BJ Blazkowicz eats, breathes, and kills Nazis. You would think that sleep should be a part of that list, but for BJ killing Nazis is a substitute for sleep. With this in mind, it isn’t surprising that most of your time playing Wolfenstein will be spent mowing down wave after wave of Nazi footsoldiers. The downside is that they’ve learned to harness the power of the occult; the upside is that you have too. Sure, you can tear through their ranks with nothing but a sub-machine gun and a couple grenades… But isn’t it more fun to deploy a field of dark energy that rips the flesh from their bodies?  The choice is yours in Wolfenstein.


Wolfenstein brings a lot of tantalizing things to the table, not the least of which is an extensive arsenal of devastating weapons. You start out with a single gun and unlock others as you progress, up to a total of 7.  Apart from guns you have Veil powers, which can do all sorts of useful things and come in 4 flavours.  Both branches of weaponry have specialized upgrades, which can be bought with the gold you find lying around in each level.  The upgrade system really shines when you’re developing your Veil powers, since each power will come to serve a number of different functions by the time they’re fully upgraded.

The thing that really brings Wolfenstein together is the controls.  BJ’s actions are mapped to the controller in such a way that any casual player can get a handle on them in mere minutes.  No button is left unused; not even the D-pad, which is necessary for activating Veil powers.  Even with every button serving a purpose the controls never feel cluttered or confusing, and you only need to play for a few minutes to realize that the slickness of the controls are vital to a Wolfenstein.  In short, you become BJ, kicking ass and taking names… Well, at least kicking ass.  BJ doesn’t stop to take names.  If he did they’d probably be too long and consonant-heavy to remember anyway.


Certain elements of Wolfenstein’s graphics are very nice to look at, while others fall short.  The opening cinematic is eye-popping, but that’s not so hard to accomplish these days.  The real graphical accomplishment of Wolfenstein is the level design.  BJ’s surroundings are heavily detailed, and effects like flame and fluid motion provide some serious eye candy.  It’s not hard to become immersed in the world of Wolfenstein when everything is so detailed.  My favourite part is breaking stuff.  Smash! The box splinters into pieces.  Crack! The barrel is shattered, leaving only the metal rims intact… And with the amount of time you’ll spend breaking things in Wolfenstein, that level of realism is important.


Some aspects of this game make me shake my head in disappointment.  The mistakes would have been so easy to spot and correct, but for one reason or another nobody picked up on them.  The most glaring error is everything that has to do with character models.  It’s such a shame to see all of this beautiful detail in the environment around you only to see an ally moving through it in a jerky, unpolished fashion.  And it isn’t just movement either.  The textures on characters seem lower-grade than those found in the environment, faces look bleary and devoid of personality, and to top it all off the mouth movements don’t sync particularly well with the voice acting.

WOLF_Zeppelin A

This is SOOoooo much better than my vacuum cleaner at home.

Let’s face it; nobody is playing Wolfenstein for the story.  Wolfenstein is, and has always been, a Nazi murder-fest with some material thrown in that shows how evil they are and that they’re asking for a righteous bullet between the eyes.  Trying to build a shoddy story around that just comes off as dishonest, like a clown taking himself seriously.  BJ’s lines are few and far between, and when he actually does speak the line is guaranteed to be so cliche that my teeth clench.  The missions you’re given by allies are so generic that you’ll forget why you’re even doing what you’re doing.  In cinematics, you can point out a character that’s about to die before it even happens, and you can even guess how and probably be correct.  Predictable, predictable, predictable.  But as I said, nobody who’s playing this really expects an engrossing storyline with layers of meaning, so the awful storyline is relatively minor when compared to the game’s good points.

Here’s the Deal

Wolfenstein is like every entry in the series before it, but improved and with some interesting occult magic.  Fans of the series definitely won’t be disappointed, and newcomers to the FPS genre in general will appreciate the intuitive controls.  The story is boring and generic enough to push you out, but the detailed environment is enough to pull you right back in again.  The campaign is the real star here; the multiplayer portion seems tacked-on, but it still delivers.  If you’re looking for a solid FPS with a simple learning curve and you aren’t opposed to shutting your brain off for some light-hearted Nazi-massacring fun, this is your game.  Those looking for a more complex FPS experience should look elsewhere. Mike D. 7/10

~ by consolecreatures on September 25, 2009.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: