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SummaryLife is so fine with that sweet chaingun o' mine...
The GoodThis was it...the first ever FPS (first person shooter) I laid my eyes and hands on. This was also the one that started the FPS frenzy I now have. You could probably easily imagine it: here I was, with nothing but an old 386sx/20 Mhz IBM PS/2, equipped with one of the first-generation Sound Blaster cards, and here was a game that not only ran so smoothly that I couldn't believe it, but it pushed my hardware to its limits (and that's saying a LOT for back in 1992) and delivered everything that makes an awesome game...well, AWESOME.
But what was it that made Wolf3D such a joy to play? Well, like most other early FPS games, since the hardware was limited, the game couldn't be overly complex. But that's not just it. It's about the theme of this game. Being an escaped POW caught in the middle of the Nazi regime in World War II and getting to pay them back with a shower of bullets to the chest was just too sweet. I mean, what other game lets you actually kill Adolf Hitler and watch him collapse into a pile of bloody giblets? Wolf3D delivers that experience in its purest form: raw action. You run through Nazi strongholds, blasting anything that dares shoot you, and get that sweet sensation that you did your part to stop one of the most feared armies in history. Gameplay in Wolf3D really is simple: you can grab better weapons that just your simple pistol, solve a couple of small puzzles, and eventually blow away a huge Boss at the end of every episode. Four buttons to remember: fire, action, run, and strafe, plus your directions. That's it. The best part was its native support for the 4-button Gravis Gamepad, so if you had one of those, the controls became perfect and easy to use.
For the time that this was written, the graphics looked pretty damn good. Granted, now they would look like a joke, but back then a smooth-scrolling 256-color VGA game that was also 3D was a big, big thing. The sounds and music were also very well done. To make the environment feel more authentic, id made all of the dialogue German, and it gives me the chills sometimes when I'm walking through an empty hallway and a guard suddenly yells out "ACHTUNG!" behind my back. The music was also very good. Robert Prince's pieces fit in very well with the action, and most of the music was very "hummable", meaning you would still hear it in your head long after you stopped playing. Hell, 10 years later, I STILL hear some of that music in my head!
The BadWolf3D unfortunately doesn't run under Windows, and no one has ever ported the original game to Windows yet. However, there are TCs for DOOM II and Duke Nukem 3D that will bring you all the Wolf3D action with better engines.
The Bottom LineWolf3D, even 10 years later, still remains one of my favorite games ever. Although the game was remade (or is that given a sequel?) today as Return to Castle Wolfenstein, nothing will ever beat the original for its sheer action factor.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to blast a few more Nazi soldiers. Quoth the title of Episode 3, "Die, Fuhrer! Die!" ^_^