Guest Author - James Shea
Essentially a reboot of a reboot, 2009's "Wolfenstein" for the XBOX 360 is a largely failed attempt to breathe a third life into the Wolfenstein franchise.
Like the previous games in the series, "Wolfenstein" places you in the role of the American agent B.J. Blazkowicz, fighting Nazis in World War 2. Also like previous games, the Nazis have access to supernatural technology and super-science. "Wolfenstein" takes place in the fictional town of Isenstadt, where Germans are digging through ruins to locate magical crystals. These crystals hold the secrets of creating powerful new weapons and summoning monsters - the usual shtick in these sorts of games.
"Wolfenstein" is a mix of actual "levels" and a very limited form of hub-world. There are three "factions" in the world, though ultimately they're all working against the Germans: the resistance, the black market, and the researchers. There are very light RPG elements in the form of weapon upgrades, but they're relatively simple overall. The biggest change gameplay-wise is the medallion B.J. acquires, which allows him to use several different magical powers against his foes. These powers are "seeing into the Veil" (which reveals secret doors and magical enemies), slowing down time, creating force fields, and making one's attacks more damaging. In essence, there's nothing really "special" or "unique", but it's at least an attempt to break from standard shooter conventions (albeit not a particularly good one).
The actual shooter controls are pretty iffy. They're not really terrible per se, but they're far from good. While there's some interesting sci-fi guns later on, most of the early parts are lackluster WW2 weapons that just don't leave a particularly good impression. Overall the game is just sort of bland - there's nothing about it that's like "this is a particularly good part" or anything, it just meanders along and ends up not going anywhere. Not really worth playing.
We purchased this game with our own funds in order to do this review.
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