24 October 2005 | dr_foreman
Better than its press
Most people seem to like Return to Castle Wolfenstein, but they qualify their praise with criticisms and reservations.
Well, I have almost no criticisms. This game is simply the bomb. For me, it's a near-perfect blend of horror, wartime action and - very occasionally - gritty realism. The graphics are lovely, and the game simply has a cool aesthetic. I've always found Wolfenstein games to be much more attractive and engaging than, say, Doom, which usually takes place entirely in a dark corridor.
This version of Wolfenstein has a nice variety of missions, too. You fight Nazis in castles and chateaus, undead in gloomy catacombs, and robotic supersoldiers in a top-secret lab. Some missions are reminiscent of the ultra-tough WWII game Hidden and Dangerous, which involved lots of sneaking around and careful gameplay, whereas other missions are all-out slugfests. For me, the game's fairly frequent shifts in tone, pacing and emphasis aren't a weakness, but a strong selling point.
I also love the far-out villains. The armored undead are creepy, and thankfully not nearly as revolting as zombies from other games. But I particularly love the leather-clad babes with machine guns - they're a little sexist, I'm sure, and somewhat tacky, but they're also entirely appropriate for a game like this.
Sure, Return to Castle Wolfenstein has some flaws. The cutscenes are boring, and the dialogue is a little corny. But hey, I didn't expect a good script from Wolfenstein. I expected fun (and carnage), and I got it. It's prime stuff, and very hard to stop playing.