|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: id Software / Raven Software||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 18, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1 (2-12 Online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
All in all, completing missions and finding secrets to constantly improve your character is a fun and puzzling metagame that adds variety to the standard shooting elements. It also enhances gameplay by making exploration meaningful. What I wasn't so fond of was not being able to find enough of the hidden goods to be able to fully upgrade my powers and arsenal. Also, finding the tomes of knowledge should have been enough to open up the Veil Power upgrades. Having to then purchase them through the black market felt out of place and needlessly siphoned funds away from weapon tweaks.
Most of Wolfenstein has players taking out Nazi troopers and looking for hidden objects, but there is also a nice mix of Veil-infused über-enemies that force players to put all their battle skills together. Some of these foes, like Scribes, Assassins, and the Elite Guard, use the power of The Veil to kill you - shielding minions, increasing stealth, and raising corpse. Other toughies like The Altered and Heavy Troopers simply come at you with brute force. Then there are also story-driven boss confrontations that further mix up the combat. I liked the variety of enemies in the game, and the enemy design keeps things interesting. Additionally, the game never left me high and dry in terms of essentials for besting these baddies, or without a clue for how to deal with them. Of course, this did make the game a bit easy on normal difficulty. Fortunately, there are four distinct difficulties to choose from depending on your skill level.
Controls in Wolfenstein are very competent. Icing fools with headshots, lobbing grenades into a crowd of SS, unleashing Veil Powers, smashing the butt of your gun into the back of an officer's head, and moving around the battlefield all feels tight and intuitive. Even the introduction of zero-G environments and the constant transitions in and out of The Veil are smooth and natural.
The solid controls also help make the multiplayer side of the game worthwhile. Though online multiplayer only supports up to 12 players and has only three modes of play (Team Deathmatch, Stopwatch, and Objective), the eight maps, three classes (Soldier, Engineer, and Medic), and persistent, upgradeable characters/weapons add complexity. However, as intriguing as the multiplayer component is, it's short-lived. In fact, I had enough of it after just a few sessions. On the other hand, there already is a strong community that seems to be heavily engaged in the online competition, despite the fact it didn't manage to hook me.
Wolfenstein is a quality title most will enjoy. The solid shooter controls, interesting story, unique Veil mechanics, loads of hidden objects, and fine multiplayer give it legs. It isn't groundbreaking by any means, but it definitely aims to please.
CCC Editor / News Director