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Return to Castle Wolfenstein (Windows)

Mature
ESRB Rating
Genre
Perspective
Theme
86
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Dr.Bedlam (53)
Written on  :  Dec 23, 2002
Platform  :  Windows

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Summary

Not QUITE a classic... but quite good.

The Good

RTCW's enemy AI is brilliant; in the single-player game, enemies act intelligently, and in concert with each other, making for a challenging experience. Levels are set up strategically -- it'll take some thinking to work around some of the missions! The plot involves Nazi mysticism, steampunk supersoldiers, and zombies... what's not to like?

Oh, and a survival horror game with GOOD voice acting? Wow. That's almost a violation of some law...

The Bad

Some of the weaponry is remarkably unrealistic -- torch someone with a flamethrower, he'll simply sit there unruffled and shoot back at you until he dies. For that matter, you can do the same thing... making the flamethrower effectively useless, except against zombies (the enemies that can't shoot at you). The Tesla Gun, in the hands of a level boss, can kill you from so far away you can't even SEE who's shooting you... but when YOU get it, it's a remarkably short-range gadget, and not at all reliable.

For a game that plainly had so much thought in the level design, I found the "level bosses" to be remarkably vanilla... Big Bad Uglies that require you to pound on them unmercifully until they die. In the meantime, they'll kill you five or six times, so make sure to save... whoopee. In this day and age, I expected something more akin to Half-Life, as opposed to an updated "level boss" system.

The single player game is remarkably short, finishable in under ten hours without much stress. Given the cost of the game and the hype, I (again) expected more.

The Bottom Line

A fine, if short, WWII themed shooter, with lots of fiction/horror mixed in. Skip the level bosses, and it's a great, strategic, thinking man's game. More than worthwhile, once the price drops a bit...