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Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Game of the Year (Windows)

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4.0
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Written by  :  MAT (69771)
Written on  :  Aug 30, 2003
Rating  :  4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars

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Summary

Breathtaking experience... but sadly, a little more than just that.

The Good

This is by far the best technically achieved shooter to date. Not to mention that aside the fact graphic looks extremely detailed and wonderful, this game runs more than fine on some older machines. Let's be serious, it's hard to play some FPS nowadays unless you have a decent upgrade on your computer. Well, this game will allow you hours of fun without an upgrade of a sort.

This game gives you a feeling of a World War II on a slightly higher scale... you get to know a bit more about all those lunatics than you'd just want to shoot. But no doubt, everything about WWII looks great, from enemy soldiers, their AI, vehicles, structures, U-boats, planes, weapons, and the atmosphere is just plain ultimate and very authentic.

Well balanced background music nicely boosts up the atmosphere while the sounds are fine and versatile. But sound effects aren't the only ones good here, even better are the graphic effects (think of a scene when tank destroys the church tower, or when the experimental jet fighter does a loop towards the sky). The game gives you plenty of variety in level design so you won't much feel like walking over the same terrain (unless when you'll be thrown back at that very same terrain), and it's neat to see certain tricks such as shooting through the wooden floor or ceiling, making it collapse to gain a passage.

The game starts very intense and creepy, and promises to give you such a great story... but that's just what it promises. It doesn't go too well into direction towards being so good. Still, it doesn't leave you empty-handed. Every level is a new experience, tactical as well as full of fun, but that is as long as WWII is concerned. But then you get to see the real face of Id Software... *sigh*....

The Bad

It wouldn't be Id Software and it wouldn't be crap if it weren't for the same creators that don't care about anything but the graphic. No doubt, game is perfect in many aspects, but imitating Doom and Quake during WWII is where it comes to worse. It all seemed so possible until you get to confront minions of the undead warlord and hordes or skeletons. The thing is, most of those supersoldiers and what not is impossible to kill (or destroy, assuming they may already be dead to some point) without getting wounded. And that is a fact. And more to the fact, that is simply unacceptable! To make an opponent which you cannot whack without getting seriously wounded yourself. Those floating lighting creatures come to mind. The best weapon cannot destroy them before they reach you, and their speed is simply too boosted.

This game seriously screws things up with adding anything but WWII, but with Id it was only to expect, and as much as this thing will annoy you, some of the levels are seriously well done. So, if you wanna experience some of the best parts in the history of FPS games, bite the bullet and risk playing crappy levels aside. That's the only way to enjoy this game, you gotta play it all, or none. It still beats the crap out of Allied Assault bigtime.

The Bottom Line

I was really skeptical towards this game, especially since knowing how Id Software cannot do anything without adding some monsters on the scene. I wasn't wrong about that hunch in this game, either. This game so strongly depicts the best you could experience in a WWII first-person shooter, but they just had to add everything to make this game look close to Quake. But okay, majority still resides on fighting the nazis, so guess this can be tolerated... still, they did it a bit too much.

They said X Files meets WWII, and that may as well be close to unraveling the truth behind this game, 'cos X Files series did become worst in due time, and this game goes a little too far into supernatural. But even still, this game may guarantee some fun on a ground level, and is definitely the finest product that ever came out of Id Software, but I'm just as well very close to saying 'only one'. World War II is majority in this game, the rest is to add a point to the story that would be able to become as standalone and interesting even if there would be no WWII. But since it is time of WWII, the game takes good advantage of it to turn it into even more creepy story with lots of ammo rounds included.

Additional great thing about this GOTY version is that you get some behind-the-scenes concept, and lots of additional itzy-bitzy thingies one may care to appreciate. For the same price, it's still better than getting original one, isn't it? Plus you get the original Wolfenstein 3D in case you may skipped that masterpiece decade ago. It's a worthy package, that's for sure.