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Castle Wolfenstein has been revamped

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20.03.2002

Advantages:
where do i start

Disadvantages:
not enough gore

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:

Gameplay/Playability

Graphics

Sound

Value for Money

Longevity

Difficulty & Complexity

Multiplayer

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The year is 1992. Four bleary eyed programmers are sitting in front of their computers keying in thousands of lines of code in a small apartment. John Carmack is one of them. Little they know that the game that they are trying to develop will change gaming forever. Oblivious of this fact, they continue to key in code and test it. This goes on for six months.
Then in 1992, Wolf 3D is released. It is a major success. 250000 copies are sold in no time at all. This game brought out a hitherto unknown killer instinct in people who were tired of playing “wuss” games like prince and stuff. They now thirsted for blood, they wanted to see blood and more gore than ever and thus started the gaming revolution.
For those who have no idea, what I am talking about (pity you!), Wolf 3D was the first 3D shooting game. Actually it was 2.5D or something like that. But nevertheless it was a start. For those who are interested, this was the first PC game I played, I guess it was when I was in third standard or third grade as Uncle Sam calls it. WOW, it has been 10 years since I started gaming. So let’s say cheers to that.
Anyways let’s get back to the game. Wolf is back after a decade long hiatus. Return to Castle Wolfenstien (RTCW) is the sequel; no it is actually a remake of the original Wolf.

Story - You are agent Blaskowicz. The one man super army. The Allied spy for the secret operations bureau in England. Blah Blah blah and so on. . You must escape from Castle Wolfenstien. While doing so, a plot revolving around the occult and the paranormal starts to unwind. You soon get into the thick of the action. You’ get immediate orders from the joint Allied command i.e. the OSA to start unraveling the plot.
In the ninth century, Prince Heinrich sought to forge an independent German state by creating an army of the evil undead. Heinrich’s attempt was foiled by a mysterious monk in 943 AD, and enshrined in a tomb on top of a mountain peak. Fast forward 1,000 years, and Himmler (the Nazi leader) is looking into the possibility of raising him from the dead and commanding his army of zombies against the Allies. And you have to save the world again!

Graphics - Well this game has done something which I thought was impossible. It has bettered the graphics seen in Max Payne. The textures here are so detailed! To enjoy the game to the max extent, use a powerful system. My system is P4 1.5 GHz with the 845GB motherboard, 256MB RDRAM and a GeForce2 card. I think a 700MHZ processor with 128MB Ram and 16MB card is the bare essential for the game. People having below this configuration are advised not to waste Rs 1199/- for this game.
This game uses the Quake III Arena graphics engine. I guessed this when I played the game for the first time itself. The levels are all dark and the fog effect is awesome - all trademarks of the Quake III graphics engine. The versatility of this engine is proved in the forest level and the X-Labs Level where you have lush green locales and hi-fi laboratories. The levels have been beautifully done and especially the level where a village has been bombed is fantastic. You feel like you are in the middle of a war. It is reminds you of the Bosnia days.
Then moving on the models used in the game. They are so detailed! They are detailed to such an extent that you can see the tongue and cheek tissues of the people in the game. Fear, Anguish, Curiosity can be seen in the faces of the Nazi soldiers. And yeah a special mention to the ’’Elite Guards’’. The Elite guards are a bunch of specially trained Female guards. They looked soooo sexxxxxyyyyyy in those body hugging cat suits. Probably the most beautiful creatures I have seen on a game! I would not mind being tortured by them in a concentration chamber. It is a pity that these ladies with that perfect figure had to be killed.
Then those ’’undead creatures’’ are so superbly done. The zombie is by far the scariest thing I have seen in a game. Try the ’’Catacombs’’ level with lights off on a 17’’ monitor and a good sound system. It is not a very pleasant experience. You have zombies breaking through the walls and attacking with a scream from behind you and zombies coming from the ground and stuff like that. This is surely the scariest level yet! This is not for the weak hearted. I am serious. My small brother literally screamed, peed in his pants and ran to my mom!

Gameplay - The gameplay itself is very basic. You just have to use the basic tactics like stealth. It is game which combines the flavors of “run and shoot anything that walks” Quake series and “move carefully” Deus Ex game. At times you have to take decisions whether you will go all out or use stealth. You also have to carry out tasks like assassination, escape, infiltrate etc.
Moving on to the AI of the game, it is the best in any first person shooter game around. The enemies will react in a realistic manner to your presence. They will try to snipe you from a large distance or spread out to kill you or even kick back the grenades you toss at them. The enemies will look for fellow soldiers who are missing or don’t report back and inspect blood on the ground or floor.
Health can be regained by the usual health packs and meals which are found around the place. Some might remember that in the old wolf you could even eat body parts of dead soldiers and even dog food if your health was low enough. But this is not possible here.

Sound - This game has dark music to suit the atmosphere of the game. Don’t expect and techno or rock music here. The music in the crypt and the catacombs level is creepy. There was a lot of moaning and groaning in this level which was very scary and that alone was worth the new (and expensive) sound system I installed recently. The music is calm when you are just exploring and suddenly becomes tense when you are fighting a battle.
Then if you can get close to the Nazi soldiers without being detected then you can actually here them talking personal stuff. In one of the levels you see a drunken Nazi soldier trying to sing a German song. That one scene was really funny. So if you have a good sound system, you will enjoy this mind-blowing game even more.

I will talk about the multi-player when the local LAN gaming parlour will install it. Okay then, excuse me , let me start my game and ogle at the “Elite Guards”!


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Comments about this review »

MRSCANADA 02.04.2002 03:09

Great review..I think I'll read some more..LL

Eva 20.03.2002 14:26

Sexy computer games characters... hmmm... slightly worrying. It's amazing how far computer games have come over the last few years, although they could be even better if Intel and AMD didn't take so long to release chips to the public (they can reach 10Ghz in their labs easily!). I wasn't too keen on the original... I prefer racing games, but I might get this latest one. Did you get the special edition version in the nice box?

Squiggles 20.03.2002 14:17

Excellent review, superbly written!

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Manufacturer's product description

It's been nearly a decade since Wolfenstein 3-D began the first-person shooter genre and at long last everyone's fa...

Product details

Age 15+
Publisher Activision
Genre Shooter

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This review of Return to Castle Wolfenstein (PC) has been rated:

"very helpful" by (100%):

  1. Badger_Boy
  2. sriniforu
  3. westi

and 15 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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