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{Recovered from partial backup. Images and some pages missing.}
Return to Castle Wolfenstein By Mike "despondent" Piotrowski
February 2, 2002
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Developer :id Software
Publisher :Activision
Release Date :Quarter 1 2002
Demo Available : No
Table of Contents

· Introduction
· Closer Look
· Facts
· Final

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions. Where's my Pudding.

RTCW is hands down the best FPS titles I have played on PC in a long time. It offers a little bit of everything to please everyone. RTCW also does a great job reinforcing the WWII theme as well as remaining true to its roots. What becomes of this is a game that has surreal imagery, a gripping and moving story, and an overall experience that will have you walking away thinking for a long time. There are not many times that a computer game will profoundly lure and keep a player interested. Often times game can become redundant and boring, or simply so tedious that after quick loading a certain area the player simply says screw it and walks away to find something else to do. Such is not the case in RTCW, and it is truly a remarkable piece of work.

Rating

Personal Note

Graphics - Sound - Gameplay - Depth - Multiplayer  Reviewed by Mike Piotrowski
GRAPHICS
100 %

The graphics in Return to Castle Wolfenstein are stunning and superb. Whether it is the architecture of the many places you will see in RTCW, the realism and fluid movement of the models. The almost realistic textures on everything, or simply the explosions and effects there is no disputing that RTCW is a graphical masterpiece. The only games prior to achieve such a level of mastery with graphics is perhaps Unreal and Max Payne.

SOUND
100 %

The sounds in RTCW are great. Most of what the enemy's speak German so I never understand a damn thing, but it sure is fun to hear the roar of a machine gun. No but seriously, the games sound effects are stunning. Whether the sounds are speech, sound effects of weapons, or just background noise, they are all fantastic. A great thing that I noticed is that almost every action in RTCW has a sound effect. You can hear soldiers walking around, and you can here them hit the floor as they fall. Best of all the ambient sounds of certain maps, along with the background music give the player a very distinct and engrossed experience. Not only does it do a good job of putting the player into the action, it also builds tension and establishes mood. Something that in my opinion is very important.

GAMEPLAY
100 %

The gameplay of RTCW is very elaborate and mixed. The game itself almost has an addictivy.quality. Not many times is there an FPS title that you can complete and then, go back and start playing to complete again. RTCW offers a great deal in visuals and action. RTCW also does a very good job mixing up the areas a good deal. Just like other great titles like Half-Life and Unreal, the game moves you through different areas that are always fresh and that offer intense game play. Best of all the game always has you moving through progressively larger, and more difficult areas, while at the same time offering you a new array of weapons to keep you level with the competition. There is hardly ever a time where you will be stuck with a massive arsenal, only to take pot shots at weak and laughable enemies. RTCW also offers a great deal of fun when you fight your enemies and your bound to always experience something new when it comes to scenarios and enemies.

DEPTH
100 %

First Person Shooter titles rarely offer a solid story line. They hardly ever do a very good job justifying why you are actually doing what your doing. Typically you will run into a situation where aliens from another world invade yours and its your job to run around through numerous levels killing everything. RTCW on the other hand offers a campaign of espionage and discovery in the Nazi underground during WWII. Needless to say the campaign is very well thought out, and offers a great deal to intrigue a player. Whether it be fantasy of the Nazi's trying to unearth the dead in hopes of using them against the allies, or the bioengineering of the Nazi Super Soldier program, you will always learn something interesting, a quality, which should keep the player wanting to move forward to learn more and see what happens next.

MULTIPLAYER
100 %

The multiplayer aspect of RTCW is very good. Just like you would expect from any offering by ID software, the guys who started FPS multiplayer. RTCW's multiplayer is awesome in the respect that it mainly revolves around a mixture of Counter-Strike and Team Fortress. Typically you have the nazi's against the allies, and one of the teams has several objectives in order to complete the missions. The other side must stop the other time. Simple right? Not truly. Typically the defending team has a VERY defensible position, Omaha Beach (Saving Private Ryan), 'nuff said? The attacking team needs to advance and destroy several locations in a linear fashion to gain access to the final objective. Somewhat like counter-strike, however not as quick as counter-strike. A counter-strike round make last 1 to 2 minutes at time in not less, each round in RTCW may last in upwards of 10 to 15 and sometimes the attacking team will never succeed. Therefore, RTCW's multiplayer is very team oriented and very fast paced. Fortunately players get to respawn and try again.



When I first heard that RTCW was coming out I was curious. I thought that it was probably going to have a weak story line, weak single player, but good multiplayer. This was sort of reinforced when the multiplayer test was released and I had seen that a great deal was put into it. Also with how most FPS titles have been focusing on multiplayer only, I figured that the old legacy of Wolfenstein was going to meet with impending doom. I also saw the screen shots of what the single player looked like. I kind of laughed at first, seeing all these bionic freaks and legions and undead, thinking, that's not Wolfenstein! However all those speculations were put to rest when I finally played the game. And all those bionic freaks and undead were put into place in RTCW's massive and great story. RTCW was captured my interest in a way that no other game has done since I played Half-Life and Unreal so many years ago. The game is riveting and offers so much in the sense of having fun and never getting bored. I really can't believe that I was giving this game a 100% in every field of review. But when I really thought about how I liked this game, and what it offered I cant give it anything else. This game is truly a complete package that offers the player multiple types of game play. Whether it is nail biting covert missions, or simply wetting your pants in the face of unstoppable odds, you simply cant go wrong with this game. I commend the designers at ID Software for making such a great game, and I look forward to other titles. I honestly didn't know what to expect from RTCW, especially I got disillusioned with Quake 2. I figured that many games would be all graphics and no story. Fortunately such is not the case here, and I am drooling to see what else will come soon. If you as a player want something fresh, something new, something that will hold your attention for about 8 solid hours, and then offer you killer multiplayer at the same time. Get this game!

Overall Rating

 


 
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