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Return to Castle Wolfentein is probably one of the most awaited games of the last year and wow is it good. It combines a great story, which really gets you into the game with excellent game play and very good graphics and sound, which give the game a fantastic atmosphere!
** The Story ** World War 2 is raging and the SS head Himmler has got full backing from Hitler to twist science and the occult into a force of invincible super soldiers or “uber soldat”. You play US Army Ranger B.J. Blazkowiz, you work for the Office of Secret Actions and your new missions is to infiltrate the Third Reich and investigate the strange rumours of occult activity and genetic engineering.
** The Game ** This has to be one of the best games that I have played for ages, it uses id Software’s Quake 3 engine, which makes the graphics superb and the handling of the character in game very easy (although there are a lot of extra keys that you need to learn!). The graphics as I said before were superb and very crisp, when up close the animation on the face is very detailed for a game such as this (well more detailed than I have ever seen in a game, please correct me if I am wrong).
Not only has the game got excellent graphics but also the sound is also very, very good and to fully appreciate it you need to play this game with surround sound. However it is still just as good without the surround sound capability. The atmosphere music sets you for the level very well, with other sounds such as people talking and gun fire in the distance all sounding as you think they should sound (faint, then getting louder as you get closer!).
So this game has got good graphics and sound, but what does make this game a touch above the rest is the computer AI (artificial intelligence). This is also very good, and you will often find yourself being shot at from somewhere and you can’t see where until it is too late! Another thing that I have noticed is that if you play a level and then play it again because you have died or just started it again, then the characters that are up against you do not appear in the same place that often. This is superb, but very annoying as you can’t pre-plan what you are going to do as you don’t know where the people are!
The game play is also very addictive with each mission you gain different baddies, that behave in different way for you to shoot or not as it may be. You also will not get tired of each mission, as you will find that each mission requires that you play the game in a different manner. One time you may be sneaking around silently while the next time you may be running around gun blazing while the next level you might be a sniper! Another really cool thing is that when say a tank blows up a building, yes this happens, the ground shakes and it is very hard to aim, nice!
Also the actual environments that you are going abut in are also very well done, with splashes and puffs of snow appearing with gunshots! The cut scenes that will appear in the game also add to the game and add to the atmosphere that is created by the game.
** Multiplayer ** I have not played this version of the game yet, although I am told that this is also very addictive! The multiplayer version takes a different slant to the actual game itself. This was developed by another company especially for online play. The basic that I know is that you play in teams of up to 16 and you fight another team of up to 16!
There are a number of roles that need to be filled in a team: soldier (the standard character), engineer (these guys can repair broken guns and blow things up!), medic (these guys can heal you!) and lieutenant (this guy can hand out more ammo and call in air strikes!).
This all makes for a frenzied online game! I will update this section of my review as soon as I have had a chance to try out this multiplayer version of the game.
** The Controls ** As I said before the game is very easy to play and the main controls are all at your fingertip! You control the direction, firing and jumping with the mouse otherwise you wont stand a chance as controlling this on the keyboard will be just too slow! If you have a rolling thing in the middle of your mouse this will scroll through your weapons, very handy. Other things such as using the special features of some weapons like using a sniper scope, silencer or holding two guns requires you to press special keys. This might sound a bit confusing, well it is to start with, but luckily the game comes with a keyboard command card and you quickly learn all of the important keys.
** System Requirements ** • 3D Hardware Accelerator (with 16MB VRAM) with full Open GL support • Pentium 2 400MHz CPU or AMD Athlon CPU • English Version of Windows 95 OSR2/98/MT/NT 4.0 (SP 6.0)/2000/XP with 30-bit drivers for CD-ROM drive, video card, sound card and input devices • 128MB RAM • 16-bit high colour video mode • 800MB uncompressed hard disk space plus 300MB for Windows swap file • DirectX 8.0a (this is included with the game) • 100% DirectX 3.0 compatible sound card and drivers • 100% Windows compatible mouse and keyboard drivers • Quad-speed CD-ROM drive
** Multiplayer Requirements ** • Internet (TCP/IP) and LAN (TCP/IP and IPX) play supported • Internet play requires 100% Windows 95 OSR2/98/MT/NT 4.0 (SP 6.0)/2000/XP compatible 56.6 Kbps modem
** More Information ** For more information about the game, for updates and the latest news please visit the following websites:
Nerve – www.nervesoftware.com Activision – www.activision.com Id Software – www.idsoftware.com Game Website – www.castlewolfentein.com
** My Thoughts ** This is a very, very good game, which sets up a very good atmosphere from the first time you play the game. There will be times when you are playing this game and something unexpected happening and you will find yourself jumping out of your skin! This is my favourite game at the moment and anyone who is into first person shooters will love this game. This is a must and if you haven’t got this game… why haven’t you!
Good op. I've played this game on a friends PC. As to why don't I have it myself - My PC isn't good enough :(
gadget_guy 08.01.2002 00:10
I got this game for christmas and I find it very addictive, but I haven't had much time playing it and I'm still only on the third level. Hopefully I'll have more time for play when I reach February!
walter13 21.12.2001 20:24
It looks to be a good game! Sometimes i play "close combat"
you know it? i don't know his english name sorry i'm french!