Review by The President
"Why would any PC gamer not get it?"
Return to Castle Wolfenstein brought back memories of playing Wolfenstein 3-D, one of the first and greatest 1st-person shooters ever. That was a long time ago. Now, with the release of the 2nd installment, RTCW delivers. Just to let you know, I usually do not like 1st-person shooters. In fact, I hate most with a passion. It takes a very good game like this to reconsider my ways of hating 1st-person shooters. The only 1st person shooters I like are GoldenEye, Doom 2, and this. I find that some aspects could be worked on (like the story, they could of made it a bit more real to life) but some parts should be left alone (the multiplayer is one of the best I have ever seen) and some should be tweaked just a little (making the person with the Panzerfaust just a wee bit faster!)
One thing about this is that I shall try to appeal to the casual gamer, who does not spend a bunch a money on a video card just to see some slight improvement, but who plays not all the time, but will want to see some Nazis get splattered. I will not talk about what computer I played it on and only about the game and how good it is.
You are a US (or allied) soldier, stuff in a castle named Wolfenstein. You are trying to get out, and you have no help from your country at all. That’s all I’m going to say about the story, because people do not like spoilers. You have a wide selection of weapons to choose from. They range from Glocks to Dynamite to a huge Gatling Gun called the Venom. You can carry every weapon at a time and that is a bunch of weapons. In Multiplayer, you can choose to play as an Allied or a Axis along with most of the weapons in single player (not all, but most) and they give you a mission to do. In a Beach level, if you are the Allied, you must get into the Axis and radio headquarters about documents, while the Axis must protect those documents from being transmitted. Exciting stuff! Each mission has a time limit. If you do not finish in that time limit, the person that is trying to protect something (or has more flags, etc.) shall win. No matter how much you play the multiplayer, it will not get boring or dull quickly, while the single will (I altogether stopped playing it.) You can find an endless amount of fun to play with multiplayer, like joining a clan, or you can sample 4 types of characters to choose from. The soldier, who can use all the heavy weapons (like the flamethrower and sniper rifle.) The Medic, who can heal with med packs and can revive fallen comrades, The Engineer, who can use the dynamite and the most grenades (that’s why I pick him the most,) and the Lieutenant, who can give ammo to everyone and throw smoke to show where the planes to drop the bombs. Well, enough about the modes, on to the review!
These are some of best graphics I have seen on a finished PC title. Everything looks like it should be, except they jiggle your view much too much when you are near a explosion, so you get disorientation for a couple of seconds in which you normally get shot and killed in. Would I call that graphics? Some people wouldn’t but I would, because everything becomes sort of blurred like in a real battle, when a huge amount of dirt or sand gets in your face, and then the enemy charges. You get some sort of trail of smoke from your panzerfaust and a large amount of graphical showmanship when you use a flamethrower. When you have over 30 people playing in multiplayer and a bunch of explosions and fire is around you, and a plane is about to drop some bombs on you, that shows the raw crunching power of what this game can make. Each weapon is done to their fullest, showing each detail, to how the gun is shot and how you hold it. I also like how they set everything up graphical wise on the starting screens and the cut scenes. But, I find that most of the game is dark, which, if you have a dark screen, should limit your playing. However, you could just turn the brightness up, so it shouldn’t be a problem. Just remember to turn it back down after your done playing.
When you look around at the Wolfenstein environments, you can see that they are filling with a bunch of rocks, dirt, and overall debris. This shows that the people who worked on this put in some homework on what was around in WW2 and what obstacles where in the way (like the huge X iron bars and barbed wire, that sort of thing) or they watched a bunch of Patton and Saving Private Ryan and such. If you see that you are really take a good look when your not being cased by Nazis, that you feel like you are World War 2, fighting against all odds. It’s a cool feeling.
This is a standard 1st-person shooter with a twist. You must really learn to cooperate with your teammates, unlike in other game that rely on just killing and capturing the flag. In this you have real missions, and you feel like the whole world rests on your shoulders. You can’t expect to come in with a pistol and kill everyone like in Unreal Tournament (which I have done.) You need to pay attention to the AI in the game because they might show you a trick or two in which you did not know who to do. The Multiplayer is one of the best I have seen in years, bringing hundreds of servers along with thousands of Wolfenstein players to interact and shoot the other people until they die and then plant a grenade on them so they can’t be brought back by medics. You run, jump, shoot, and raise hell. What can’t be bad about that! Even though that is what happens in most games like this, nothing brings it together like this and wraps it up into a neat little red bow. Of course, the bow is flaming, just to show our warlike nature. If you want to play this game, go for the other person’s jugular. Just to make sure that them Axis don’t come and steal your blue flag. And Vice Versa for the Axis. If you want a game that has a bunch of blood, patriotism, and a bunch of explosions caused by guns and the like, you would like this game. Unless you somehow find out that when you play just single-player it turns out to be worse than multi-player, so you better have a fast connection ready if you really want to get the true enjoyment of the game.
You get to hear all the sound effects and the background music are all done beautifully. To hear a beautiful piano tune while bombs go off around you are your online clan mate just got blown to smithereens brings so much contrast that I almost cried. The explosions around give off a cone of sound, and you hear the difference when a rocket is far off or right next to you. It sounds like the old Loony Toons cartoons with the roadrunner and the coyote, when he falls off a cliff. Brings back old memories, to hear that sound again. Of happiness when you sat in your pajamas watching Saturday mourning cartoons. Except now you are strafing to the left to avoid being hit by loads of fire and shrapnel. Also, in multiplayer, you can give automated responses that make a voice like “Path cleared” or “two minutes, let’s wrap it up!” Each voice can be heard differently by each type of character you are playing as, and you also have the blam of guns and the fire shooting sound from a flamethrower, but what you want are they grenade blast. They make such a nice exploding sound, and that is why I like picking engineers (they come with the most grenades.) The sound is crisp and clear as anything you would hear in real life, and when you hear people talking from far away, you hear the radio static. As close to real as you can get.
Fun Factor: 10
I love playing this game anytime, anywhere, anyplace. You can move around as much as you want in a level, without any restriction (unless you count the end of a level) and can do as much as you want if you have enough life, ammo, and real good aiming ability. You could take down a bunch if you plant a well placed air attack or grenade. Just remember to play as hard as you can, and don’t kill your own teammates. They have a system that you can complain about team killing and if the other people in your team want you out, you go. Not the fun you were expecting, but you can see why the people would do it.
The Single player mode wears of after you beat it a couple of times and searches ever nook and cranny, but multiplayer has unlimited capability to bring home what people want: a fun time. Always pick a good name in multiplayer. For me, I’m always Dodd. If you want, you could make it as funny or as serious a name as you want. Just remember to cut loose and have fun.
Buy or Rent?
Why would you not buy this game, even though the price may seem a bit much comparing it with the other games in the market. You will find that the game keeps with want you want and will never tire, unless you go on a 3 day Wolfenstein marathon without draining any bodily wastes. That will not be fun and mostly be messy afterwards. So, like the casual gamer, don’t go on a playing spree for 7 hours, otherwise you will get bored. And what fun would the game be after that?
Fun Factor: 10
Reviewer’s Score: 10/10
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 05/07/02, Updated 05/07/02
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