Sunday, November 9, 2014
Wolfenstein (2009) Review
Year (s): 2009
Company: dev. Raven Software, Endrant (multiplayer portion only)
Engine: modified id Tech 4 with Havok physics
Metacritic Score: 74
My Score: 70! Do I hear 65? 65! Do I hear...
Price (as of November 8, 2014)
Regular list price on Steam: Not available
Lowest Buy-It-Now on eBay (new, with shipping): $21
My Game Time: 18 hours
Obligatory Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ujycthb4B8E
B.J. Blazkowicz returns in a follow-up to Return to Castle Wolfenstein. This time the nazis are using energy from the black sun dimension to create monsters and super weapons. Stop 'em, B.J.!
I got this on a $5 Steam sale, but it's no longer available. Speculation on the Steam forums is that Wolfenstein publishing rights may have been bought back from Activision by Bethesda for Wolfenstein: The New Order.
Manual Save? Yes
Quick Save? No
Area Load Save? Yes
Checkpoint Save? Yes
Combat and Gameplay
Basic shoot-and-crouch gameplay, because health regenerates if you take cover. It's not a mechanic I love, but it's bolstered with a variety of guns (you're not limited to just two or three at a time) and a few abilities. Abilities include a bullet shield, damage amplification, crappy slow motion, and good slow motion. Energy for ailities runs out fast, and can only be recharged at certain spots. So while you have the illusion of being a badass, you're mostly going to be crouching a lot and taking headshots of enemies with really easy A.I.
The exception for this is boss fights, which are generally a pain in the ass compared to the rest of the game. Also annoying are flying enemies that fire a volley of rockets at a time (= you're dead!).
Completing main and side missions earns gold. You can also find gold and intel hidden all over the place. Gold buys upgrades for weapons and abilities.
Expansions / DLC / Sequels
2014 saw the release of Wolfenstein: The New Order. Set in an alternate history, it is not a direct sequel to the 2009 game. Developers of the most recent installment liked Wolfenstein 3D but thought the 2009 game, “was crap.”
Return to Castle Wolfenstein was good at the time, and as a sequel, this one feels rather uninspired. The stealth element of Return is gone. Silenced weapons will alert every enemy in the neighborhood. Collecting intel is fine, but looking behind a garbage can to find a bag of gold is pretty comical in 2009. I liked the variety of weapons and the upgrade system, but felt hampered by crappy abilities, easy A.I., and a frequent need to find cover.
If you want a fun new Wolfenstein game, I've heard good things about The New Order. If you want a shooter with cool abilities, I'd opt for Crysis or F.E.A.R. Or even Raven's 2010 game, Singularity. All good games. Pass on Wolfenstein 2009.