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Return to Castle Wolfenstein
-- Tuesday, January 22, 2002 -- By: Yukon

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Return to Castle Wolfentein
Year :: 2001

Wolfenstein 3D
Year :: 1991

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The Return…
Like with most major titles being released there is in essence a part of the game that lives in the hype. I first heard about Wolfenstein about 2 years ago and from the screen shots I saw I was blown away. Although it turned out to be a fairly good gamming experience I thought that without all the super special effects and graphics, this game wouldn’t really stand out from the rest as being of "game of the year" quality. While the single player missions are fairly entertaining, multi-player is where this game will really live.

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I'll say it right now; the graphics in this game are phenomenal. There was a reason for the high system requirements. All of the textures have a certain photo-realistic feeling to them that really makes you be able to sense your surroundings. From the realistic trees down to my very favorite mood setter, the fog and fire of the crypt. Every painstaking detail in the game drips with a quality that you wont find in many other games. Rooms are garnished with regular household items and in a bombed out German war factory you will find rubble and buildings that look just as realistic that a bombed out building can on a computer screen. There wasn’t a single graphical aspect of the game I was disappointed in, everything was top-notch Grade-A rendering and not much could have been done to improve this portion besides making it a virtual reality game.

The sounds in Wolfenstein are quality, especially the gun sounds. Unlike some games the sounds a big, beefy, and really fit each gun well. One thing about the sounds in the game that bothered me in the beginning was the lack of Nazi’s screaming at you in German. It was one of my favorite parts of Wolfenstein 3d and instead you have Nazi’s screaming at you in German tainted English. Although it was kind of a downer of expectations it didn’t influence game play much.

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Game play…

I am and always will be a big fan of the original Wolfenstein 3D game with its endless mazes of treasure and German yelling Nazis. With its castle mazes and near to no plot it was the gunslingers dream, killing everything and anything. Wolfenstein let me down on the overall feel of the game. I felt that all the super graphics made the game more of a piece of art then something to kill hoards of people in. I think they missed out on the driving feeling that this sort of game should have, and instead you kind of just bumble your way through simply because you bought it for 40 bucks. Not because you really wanted to get to the end.
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The plot of Wolfenstein which is played out in a few dry cut scenes in between missions really isn't the best plot that could have been worked into the game but doesn’t seem to be to much of a problem (except for falling asleep during the cut scenes), seeing that it is really more about killing Nazis then anything. Lastly, for me the ending was quite a downer. Not only was it fairly easy once you realized what you needed to do it was just a bad ending in general to a game of this caliber. There weren’t many surprises throughout the game and there wasn’t much freedom of where to go and what to do. It was a very linear game.


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Wolfenstein is not mainly a single player game, in the past the multiplayer aspect of mast games was death match and was just thrown in at the last second to put an added incentive in to buy the game. Now that multi-player games are so popular companies are really working on not only the single player aspect, but also putting in multi-player games that are worth playing. Wolfenstein’s multiplayer is excellent. It is a cooperative class based game built mainly upon the levels
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of the current game and a few others (ala Omaha beach). You can pick from every weapon in the game and a few extras like explosives depending on what class you choose to play. It is probably the best representation of a class-based game since the original Team Fortress for Quake. The best part about it is that it’s just really fun to play. The only downers are the team kills, while with friends they can be amusing they get annoying after awhile on the public servers. There is now a way to kick teammates after to many TK’s.

Final Thoughts…

All in all RTCW is a very satisfying computer game that looks beautiful and plays out just as good. You can tell from the moment you start the game that a lot of work went into making this a great game. Unlike many sequel mishaps, Return To Castle Wolfenstein defiantly deserves the attention it received. And it will live on for a while at least in the multiplayer mode.

8.5/10 Monkey Stars

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