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Wolfenstein 3D (DOS)

Mature
ESRB Rating
Genre
Perspective
Theme
88
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  *Katakis* (37691)
Written on  :  Feb 04, 2005
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars

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Summary

Wenn Du nicht von dem Spiel in den letzten 22 Jahren geh├Ârt hast, wo bist Du gewesen?

The Good

Back in 1992, ID Software, with help from their friends from Apogee, were responsible for a new genre, known as the FPS, or First-Person Shooter. This genre involves the player going around a "map" (level) shooting anything that moves. Such as is the case with Wolfenstein 3-D (Wolf3D) where you play William J. (B.J.) Blazkowicz, a WWII spy who is sent to infiltrate the Nazi Fortress, Castle Holehammer, where word has it that the evil Dr. Schabbs is planning to build an entire army from dead bodies. Unfortunately, B.J. is captured and thrown in Castle Wolfenstein for interrogation and, eventually, execution.

Wolf3D is spread across six episodes: "Escape from Wolfenstein" tells the story of B.J. escaping from Castle Wolfenstein, whereas "Operation Eisenfaust" has B.J. killing an army of undead zombies and Schabbs himself. In "Die, Fuhrer, Die!", B.J. receives his task of a lifetime: Destroy Adolf Hitler, "A Dark Secret" has him finding "The Poison Maker", who plans to create chemical weapons, including the one most feared and used in WWII. "Trail of the Madman" has B.J. finding a person named Gretel Grosse, who has vital location information on Nazi secret bases. Finally, in "Confrontation", he must defeat the General (aka: Fatface), leader of the poison war. Each episode has 10 levels (9 normal levels and one secret level) and there is a boss waiting on the ninth. Each episode has new textures. When you defeat some bosses, you are allowed to see your boss die frame-by-frame with DeathCam.

As usual with any other game company, there are two versions of Wolf3D: Shareware and Commercial. The shareware version has only episode one, therefore you can't play the other five episodes unless you order the commercial version. Regardless of what version you have, the object in each level is to go around the map and shoot anybody you see, until you have reached the elevator which takes you up to the next level. By "anybody", I mean an assortment of enemies, such as guards, SS troopers, officers, dogs, and even undead zombies you first meet in episode two. Each enemy has their own weapons. For example, guards carry pistols, while SS troopers carry machine guns. The undead zombies, on the other hand, carry pistols that are mounted on their chests, and fire whenever they raise either of their hands. All of these enemies (except the zombies, which are silent killers) share their greetings whenever you approach them. These enemies, after their greetings, try their best to put a bullet in you. Everybody (except the zombies) in the same room as you will be alerted if you just happen to fire your weapon, and eventually find you. On later levels, you have to find one or two keys that will open the steel doors in the level.

Of course, you start each episode with 100% health, which means that you won't go down in one hit, but lose a bit of health. How much health depends on the difficulty setting you choose just before you play each episode. There are four settings to choose from. If you select "Can I play, Daddy?", your health will be depleted only a little bit when someone shoots you. The higher the difficult level, the more health that you will be wasting. If you select "I am Death Incarnate!", you really must learn to hide, so when an enemy peers around the corner from where you are hiding near, you can immediately put a bullet through them. Also, you can see B.J.'s face in the status bar. All he does is look left, right, and center; and the more health you lose, the more bloodier his face gets If you health does get low, you can find first-aid kits, trays of food, dog food, and pools of blood, and if you manage to find these, your health will be restored. You also start out with three lives, and you get more either by scoring 40,000 points, or get a "blue B.J. circle" (which is rare).

You always start each episode with a knife, but can carry up to three other weapons, including the pistol, the machine gun, and the chaingun. Sure, this is quite poor considering that the FPS's of today has more weapons like this, but you didn't get that opportunity in much, earlier games. As with any other gun, you need to get ammo, which can either be found lying around within the map, or lying around near a dead person when you kill them using any of the above weapons. When you get the chain gun, B.J.'s face will grin. In order to put your weaponry to good use, I suggest using your pistol if you come face-to-face with one or two enemies, and using the chain gun when you have a situation where you meet a lot of enemies (about ten at once).

Also, scattered around the maps are treasures, including the golden cross, treasure chest, chalice, and crown. Most of these are in secret areas, which you may find if you keep pushing every wall in the map (like you do to doors). This wastes some time in the level, but it is worth it if you are a gamer who likes to score points. It is quite rare in any episode that you will find an elevator in one of the secret areas. This elevator takes you to level ten - the level that you won't find normally. So far, the only secret elevator I discover was in episode five. Out of these secret levels, I like the one in episode three, level ten the best, what I like to call Pac-Wolf. This is where you play B.J.-Man. Here, you have to avoid the big Pac ghosts (can't be shot) while you search for the way out, and along the way you can collect a lot of chalices for a whole heap of points, but like any other level, you must also be on the look out for enemies.

When you complete each level, a statistics screen comes up that tells you the percentage of enemies, secret areas, and treasures that you have discovered in the level. You'll receive 10,000 bonus points for each area you get 100% on, and you also receive an extra 5,000 points for beating the game's par time.

The graphics are different for each episode. The enemies and bosses (at the end of each level) look quite nice. I loved the way the Nazis always look like cars when they are dead. Each enemy's AI is nice. They basically move around and shoot at you. But the bosses, each one of them has a different attack. Dr. Schabbs, for example, throws syringes at you, while Otto Giftmacher punches you with his huge metal fist.

Sound effects and music are excellent. When enemies see you, they make their own greeting sounds. You always know when an enemy is nearby, because when you shoot, they are alerted and walk in the direction that the shot came from. I enjoyed listening to the dying screams (which are different for Nazis). If users had a Sound Blaster installed in their machine, they could be able to hear all the digitized sound effects and awesome music. If not, the sound effects were twice as good when it was coming through the PC Speaker. If they had a SB Pro instead of a normal SB, then the sound effects would be enhanced. If you are far away, then the shot would be heard from a distance. However, if you get too close to an enemy, then the weapon's shots would be loud.

The Bad

Most of the levels consist of mazes, especially those huge ones in episode six. It's easy to get lost.

It would have been great if the game provided subtitles so you know what the enemies are saying. The only sound I can make out is that the SS troopers saying "My life!".

The Bottom Line

This game is rated PC-13 (profound carnage), a spoof of the PG-13 rating in the United States. Since Wolfenstein 3-D takes place sometime during WWII, this game should not be taken for real. There wasn't any undead zombies at the time. Hitler also didn't use machine guns to take out his enemies, nor did he wear a robot suit for extra protection, or was killed by a person who just happened to have a vendetta against him. I don't think defeating enemies with filled syringes was heard off, either.

Overall, Wolfenstein 3-D is a nice game with plenty of action. If you like 3D shooters and haven't played Wolf3D yet, then get this game. You will love it.