Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Wolfenstein DVD Cover

Wolfenstein Next Gen Nazies

Wolfenstein 3D, created by id Software and released in 1992, is universally regarded as the founder of the "first person shooter." The mark has since been repeated over and over again, until the previous generation, when in 2001 Gray Matter Interactive has released the fun Return to Castle Wolfenstein. That brings us to nowadays, with the guys at Raven Software that collect the witness and write a new page of history Special Agent Blazkowicz. The title does not betray the tradition and shows once again as a shooter-friendly, which makes the script as a vehicle for spectacle and gives players the undeniable excitement generated in the dismemberment, slaughter, slaughter or dematerialize whole hordes of Nazis.
But, with 2010 closer and the average quality of gaming products that rises at speed, this is not enough to create something memorable: Let's see what else the guys at Raven are in Serbian.

Next Gen Nazies

To distinguish from one shooter Wolfenstein traditional there are some original elements: first, the weapons which are divided between the inevitable replicas of rifles of the time and instruments of death removed from the sci-fi flavor experiments Germans, as the gun dematerializing.

Secondly, the supernatural element: in the shoes of the agent Blazkowicz will try to hinder the Nazis from using occult powers from another dimension, defined simply as the veil. Although not fully understand the meaning, we find ourselves in his hands a medallion that is gradually infused with various powers are useful to combat: it starts with its entry into the parallel dimension of the Veil, a faculty which allows you to navigate the levels seeing otherwise hidden interdimensional passages . Specifically when you are facing a dead end, that's the time to activate the power. The parallel dimension is also inhabited by creatures like insects floating in the air, which you can shoot them explode, damaging the enemies around. Besides this, the Veil allows you to see the weaknesses of enemies large and armor, such as end-level bosses.
The second power works as a classic Bullet Time, slowing time and allowing us to literally move between a bullet and the other. Besides the fighting, this power is to be used to overcome some sections puzzle.

The third power is instead defined Shield, and only managed to gain a third of the game, while our enemies will use it for early stage: it bends the Veil and creates a temporary barrier that protects from any attack.
The last power will work in a mirror, allowing the player to penetrate the shield enemy.
The use of the talisman and the four powers is tied to a limited source of energy made explicit by a bar at the same, which can be recharged at specific points in the levels, highlighted by inter-dimensional flows are clearly visible.
The peculiarity of this item's latest Wolfenstein is the city of Eisenstadt, a kind of meta-level that serves as headquarters for undercover operations. Divided into districts, it allows to obtain each time a new mission to accomplish and forces the player to make his way through the streets infested with Nazi troops. In addition to new quests, the city is a base for the black market, where you can buy upgrades for weapons spending the money earned with the completion of missions. The fund upgrade proves interesting, allowing you to reinforce the very early versions of the weapons with standard viewfinders, suppressors and stabilizers that will also change its appearance.

As the meta-level represented by the city can give the impression of being faced with a partially open world structure, few missions will be enough to realize that in fact the march was instead completely linear, which no longer justifies the repeated crossing neighborhoods of the city constantly patrolled by the enemy, at this point becomes more of hindrance to the continuation of the story that the vehicle for a supposed freedom of action.


Given that Wolfenstein is a linear experience, a point is the wide variety of locations proposed, suggesting that vary with the pace of the war almost destroyed areas, rural areas in the open, vast underground caverns and finally the inevitable castle.
The pace is made lively by the constant flow of enemies that constantly present themselves to each new room or hallway and the many scripts that help make some very dramatic sequences. Speaking of enemies, they come in good variety, going from normal infantry soldiers equipped with the power shield and even armored units armed with guns and dangerous dematerializing Killer, with different powers arising from the Veil, such as an overspeed. Added to this are the Boss, who will present with the right cadence suggesting almost always the same mechanism, consisting in using the veil to identify weaknesses.
The Artificial Intelligence that moves the armies of the Third Reich has not been shown up to the standards of today: as some basic routines are present, such as coverage or launching grenades, enemies exploit little teamwork and their movement on the ground is most often clumsy and not very conscious.
Overall the single player campaign will keep you busy for about 6 to 8 hours, not great value especially considering the constant visits to the town of Eisenstadt, and as ineffective in terms of freedom of action could have been eliminating in favor of an approach decidedly more linear.
The entertainment offered is often beyond the exploration of the levels, just as the favored way to go is always an explicit and well only by a compass on the interface, and the ongoing massacre of the Nazis, recreational activities without doubt, but not enough to prop up its own production. The same level design reveals several lightness, starting from the parallel dimension of the Veil, useful only in a few occasions.

Compartment Multiplayer

Conditions do not improve the sector as well as multi player Team Deathmatch mode offers only targets where a team tries to hinder the other in completing a simple task, and stopwatch, where teams take turns trying to accomplish same goal as quickly as possible.
Overall, an offer poor, since even the very obvious downgrade made on the technical sector.

Tech sector

Id Tech 4 engine, already seen in Doom 3, reveals the weaknesses inherited from his age and poor optimization. As the level designs are able to propose some environments inspired, polygonal modeling dall'engine bid fails to make the structures and the possible course quite convincing, as it lacks realism in the reproduction of the characters on the screen.
The frame rate, steady at stages even more excited, undergoes significant drops during the use of the veil, explained by a view that was not desaturated obviously optimized.
The use of the Havok physics was handled in an arbitrary manner, presents doses active only on certain objects and surfaces, while others reveal inspeigabilmente indestructible. So although not optimal, it nevertheless increases the spectacle of certain sequences based on assorted explosives.

Last mention for the special effects, characterized by a rather primitive compartment lighting and particle effects for discrete control.
The audio is average for both the sound effects for the background music, now epic, now left.


Wolfenstein is a project full of interesting ideas that unfortunately lost because of apparent indecision and a lack of optimization in general. If the shortcomings of the graphics engine would be pardoned, those of the gameplay were so fatal to the entertainment offered, which fall below the alert level. To save us all think the intense phases of combat script, with the addition of futuristic weapons can undoubtedly entertain. The lack of longevity, combined with the industry lacks multiplayer, make it a product only recommended for hardcore fans of the saga, which may however remain burned in the reduced quality compared to the glorious "Return to Castle Wolfenstein", or those looking for a shooter immediately and without too many claims. For all others, it is more like an attempt to squeeze as hard as I can a historical license.
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