Review: Wolfenstein 3D


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Jul 5, 2008
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Review: Wolfenstein 3D, iD software

I remember that I was back in college when Wolfenstein 3D came out. As someone who played the original (ableit on a neighbors computers since we had a PC) I thought it was really cool. I remember taking the 3.5 inch floppy (also relatively new at the time!) and playing it for the first time.

Awesome! And now it is out for the iPhone, bringing back fond memories.

The game play has basically remained the same, although it has been streamlined somewhat (no need to manually open doors, for example). In addition, the ?pickup radius? (how close you have to be to pick up an item) has increased, meaning you don?t need to go back and forth as much to pick up things like food and ammo. Otherwise, the game has remained pretty much intact ? which is something that I think is great! These days, too many games seem to be mirror copies of each other, and I miss the diversity of games that we have in the 80?s and 90?s (although in fairness this seems to be less the case with iPhone games). The graphics are still old school, the sound is still old school ? just like I want to see it. If you want the newest, most realistic graphics around, then this game is not for you. If you want something that is just fun, well, give it a shot.

Wolfenstein 3D is the first ?real? first-person shooter game . You play William ?BJ? Blazkowicz, trying to escape from (and ultimately defeat) the Nazis. You run around the castle, trying to pick up better weapons (ahh?the chain gun), preserve your life (I always wondered why Nazi?s left food sitting around on the floor of the castle), and either evade or kill your captors. You progress through various level mazes, and often have to defeat a boss at the end in order to advance.

You controls took me a little time to get used to (I am still not 100% with them). With your left thumb, you can control forward/back, and turning motions. With your right thumb, you can fire. Tap you gun to change weapons, and right above that is moving left and right (for a strafe attack!). One really nice feature on this game is the ability to adjust sensitivity as well as being able to move the controls around. Prefer to use your left hand for firing, or having the strafe be with your right hand? Simply go to the advanced options screen to move the controls anywhere you like. This is a great feature, and I hope to see more games incorporate it.

As I said previously, the sound and graphics aren?t going to wow you. In fact, if you aren?t familiar with them, you might say ?what the h#ll??. But the graphics and sounds are just like they were in the original game, so rather than try to update them, the developers went with the old school feel, so you can see what it was like to play it originally. And as I said, I like it that way. So when are we going to see Commander Keen?

  • adjustable controls
  • old-school game play

  • don't expect flashy graphics
  • controls can take some time to master

All in all, this game is fun. It doesn?t try to be too flashy or showy, it doesn?t wow you with graphics, it is just fun to play. As the first FPS game, you can see how the genre developed, but there is something to be said for just going around killing Nazi?s. The price just dropped to $1.99 (from $4.99) so it is a great time to buy it. Even at $4.99, I think the game is worth it. There is a lite version for free, so if you are unsure, give that one a try. Four and a half out of five stars.

Rating scale:

* = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
*** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
**** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.

Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating.

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