Return to Castle Wolfenstein
While the single player game is good, multiplayer innovation makes it a classic!
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I truly feel that this should be thought of as an online game that happens to have a single player component, and not the other way around. The multiplayer game out shines everything else in this package. There is no death match option, but only team based play. Every well designed and expansive map pits the Allies against the Axis in a timed race to complete a variety of objectives. Some maps will have teams fighting for control of a number of flags scattered about the map. Others require one team to infiltrate an enemy held area, and recover some object, or destroy a target.
The four different types of players add a great deal more depth and realism to the multiplayer experience. Rather than having weapons and health laying around for the picking, what weapons and health you start with is all you get. And no lugging around 9 different weapons. You choose a primary weapon at the outset, and besides a pistol, a few grenades, and a knife, that is all you have. If you are running low on ammo you must ask a Lieutenant for more. Low on health? You had better hope to run into a Medic to patch up your wounds. If there is a door, wall, or piece of artillery to be destroyed, only the Engineers will be carrying the necessary dynamite and tools. The fourth player type, the Soldier, is the only class capable of carrying specialized or heavier weapons, such as the sniper rifle and the flamethrower. Because of the four distinct roles players must assume, teamwork is an absolute necessity in a way that it has never been in any multiplayer shooter before.
The games graphics are very nice, and run smoothly (on a relatively modest system) even with many of the visual bells and whistles turned on. The enemy AI is pretty good for the most part, but nothing amazing. The enemies themselves are interesting and varied. You fight everything from your standard Nazi soldiers, to zombies, skeletons, and leaping electrically charged Nazi cyborgs. You also have a nice variety of WWII era weapons... and some not-so-WWII-era weapons.
The single player game left one wanting something more. It's a good FPS, as far as they go, but certainly nothing ground breaking in the way of gameplay. All the storys' content about the occult and the undead may be a turn-off to players looking for a more authentic feeling WWII shooter. This is certainly not a game that will gain praise for it's historical accuracy. After all, none of the Nazis seem to have ever learned to speak German.
The Bottom Line
This is a 'must purchase' for any fan of team based multiplayer first person shooters such as 'Counter-Strike'. If you don't like playing shooters online, this might be the game to change your mind. If you are a big FPS fan in general and are looking for a new set of enemies to gun down and missions to complete, this should provide an adequate amount of enjoyment.