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Wolfenstein Review

Discussion in 'Games' started by TheMailMan78, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. TheMailMan78

    TheMailMan78 Big Member

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    WOLFENSTEIN
    History doesn't always repeat.
    by TheMailMan78
    August 20, 2009 - Its been years since I played the original Wolfenstein 3D on my friends old 286. Back in 1992 the term "First Person Shooter" hadn't even been conceived yet. All I knew as a 13 year old boy was shooting little Nazis gave me a warm feeling. Kinda like seeing my friends sister in a training bra for the first time. I mean it was so cool to look out of the eyes of the one and only William "B.J." Blazkowicz instead of all the cheesy 2D side scrollers I had grown accustom to in the days of the 16-bit revolution.

    Wolfenstein 3D was in fact "revolutionary" and remains to be the "Godfather" of all FPS style games. So with this kinda pedigree behind it I assumed Raven softwares latest reincarnation of Wolfenstein 3D titled simply "Wolfenstein" was set to please. After all iD software wouldn't allow Raven to soil the name that pioneered the FPS style game would it? Lets have a look and see shall we?

    Installation and Interface:
    Wolfensteins installation went smooth and had all the normal things happen. Punkbuster, DirectX and everything else thats normally needed to play a PC game. There was in fact no pesky DRM which I was happy to see and instead uses a normal old school serial number. Once everything was installed and I had defragged my rig I found the game had installed shortcuts into my Vista "Games" link found on the start menu. I really like this and to this day I cannot understand why more developers ignore that little organization gem Vista provides. Moving on I start the game and I am greeted with a very simple splash screen that simply says "Wolfenstein". So far so good. Edit: The game does in fact use SecuROM 7. I am sorry I missed this but thank you to Fordconcept for pointing it out.

    Once we get by all the manufacture ads I am finally lead to the games main menu. This is where some things started bothering me. The title screen was very underwhelming and the graphic options leave very little to be adjusted. The control settings are obviously setup by default to use a 360 controller. This is a bad start for a guy like me. Wolfenstein should be a PC game first and foremost. Its where it was born and should stay.

    Adding support for a 360 controller is one thing. Making it the default is a slap in the face. None the less I struggled on and set up my controls. When I escaped back to the main menu I was greeted with a pop-up telling me there was in fact a new version of the game ready to be downloaded and was asking me if I would like to do so. I did and the damn thing patched up without me having to restart the application! How awesome is that? I wish more games were this way.

    Graphics and Sound:
    Some people say that gameplay is the most important part of a game and that graphics are just "eye candy" and don't make the game. These same guys usually have GPUs that could render Toy Story in real time. Hypocrites. If this were true we would all still be playing Pac-Man. Graphics are just as important as any other ingredient of a game. Without decent graphics you will lose atmosphere and in a game like Wolfenstein thats instant death. With this being said my hopes of Wolfenstein having state of the art graphics were in fact small.

    The game was developed using a quickly being dated engine called "Tech 4". Also known as the "Doom 3" engine. iD software usually develops on a 5 year cycle. Every few years John Carmack (iD Software Co-Founder) wows the world with his new game engines and technological feats. Tech 4 engine was no different......5 years ago. Today the Tech 4 engine still shines and hangs with the best of them if given to the right studio. Its also got a nice thing going for it since its so old. Compatibility and scaling. Anyone with a computer thats two years old should be able to push this engine and get decent frame rates. However for the sake of the review this is what I ran Wolfenstein on.

    AMD Phenom II 720 X3 @ 3.45GHz
    MSI DKA790GX Platinum
    4 gigs PC 8500 Patriot "Viper"
    Dual Asus EAH4850 "Top" in Crossfire.
    On Board Realtek 7.1 HD
    Corsair TX750 watt
    Vista Home Premium 64bit

    The game on my rig ran as smooth a butter. So good in fact that I got tearing in the picture when it was maxed out. I ended up turning vertical sync on. The game opens with a typical CG using a very Indiana Jones esque style. Perfect for a game like Wolfenstein. Why you ask? Because yes this is about World War 2 and the ultimate bad guys "Nazis" but its not meant to be serious. Just think B-movie when you play the game. It will make more sense to you.

    In game the graphics hold the same style as the CG which is to be expected nowadays. The textures and lighting are very atmospheric and the character models have some really nice animations to them. In fact I once shot a Nazis leg off and he started hopping around on one foot for a good 3 seconds before falling over dead! Kick ass! One thing that Raven added to Wolfenstein that hadn't been done before was they added the ability to aim down the sights of the gun. This was a warm welcome for me. Ever since I got a good taste of that in the original Call of Duty FPS games seem incomplete without it. Overall the graphics while not great were in fact good and do more than enough to get the point across.

    The music in this game is top notch. Nothing fancy but it fits the mood of the game perfectly. It can be very subtle orchestra music all the way to a blaring symphony. Very cool and sometimes creepy. The sound effects are nothing out of this world but serve the game well. Barrels exploding, guys yelling and such sound fine. The only complaint I have is with some of the gun blasts. This is something personal for me. I in fact have shot most of the weapons of the game in real life. I have high expectations for the "pop" of a gun in a game. Wolfenstein was a let down for me in this arena. For most it wont matter but for me its irritating. The voice acting is a riot. Its not bad Japanese style acting but more of a Joe Bob Briggs b-movie style voice acting. Again this is the style of the game and it works well.

    Gameplay and Multiplayer:

    Remember how I bitched about the 360 controller being the default? Get ready for some more bitching. The default controls suck and whatever you set walk to is also "up" in the menu. I like to use my mouse for walking so whenever I click on a menu item the damn selection moves up. Most people won't notice this but for the few that may its very annoying. In the game however it won't matter. Everything there is pretty straight forward. Primary and secondary fire. Strafing and crouching. The usual.

    A good feature that Raven added to the Tech 4 engine was a more extreme "bob" to the player when running and walking. This really added to the game. It kinda feels like your a camera man in a movie running. Very cool. Another thing Raven did is add the "Veil". It allows you to switch between dimensions and do stuff you can't do in the mortal world. Super speed and passing through matter are just a few of the things you can do in game. It really adds to the atmosphere also. However I won't go into detail because its tightly knitted into the plot.

    The game itself has a free flow system which makes the game kinda unilinear. You can pick and choose where you want to go and what missions you want to complete. Kinda like Far Cry 2 but you are confined to one city. Once you accept a mission from a plot member they mark it on your map and you make your way across town to the mission. Usually there is a truck there waiting to take you to a remote location not in the city. Dig Sites, Churches and such.

    Once you complete the level you go back to one of the bases and pick up some plot twists and on to the next mission. I know it sounds repetitive but its not. Raven did a good job keeping things interesting. One thing they did is added a weapon perk system. All the gold you find along with missions get you money. You can use this money to buy most anything you want for your gun collection. Drum magazines, bayonets etc. Its a small feature but it does in fact add to the game. I like it as an addition to the Wolfenstein series.

    Now to the section many of you have been asking about. How is the multiplayer?! Well in a word I would say its sucks. It doesn't even feel like the single player game in any way shape or form. I now see why the studio that was in charge of the multiplayer portion of the game was fired right after release. It brings nothing new to the series. In fact they even used the same sound effect as Enemy Territory! There are only a few objective maps and they get boring fast.

    Another thing they did is put the player cap at 16. What year is this 1999? What made things really sad is they added a perk system with persistent stats and everything. I doubt many people will play this long enough to "unlock" all the weapon upgrades but if you invest enough time you can build one hell of a weapon. Not that you can use it because the game only allows one perk per weapon at a time. This worked in Call of Duty 4 because the gun perks were complemented with other things like air strikes and UAVs. All you have here is the option to ether have extra ammo OR a optical sight. Just not both at the same time.

    What the hell was iD and Raven thinking with this portion of the game. They really could have put Wolfenstein back on the map but not only did they drop the ball but stomped on it. Some however enjoy the game. When I was in the servers online I asked around and believe it or not some people loved it. However most didn't. For me they multiplayer is crap. For you it maybe gold. To each there own.

    Conclusion:
    Over all I enjoyed Wolfensteins single player. Its got a unique charm to it. The game for me doesn't live up to its heritage but honestly I didn't expect it to. iD supported the game but did not develop it. It was developed by Raven. Personally I'm not a big fan of Raven since what they did to Quake 4. Wolfenstein is a better game and Raven while not making the game great did in fact make a good game.

    For my budget minded readers I would hold off on paying full retail. The game is good but not worth the full price. Wait till its in the bargain bin because the replay is absolutely zero. Anyway I hope you guys enjoyed reading my review and if you have any questions feel free to ask.

    Screens:
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    Disclaimer: This review is the opinion of one member of TPU, TheMailMan78 and does not in fact represent the opinions or beliefs of TPU or its respected owner and advertisers.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2009
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  2. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    need more pictures :D
     
  3. TheMailMan78

    TheMailMan78 Big Member

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    Ill add some but I didn't think with all the screens we have it needed them.
     
  4. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    a pic or two of what the game looks like (SP vs MP?)

    screenshot of the in game video options?
     
  5. TheMailMan78

    TheMailMan78 Big Member

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    Will do! However it will have to wait until tomorrow. Its 2am here :laugh:
     
  6. Solaris17

    Solaris17 Creator Solaris Utility DVD

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    amazing review.
     
  7. BazookaJoe

    BazookaJoe

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    Iv Played it...

    The Graphics are hardly any better than "Return to castle Wolfenstein"

    Polygon counts where low - Texture detail was not so hot at all - and the engine relies SOLELY on pixel shaders, bloom & fog, to distract you from the faults & blur everything to the extent that you cant notice any glitches.

    Wet & rusted metal, as is becoming standard, has a shiny- slimy alien skin bump/light map on it for no apparent reason - But there is a GOOD explanation for all of this

    This is a CONSOLE GAME and anyone looking for a PC GAME ,must not waste their time.

    Aiming is just a theory - it's almost impossible to die - you cant precision hit anything because, as is also becoming more popular, IRONSTIGHTS block off the entire screen and you cant see jack when you try and boom headshotsz...

    Not that it matters, this is a CONSOLE GAME, so again aiming means nothing - why where you bothering to try in the first place?

    This is a Story on a train-track - and they may as well replace most of the game play with "Wiggle stick now to see next cut scene"

    You can literally run around for 10 minutes in a room full of enemy's and not die. (Seriously - try it at home) - Without "Life" there becomes very little point to even continue interacting with the product at all, unless you are really that interested in watching the rest of the story.

    It's a GREAT console game - and I think the Console Level games will really enjoy it. On a TV the GFX will look great, and with auto aim and infinite life - everyone will be able to enjoy the full story.


    It's a horribly incompetent PC game. And such a waste of effort & potential. I would have thought after the resounding success of titles such as S.T.A.L.K.E.R. that game producers would have realized that a PC gamer requires something a little more intelligent & refined, at least as far as input and control is concerned. Fear of death, and ability to chose where & when you shoot are pivotal components in a PC shooters ability to draw a player into the story, and make them genuinely relate to their character, and this title attempts to forge ahead without either.

    Good luck.

    Edit : This is also ONLY my personal opinion, that I do not expect anyone to respect. I don't like Hanna Montanna either - but look how much money that BS makes. Perhaps this kind of useless gameplay is intended for Hanna fans? They clearly represent a large market...
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2009
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  8. phanbuey

    phanbuey

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    great review... I like that you compare it to fc2 but say it isnt repetitive, makes me want to play this game.

    :toast:
     
  9. laszlo

    laszlo

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    nice review;maybe i missed but you don't mentioned what res you play? (22"Acer or 52" Sharp)
     
  10. Kenshai

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    Joe, mind me asking what difficulty you were playing it on?
     
  11. BazookaJoe

    BazookaJoe

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    Well for the purpose of general review NORMAL - but its not about difficulty - you have NO LIFE...

    If you get hit enough, phantom blood splats form around you and all you have to do is take cover for a bit and they vanish... and you are 100% again.

    WTF? , But as I also said its a console mechanic for console gamers - it's impossible to play a shooter accurately with a joystick no matter how convinced you are that you can, and infinitely regenerating health is how a console deals with this fact, giving you far more space to try and point your kill stick in the vague direction of your enemy, and wait for auto-aim to do the rest.

    It's GREAT... for a console. A Seasoned BF2/STALKER vet will never be able to accept it. This game should have just stuck to consoles as was clearly its intended Initial design, instead of dumping a last-minute port of the console version to a PC. Its a perfectly fine console game, but it has no legs to stand on as a PC game, and unless they where going to do a PROPER PC conversion they should have just left well enough alone.

    Edit : Don't mind me anywase - I'm just grumpy because their trailers had me so ampe'd and when I got a chance to play it, it was like getting spat in the face, after playing things like (again for example) STALKER that where so fantastically well implemented as far as interface and immersion where concerned.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2009
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  12. Kenshai

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    On the higher difficulties a single hit can and will kill you based on where it hits you. This lack of a health bar is nothing new, lots of games currently use it.

    Aiming works fine, Iron Sight is nothing new. Means that people can't run and shoot from hip with pinpoint accuracy.

    Graphics aren't as bad as you're saying, comparing to Return to Castle Wolfenstein is pretty much absurd.


    Edit: I'll admit the videos made it appear more bad ass than it currently is at the point in the game where I'm at.
     
  13. tzitzibp

    tzitzibp New Member

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    interesting read!
    @TheMailMan78, thanks for the insight shared. This was a complete review and persuaded me to give it a go.
     
  14. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    I stopped by to troll about how gameplay IS more important than graphics, but whatever. Nicely done! :)
     
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  15. TheMailMan78

    TheMailMan78 Big Member

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    I played it on the Acer 22" 1680 x 1050.

    Joe this game was and never will be STALKER. Its a different style of game. As for the difficulty Ill disagree. Put the difficulty on "Death Incarnate" and run around a room full of Nazis and let me know how that works out. As for the graphics they are on par with Doom 3. You know the engine it was based off of? ;) Anyway like I said this is a good game. Just not worth full retail IMHO.

    Thanks for not being a troll in my first review. I expect you to troll my second. If not Ill be disappointed :toast: :laugh:
     
  16. KieranD

    KieranD

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    Sounds like a rehash of return to castle wolfenstien while it was good back then it kinda doesn't live up to it now, i hope to god its not a rehash and that im mistaken!

    Graphics are okay, do the job. The textures to me don't like as good as you say but whatever personal taste i guess; i mean some like the blocky outlines on the megadrive some like the smooth look of the snes, textures are as expected for the engine.

    Would you say it is worth a video rental as opposed to a full purchase at this stage, not that i have a video rental store near me as mine got turned in a bakery a few years back lmao!

    Gameplay would you say it feels like return to castle wolfenstien?

    I am not sure but how can you say it is a console game? I dont understand is there something that makes console games dramatically different to other games mediums? As far as i see control scheme shouldn't be a factor as they should have options which im sure it does. Pacing is that it, do you feel console games are paced different to make them better to jump in and play for short bursts?

    Punctuation im not good at grammar myself but to break up the reading you need to use commas and semi colons. Try to refrain from large overbearing sentences not that you did that lol. Yes i do admit that i use average grammar and come across as a bit of a hypocrite but reviews need high levels of grammar so its easier to read and be more professional. Only other thing is that the short paragraphs kept making my eye flicker away from what i was reading.

    Decent first review as i know you liked the classic games and still do. My comments are as by no means derogatory just meant to let ou know what i felt as a reader of your first review and a few friendly follow up questions.
     
  17. AltecV1

    AltecV1 New Member

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    the game has a seriouse problem with mouse lag! and i have to agree with you mailman the game is a FAIL atleast for the PC:(
     
  18. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    KieranD:

    Console games tend to have two things:

    1. Graphics that consist of a poor looking engine (low quality textures and models) with shader effects on top. They cover up their lack of decent hardware with blurry effects that hide the textures, models, and low framerates. Of course, its rather silly to see this ported to a PC, which has more than 256MB of ram and could handle good textures in the first place.

    2. Controls. You can easily tell if a game is based on a console, because it never supports more than a few buttons! look at fear 2, no lean, no side mouse button support, no quicksave/quickload - all very reminiscent of a console port.
    Some things are also obvious, such as defaulting to controller based designs, or having things such as "press start to begin" or tips that popup during the game telling you to "push X" on your 360 controller (such as lost planet) when you dont even have one connected
     
  19. Asylum

    Asylum

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    Nice job.:toast:
     
  20. olithereal

    olithereal New Member

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    BazookaJoe, I'm a huge STALKER fan, and I can still enjoy a good game, even if it has health regen. Like TheMailMan said, put it on Death Incarnate and you WILL find it hard at some parts. Granted, I hate this health regen thingy as well and think good ol' health packs would have been better, but it sure doesn't make it a mediocre game. And most of the time, I don't notice the somewhat dated graphics anyway, I'm busy trying to kill these jet pack flying nazis.
     
  21. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    i like health regen, just because i've ended up saving a game in between waves of enemies, only to find myself screwed over cause i didnt have enough heath to fight my way out - and either resorting to cheating, or loading an earlier save.
     
  22. TheMailMan78

    TheMailMan78 Big Member

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    All feedback is welcome man. I like doing reviews and even tho Ill never do them officially for TPU I would like to do them as a contribution to the members. Ill work on the grammar and stuff a little harder next time. This one was kinda rushed and on a whim. Hell I typed it in an hour :laugh:

    Now to answer your questions. Its not a rehash but more of an expansion of the original RTCW which was based off of the Tech 3 engine (Quake 3). I would say a definite rental if you have a console. Of course if you have a console ALL games should be retails before you buy. For a PC game it's a bargain bin game or a weekend special on Steam. Its a lot of fun but has zero replay after you beat it.
     
  23. joinmeindeath417

    joinmeindeath417 New Member

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    hm, i really wish that this gamepowerup thing was successful, i even tried to be part of the team but never got a response, it would be cool to have a all gaming site based off TPU, and actually have people devoted to reviewing and stuff.

    Good review and thanks for it, i trust people who are on this site more than i do IGN, or Gamespot.

    Hm, if they decided to do a website for it i'd be down to help just saying.
     
  24. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Love the review MailMan, very nice job. For spelling and grammar, use this. http://www.spellchecker.net/spellcheck/

    Once you have the content copied and pasted into spellchecker, you can check the spelling and check grammar by ticking the "grammar" tab. Tumbnail pics would be nice (I'm looking into how to do it) and with the smaller pics you could split up the text and possibly add some funny/entertaining captions to the pictures. :toast:

    [​IMG] <--Click me for bigger pic!

    Got the thumbnails to work, it goes like this (no spaces)

    [url = http://i403.photobucket.com/albums/pp112/erocker414/gt500.jpg]http://i403.photobucket.com/albums/pp112/erocker414/gt500_small.jpg[/ img][/ url ]

    You need to make two images, one regular sized and one small. As you can see there are no image tags for the "gt500.jpg", but there are for gt500_small because you want to show the gt500_small image. Basically follow that format (no spaces). The thumbnail picture should always be "whatever"_small which is vbulliten speak for thumbnails. :toast:
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2009
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  25. FordGT90Concept

    FordGT90Concept "I go fast!1!11!1!"

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    It has SecuROM v7.39.0006.
     
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