Return to Castle Wolfenstein (RTCW) -- This is a very good FPS type of game, in which you take on the role of an Army Ranger who has been assigned the task of investigating what evil plans the Nazi Army is trying to accomplish.
In RTCW's multiplayer games, you can either play as the Axis or the Allies, each having a set of objectives that they must complete. The Enemy Territory game offers a large enough internet gaming world to accompany 32 players. The original RTCW multiplayer mode had the option to play as several different character classes including a medic, an engineer, or soldier. The Enemy Territory game adds yet another great character class to the online experience, the Covert Ops class, which is somewhat like a spy. It also offers new campaigns and battlefields. New additions in RTCW are the abilities to steal uniforms, build structures, and earn persistent enhanced abilities.
This game is more or less a remake of the highly popular 3D game that came out in the mid 80s, Wolfenstein. The developers of this game did a good job of trying to keep some of the same details and unique features that was in that original game. For example, you are still battling Nazis for the most part (which is always satisfying, LOL), as well as being able to find secret areas hidden throughout RTCW. These areas can sometimes lend your character additional health, weapons, ammo, or armor. They may even grant you some treasures at times once belonging to the Nazi regime
You play U.S. Army Ranger B.J. Blazkowicz, who takes orders from the Office of Secret Actions. They have assigned you the task of investigating rumors of occult activity and genetic engineering that Nazi Germany may be conducting. If they are successful in completing any of these strange rumors, it would give them an advantage in the war, and as a defender of freedom, you cannot let that happen. Agent Blazkowicz starts the game in a castle, and as the game goes on, he learns more about the evil Nazi plans and gets to face off with Nazi soldiers, undead zombies, and even genetically enhanced super soldiers. You start the game with basic weapons and equipment, but as you go on, you will have the chance to find and use some more advanced weapons. Weapons in this game included everything from a pistol to a flamethrower.
The opening movie sequence hints at what the Nazi's intentions are. There is a very powerful and extremely evil warrior, (Hienrich) that was buried by priests in 943 A.D. Now in 1943, when the Nazi government is at war with the rest of the world, they have found the burial site of this evil warlord and want to resurrect him so that he will help them win the war.
Game play was superb in this game. Most of the functions in the game were keyboard driven, but they were set up in a way that was not hard to use. There are really only three different types of enemies that you have to deal with throughout the entire game, and they are the Nazi Soldiers, the zombies, and the X creatures (which are basically the genetically enhanced super soldiers). Combat is very challenging in this game, and it was fun having to sometimes think about what tactic would work better for certain missions. Most of the weapons and ammo that you need during the game come off of the soldiers that you kill during the game, but there are also ammo stashes found throughout the missions. Some special items that you need to be on the lookout for include the following: helmets and flak jackets (they provide additional armor), first aid kits, hot and cold meals (they restore health), beer steins and brandy glasses (they provide additional stamina).
The graphics in this game were very good. Each environment was richly detailed, with a castle looking like a castle and the Nazis looking authentic as well. You had outdoor and indoor settings that you did battle in, and all were appealing to the eyes. Some of the other characters in the game seemed to look somewhat "block-like" in appearance, but it was nothing too serious.
The learning curve in this game was excellent. It did not take me too long to figure out what keys did what in the game, and how to access needed info like my notebook, and the always much needed options screen. As is quite often the case, the ESC key would bring up the options screen, which is were you could save and load games. There is a nice manual that comes with this game, and all your keyboard commands and other functions are very well described in this manual. There is no tutorial in this game, but frankly, I do not see that as being much of a problem, and I don't really think it is necessary with this game.
The replay value of this game is very good. There is a multiplayer option available in this game, and there are several different types of multiplayer games that RTCW will offer an internet player. There is also a difficulty setting that will allow you to make RTCW a little harder if you are getting bored with the easy settings. The main feature that I think makes RTCW's replay value high, is the secret areas that are available in most of the missions. At the end of each mission, you will be given a summary of how well you did in that mission, including how many secret areas you found. So if you did not find all of them when you first played this game, then it might be fun to try it again sometime to see if you can find those secret areas that you missed the last time.
Sound was done very well in this game. Each weapon had sounds associated with them that seemed to make them sound like real weapons. There's a background music score going on that made the action seem somewhat more intense. Your enemies were quite vocal, with maybe the exception of the zombies who just seemed to grunt and growl...LOL.. There are a few times in which your superiors will brief you on what was going on, and I am glad that the developers made them easy to understand so that I didn't miss any important information.
I very much enjoyed this game, and although there were times when I thought that I was not going to be able to make it through a mission, I kept my wits about me, and after a few tries was able to find a way out of the situation. As I mentioned before, I really like how they tried to keep RTCW as close to the original game as possible. They have certainly improved upon a game that many considered a classic and I, for one, am glad that they choose to make an updated version. Several different editions of this game are available, including a Collector's Edition and Game of the Year Edition.
This is a superb FPS game that will provide hours of enjoyment, so pick this one up!