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Wolfenstein - PC - Preview

E3 2009 PreviewE3 2008 GameZone Previews

There are some game names that resonant deeply in the lore of the industry … and Wolfenstein is one of them. The first game bearing the name of Wolfenstein was Castle Wolfenstein, released back in 1981. There have been five iterations of the license since, but the Raven Software-developed game, merely called Wolfenstein, might be the new pinnacle for the franchise.

The franchise plays off real elements that were one of the interesting footnotes of World War II. Hitler and the Nazi hierarchy was very interested in things of an occult nature, and the license has parlayed that into an action shooter that features monsters of various persuasions all opposed by an intrepid Allied soldier.

The soldier is BJ, otherwise known as Blazkowicz, who starred in Return to Castle Wolfenstein. The upcoming release actually takes place right after the events in the Return title. Developers on hand for the pre-E3 Activision event, held in May in Los Angeles, explained (while giving a live demo of the game) that they wanted to take the IP’s core elements – the Third Reich’s obsession with the occult – and ramp it up. With that in mind, the game begins with the Nazis trying to master an occult force known as the Black Sun. In order to get to the Black Sun, the Nazis are sending soldiers through The Veil, which is a plane that lays over the Earth. Those that go into the Veil often come back mutated, some bearing little semblance to humans. The Veil also has its own creatures and when a gate is opened to send someone in, it also is open enough to let other things out.

Nazi’s that go into the Veil, often come back as Veil assassins – they are lightning fast and can turn invisible. A problem? You would think so, but BJ has a few tricks up his sleeve. He can pick up Veil powers (there are four total) to use in his fight to thwart the enemy.

The game not only sports solid combat, but there are puzzles that have to be solved and treasures to be found.

And this is an incredibly visceral title, and might not be for those who disdain shooters that tend toward the violent side.

Slated for release at the end of July, Wolfenstein is looking to be a worthy successor in the history of the IP and could well be one of the top shooter titles of the year.
 

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