Wolfenstein Updated Impressions

We step back into the boots of B.J. Blazkowicz and take him for his annual checkup as we investigate the latest Nazi experiments.

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Our last look at Wolfenstein gave us a hint at what developer Raven Software is going for with the long-running franchise, spinning it off into more of a supernatural meets sci-fi shooter. Though today’s demo took a slight step backward, putting us back in the passenger's seat rather than the driver’s seat since last time we saw it, we did get a look at a new level dubbed Hospital.

About a third of the way into the final game, the hospital was set up for us as being a military installation where some pretty nasty medical experiments were taking place. Part-clinic, part-office building, the building's hallways twisted and turned, occasionally dovetailing into a small laboratory and consulting rooms. Our job was to stay alive long enough to discover what nefarious experiments were being conducted onsite and subsequently shut them down.

Unfortunately, it looks like someone tipped off the Nazis to B.J.’s “Veil” alternate reality controlling powers with enough notice for them to have developed and deployed Veil blocking towers. These prevented B.J. from shifting into the world where he draws his powers, removing his ability to slow down time with his Mire ability, put up a Veil shield to protect himself from incoming damage, or see foes in the dark using his Veil Sight. The latter two abilities were demonstrated for the first time during our session and became particularly handy when the power was cut. We snuck around using a silenced assault rifle and picked off prey as they scrambled in the dark. Luckily for us, despite their forward planning, Veil blockers can be destroyed with simple damage, including bullets and melee attacks. Doing so removes an onscreen shader effect not unlike the Veil’s monochrome black and green hues.

To date, we’ve mostly gone up against humans in the form of Nazi soldiers, but our E3 demo also showed off two new enemy types. Assassin are blue-glowing phase-shifting characters with a penchant for hooks and blades. One snuck up on us as we traversed a darkened hallway, slashing at us and landing the odd hit. Landing a blow left bloody fingernail style scratches on the screen for a few seconds (think House of the Dead) before fading away. The other new adversaries are called Scribes, and they are mutated versions of what we can only imagine used to be soldiers but are now a lot greener and angrier. Their ace is the ability to protect fellow attackers from harm by deploying a shield. This makes them pretty nasty when they travel with groups of other Scribes or armed guards because you’ll need to pick them off before you can actually start dealing damage to them and their support. It was fairly easy to dispatch both new enemy types using our assortment of machine guns.

The level concluded with a cutscene showing a lab-coat wearing scientist and a high-ranking Nazi officer standing on a raised platform beside a glowing green portal. B.J.’s appearance obviously surprised them and interrupted their conversation about how the experiment results were unstable. Not wanting to go down without a fight, the officer knocked the scientist into the portal, only to be greeted seconds later by what we can only assume was the same scientist in now heavily mutated form. Protip: The giveaway was the still tenaciously clinging but ripped lab coat amongst the giant muscles and snarling teeth before the demo ended with a fade to black.

Wolfenstein is due out on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC platforms in July this year. Stay tuned for our continued coverage from E3 2009.

Discussion

71 comments
alexii2
alexii2

yeah i agree you need good graphics and just as good gameplay for a good game

martintje1234
martintje1234

@ robboy2 I have to disagree. Gameplay is sure important but the graphics is not just a bonus. For a big part the graphics also determine the environment and how you feel about if you walk around in the game. If you have good gameplay but crappy graphics you wouldn't like the game that much. For me this game is the long awaited. My first game was Wolfenstein 3D. So far it looks good.

robboy2
robboy2

it's only the gameplay that matter Good graphics is just a bonus

Jimminyfixit
Jimminyfixit

But lets not also forget that it wasn't just Americans who died in WW2. And if a certain little country gave up then D-Day would never have happened and America would have had Japanese swooping in from the West and Germans swooping in from the East. Read about it - D-Day by Antony Beeevor - It’s quite popular and tells all sides of the story.

h2k47
h2k47

oh com on..another WWII game..havent we killed enough polygonal krauts already!!

Sea666
Sea666

buying1999: Those of the native american population who survived the north american genocide would probably prefer not to speak english - let us not forget about that either, redneck.

buying1999
buying1999

Nickboy33. This game will be loads of fun for everyone. It is just a game ya know? And lets not forget that if it weren't for those Americans that gave their life's all Europeans would be speaking German.

Jimminyfixit
Jimminyfixit

LOL of course it looks dated - it's a World War 2 game. ;-)

nickboy333
nickboy333

Do you think this game will portray Germans in a bad light and revision history ? For those who arent from America and hate to kill Europeans, will this game still be fun ?

wallmart56
wallmart56

love the original hop it lives up to it lives up to my expectations

STR33TFiR3
STR33TFiR3

I miss the original RTCW, I still wonder how they put in 23 levels in a 700MB CD-R!

wildmercy
wildmercy

this is be cool as ever online going to rock to this really crazy

solidsnake7882
solidsnake7882

kevinclayton Posted Jun 11, 2009 5:59 pm PT no one cares about the SP! just tell us how kickass online is going to be. Actually a lot of us want a good singleplayer campaign. So far looks good.

JunkyMcMuffin
JunkyMcMuffin

Id should focus on Rage, and the next Doom....

Weddum
Weddum

This game will probably end up like Quake4. A game that doesn't live up to the franchises name yet still provides a fun weekend.

kvan33
kvan33

Nothing about this game looks interesting or new.

mini_guv
mini_guv

Actually can not wait! had return on the PC!! yeh defiantley looks like there is more nazis then COD!

noobst3R
noobst3R

Doesn't look like the old Wolf... (Return to castle Wolfenstein). Now it looks more like CoD5 with more nazi's! :p

kevinclayton
kevinclayton

no one cares about the SP! just tell us how kickass online is going to be.

damon_559
damon_559

ive always loved this series... i mean mutant zombies? best idea ever

dliv666
dliv666

I suspect this is going to be a bit of a non-event .............like Damnation ended up being

msuspartan11
msuspartan11

I wonder how good this game will end up being. I read an article on it last year or so from Game Informer. I thought it would almost be out by now.

harkusrex
harkusrex

Ha yeah capitancahonas me too. like i used to get psyhced that i had some grass nd doom, but i would quit after the first imp jumped out a corner nd made me crap my pants.

capitancahonas
capitancahonas

The npc models look a bit last gen to me, but If mp is anything like rtcw, count me in..btw isn't there a new doom around the corner? More up for that..i still have a cardiac defect because of the xbox version of that game..I should've guessed playing stoned out of my mind on a projector tv was a bad idea!

shadowlord123
shadowlord123

Can't wait to get my hands on this! I just download Wolfnstein 3d, it brings back alot of great memories.

Alex_09
Alex_09

I keep thinking I didn't like the old one much except for the multiplayer, but Raven are great developer so I am finding it hard to decide.

-HCMF-
-HCMF-

this should be fun

luckyroy
luckyroy

go WOLFENSTEIN and doom go to hell

necorid
necorid

i find it funny that wolfenstein is listed as a "historic FPS"

Hotsora
Hotsora

I would be on the fence on this one but Raven have delivered a lot of times, including Wolverine which is decent for the job on hand, so I'll probably grab it... anyway the fluro skeleton looks sweet

gmax
gmax

Skeleton gotta wear the hat to stay all fashionable like.

Robert9650
Robert9650

I wonder how much firepower you'll need to take down that kind of an enemy? Let me guess... lots of firepower and use of your Veil powers.

TurambarGS
TurambarGS

"Protip: The giveaway was the still tenaciously clinging but ripped lab coat amongst the giant muscles and snarling teeth before the demo ended with a fade to black." HAHAHA

Drachen-Dorwolf
Drachen-Dorwolf

I just Hope Multiplayer comes like Enemy Territory!! Best MP ever

purple_pride99
purple_pride99

I'm on the fence with this one. I'll probably pass.

Robert9650
Robert9650

Finally, I get another chance to own some more fanatical SS soldiers and their occult creations and taking on the Third Reich again on August 4th, I actually played RTCW, RTCW: Tides of War, and RTCW: ET and they were all great. I can't wait for this one, I actually thought the opening cinematic for this game was awesome, with BJ owning all those German sailors on the Tirpitz near the end of the video with his Veil powers. Anyway, I hope that at least it doesn't end up like Turning Point: Fall of Liberty, but I have faith in Raven, because they are being assisted by ID software, so it shouldn't be too bad.

pakhair
pakhair

I am waitin..............

konradak
konradak

I loved RtCW, that was my second favorite Xbox Live game besides Rainbow Six 3, so I'm anticipating this game. I didn't know it was coming out so soon!!

stossmann
stossmann

Looks awesome if you watch the extended trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOhzihHNT4w. But it doesn't seem to have many guns, even less than the 2001 version! I'm sure as hell getting this game but if there's not more than 10 guns(I've seen 6 so far:Walther P38 pistol, StG44 Assault Rifle, MP40 SMG, Kar98k Bolt Action Rifle, Random Disentegrator Ray Thing and the Flamethrower) I will be sincerely pissed.

robboy2
robboy2

Graphics is alright everything isn't all about the graphics. Worst two games i ever played is Cyrsis and FarCry 2 you get where im going with this. Well sadly the Trailers for this game are really bad, please fire the guy who makes the vids.. anyway i have i nice vid for you got everything you need to know about this game http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOhzihHNT4w

SSBFan12
SSBFan12

The game looks very boring if you ask me.

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

I don't really care much for this game they can keep it, after I played return to castle wolfinsten I pretty much hated what they did to it and with what I seen so far with this game I'm not liking the direction its going soo. I'll probably rent it out but no way am I buying it.

Duke_51
Duke_51

Why must everyone think the graphics are bad? What is wrong with you guys, they're fine, it's probably the crappy resolution of the picture that makes it look worse than it really is... and just remember that the guys behind this game are being supported by the guys who made Doom 3, supposedly one of the best looking games from 2004... yeah.