So, after waiting years for the next instalment of the Nazi bashing/paranormal infested 1st person shooter have I been disappointed? Not one jot. Despite being slightly concerned about the rather lukewarm reviews from the major gaming sites I have ploughed ahead with the game and it has been great fun. It won’t win any prizes for originality nor will it win any awards for introducing any earth shattering new gameplay features but it is a good old fashioned rollicking first person shooter with a huge choice of weapons, a solid aiming system and plenty to keep the player occupied.
I think the developers have done a good job of giving the die hard Wolfenstein addicts more of what they wanted, hoped for and expected but have brought it up to next gen console speed by upping the graphics and adding on plenty of side missions and a good weapons upgrade path if you take the time to explore the scenery, hunt down the gold and find those important “tomes”. You could, in true old school fashion, just charge through the game but that would be missing out on half the fun of hunting down the goodies that act as currency to upgrade your guns, a la BioShock and DeadSpace.
When I first started playing I was a bit surprised at the difference between this and the last Wolfenstein game. The former was very much linear, enter the level, do the business and then it was on to the next level which was set in a different location. In this version, most of the action takes place in a fictional town occupied by those naughty Nazis and you do a level there, do a side mission somewhere else, return to the town for another side mission or two, then go somewhere else for a full level and then back to the town. You can also choose in which order to play the missions, which are given to you by characters in the town, and whilst heading to and from those missions there is always a bit of tasty Nazi bashing opportunity lurking nearby should you feel the need.
The game’s most talked about feature is the “Veil” system which enables players, amongst other things, to slow down time and add on a protective shield if needed in big shoot outs. It is very similar to the likes of Dead Space and is an interesting and at times useful add on but is hardly original. I haven’t actually used it that much in fights as I seem to manage to emerge intact without resorting to the shield or time slow down but hey, it is there if you need it.
This game has got better and better the more I have advanced in it and is well paced. The Boss battles are challenging but not infuriating and even a lesser skilled player like me has got through them. Unfortunately I am now near the end, more than 75% of the way through but it has been nothing but hugely enjoyable so far. The best thing about it is that it has taken some of the best bits of the older Wolfenstein series and added in some new stuff that lifts it up a notch or two.