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PC, Playstation 3, XBox 360

Reviewed on: PC

Raven Software/id Software
Publisher: Activision
Rated: "M" for Mature

CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
CHEATfactor: 6

Let’s get this out of the way -- Wolfenstein is a decent first person shooter. But in this generation of breathtaking visuals, revolutionary concepts and advancing technologies, just how far does decent get you?  Wolfenstein does a lot of good, but it just doesn’t do anything great or new, and with so many superior first-person shooters available, it’s hard to recommend.

Of course, gamers who have been around for a while know that Wolfenstein is no newcomer to the video game world. Castle Wolfenstein; the series’ first entry was released way back in 1981 and is considered to be one of the founding fathers of the FPS genre. This new Wolfenstein is a direct sequel to 2001’s Return to Castle Wolfenstein (got all that?) and follows franchise hero B.J. Blazkowicz as he fights alongside The Allies to stop Hitler and The SS from obtaining an occult force known as The Black Sun.

The story is interesting and creatively blends actual occurrences from WWII with a pretty deep fictional storyline, but it tends to feel so uninspired at times – I mean, let’s face it, using Hitler as your antagonist is a risky move;  no one’s going to let him win, so the plot twists themselves become far more important than the ending. Wolfenstein both succeeds and fails at this, as certain points will have you on the edge of your seat while others will have you grimacing with embarrassment at just how predictable they are.

"Not only is there no cover system, there’s no way to peek around corners..."


Gameplay wise, Wolfenstein is your standard shooter – and I do mean standard. You’ll run, you’ll gun – you’ll take no cover. The action in Wolfenstein is so basic at times you’ll feel like you’ve popped one of the series older entries in. Not only is there no cover system, there’s no way to peek around corners or take your enemies by surprise. What takes the place of all these elements is your ability to enter a new dimension called “The veil.” To be honest; it’s Bullet time – but it works well enough to look past it. Using Veil, you’ll be able to run faster, and highlight your enemies, making them easier to take out.  There’s also these weird little ghost things that fly around in The Veil and they’ll do damage to your enemies if you handle them the right way but more often than not you’re just  going to be so confused at their presence that you’ll miss the chance to do anything useful with them.

The really cool thing about the Veil is that much like the game’s weapons, it can be upgraded. Most games which use a bullet time effect leave it at that – an effect, but Wolfenstein treats it more as a tool that you can use if you’re a fan or ignore if you’d rather just go in using your bullets. Eventually, after enough upgrades you’ll be able to reverse the flow of time – reversing your enemy’s particle structure and turning them into dust in the process.

The problem with this is that portions of the game are so frustrating that they seem damn near impossible to pass without using The Veil’s abilities. Wolfenstein subscribes to the theory that numbers mean strength and they’ll throw tons of enemies your way at one time and some of them have some pretty cheap attacks that you can’t guard against and kill you with one hit. Frustrating? Yeah, incredibly.

That’s not to say that your enemies have been endowed with brains though; Oh no, these soldiers are your typical Nazi numbskull henchmen who are so dumb it’s quite funny.  You can literally throw a grenade at their feet and often they won’t even budge – they’ll just keep shooting. What’s more, some of the enemies must have been out sick on the day they were supposed to learn about preserving their own lives as they’ll literally jump in front of your bullets. It’s a very good thing that the weapons are very fun and satisfying as you’ll be using a lot of them.

"Wolfenstein’s boss battles require you to think before taking action.."


If Wolfenstein had a saving grace, it would undoubtedly be the epic boss battles. Rather than the typical shoot the weak spot boss battles we’ve seen in game after game lately, Wolfenstein’s boss battles require you to think before taking action and more often than not will require the usage of one or more Veil powers to conquer. Defeating these bosses feels incredibly rewarding and each battle is filled with enough drama to keep you playing through the not so exciting parts just to get to the next boss.

Visually, there’ not much to write home about with Wolfenstein  – especially in the cutscenes.  Characters move incredibly rigid and the voice acting is quite sub-par at best. The environmental effects and The Veil are pretty cool looking, but they just seem out of place when looking at the rest of the game.

Wolfenstein is a good first-person shooter, but everything it does right is done so much better by other titles that it becomes hard to recommend. Fans of the series will appreciate the title as an addition to the franchise, but others may find it a suitable time waster at best. 



CHEATS USED: Unlimited Money, Unlimited Grenades

Some of the enemies in Wolfenstein have attacks that are so unfair it’ll drive you crazy with frustration. Why not level the playing field? The cheats available at Cheat Happens are quite fun and add an incredible amount of fun to the game.  Two favorites of mine are the unlimited money cheat to upgrade your weapons and the unlimited grenades cheat (because really, who doesn’t like sending Nazi’s flying).



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