Written by  :  Chris Ashford (4)
Written on  :  Jul 19, 2009
Platform  :  PlayStation 3
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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A perfect port of the classic PC game

The Good

This is a port of Wolfenstein 3D for download on the PS3's Playstation Network. First of all, this is a flawless port of the original PC version of the game. With several other ports of this game already in existence, the choice to use the original as a basis could be viewed as either good or bad, but for now I will detail the positive aspects.

All of the levels are included, and playable through the same 6-episode format as the original. The graphics are exactly as they were in the original, although now the game can be viewed in up to 1080p resolution, which doesn't do too much for the game other than make edges look smoother and things at distances look much clearer. Although the graphics engine is clearly dated at this point, I still remain impressed at the work id has done in overcoming the limitations of the time. Walls had to placed in blocky patterns, and there were no three-dimensional objects, but the level designers were very good at making rooms look like they should, adding sprites like tables and hanging chandeliers in dining rooms, skeletons and pools of blood in the prison cells, and even toilets and sinks in the bathrooms. A great variety in sprites and wall textures ensured that rooms never looked boring.

Even more importantly, the levels were fun to play. Each level had an interesting design, taking the player through numerous rooms looking for keys, treasures, and eventually the exit. The designers were very clever in placing enemies in spots where they could surprise you, and secret walls in every level will lead you to extra treasures, health and weapons, or secret levels.

The music and sound effects are also emulated perfectly, heard exactly as they were on the SoundBlaster PC card way back in 1992.

The Bad

As much as I dislike punishing a game for things it DOESN'T do, I feel that in this case, the missed opportunities will be this game's greatest weakness. As I said earlier, this is a flawless port of the original PC version. Only a couple minor differences (1080p resolution and controls that mimic those of modern first-person shooters) separate the two versions. In the time since the original was released back in 1992, many other ports were made for a number of different systems, many of which included improvements, such as larger sprites and textures, extra weapons, and a map screen. None of these improvements, however, will be found in this port. Also, other than HD resolution, the game does not use the powers of the PS3 to enhance any aspect of the game. Now, to fans of Wolfenstein 3D, including myself, this port is a wonderful homage to the original, but it would have been nice to have an updated version alongside it as well.

My only gripes about the original game are that after a while, the gameplay gets a bit repetitive. The levels, although quite varied, tend to have a lot of similar looking rooms. Also, there could have been a few more enemies; you've seen all of them by the third episode, other than the bosses.

The Bottom Line

Anyway, what this game IS is a perfect port of the original game that everyone loved. Wolfenstein 3D is a classic, and a truly great game, one that everyone should experience, especially fans of first-person shooters. Overall, this port's shortcomings aren't enough to prevent this game from being an enjoyable experience, even over fifteen years after the original's release.