but if you like shooting people in the head, chest or groin with all manner of lethal firearms or reducing them to mere dust particles by a disintegration beam, this is the game for you.

Once again, you portray super spy and all around super guy - B.J. Blaskowicz. Assigned to lend the resistance forces in the city of Isenstadt a helping hand, you bounce around between the groups and a map that takes forever to regenerate whenever you go from one area of the city to the next.

WolfensteinGame-halting load times in this day and age? Ouch!

Not content with the limits of their ruthless war machine, the Nazis in the region have begun experimenting with the supernatural. As part of the storyline, you steal those paranormal abilities which are contained in assorted magical crystals. The gems transport you into another dimension and give you the power to create force fields, slow time, obliterate baddies and access hidden areas.

Mostly though, you will use these abilities at scripted junctures like slowing time when there is a machine gun nest at the end of a really, really, really long hallway or projecting a force field as you escape a burning facility. None of these talents are ground-breaking and to tell you the truth, unlike ‘The Darkness’, I found it more of a challenge and a heck of a lot more compelling to rely on my everyday, ordinary weapons instead of the mystic mumbo jumbo of ‘The Veil’ in ‘Wolfenstein’.

WolfensteinIt is FPS street fighting at its best no matter what setting your find yourself in. There is no duck and cover system to fret about. You can walk up to a Nazi and shoot him point blank in the face and usually get away with it as long as you don’t get carried away. Retro running and gunning is fine, it is just that the A.I. and graphics are dated as well, so ‘Wolfenstein’ really doesn’t live up to its full potential and seems quite musty compared with the level of today’s offerings. Things are even more simplistic during the Multiplayer scenarios (Stop-Watch, Objective and Deathmatch) that only supports 12 players in total. You’ll swear it is 1991 all over again and that you should be waiting for those one key taunts to blink on your screen.

Fans of ‘Medal of Honor’ or ‘Call of Duty’, won’t switch franchise loyalties playing through ‘Wolfenstein’ as there is no shock and awe value. In 2001, I remember my jaw dropping when a ‘Wolfenstein’ Nazi soldier threw back the grenade I had tossed at him. In 2009, I just let out a sigh as I ran past the grenade and plugged the Nazi soldier who remained motionless. Much should have changed and it hasn’t.



Format: Xbox 360
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Raven Software, id Software
ESRB Rating: M for Mature
Official Site:

Rating: 6 / 10




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