What better way to spend a rainy afternoon than running around the fictional German town of Eisenstadt (real one is in Austria) gunning down Nazis as they try to go about their insidious business of enslaving Europe? Well, what if you had mystical powers derived from crystals that harness the energy of an unseen fourth dimension? Doesn’t that sound better? Wolfenstein, for the Xbox 360, throws the player into the role of BJ Blazkowicz, serial spoiler of the naughty Nazis’ plots throughout the Wolfenstein universe. His gun-totting romp through war-torn 1943 Germany is visually impressive and immerses you in an atmosphere of oppression and fear. It gives the player a feel of the WW2 call of duty type games with a supernatural twist.
The weapons are fun and customisable; although you will not be able to afford all upgrades so your choices need to be tactical and considered. The single player game will take about 7 hours to shoot through on normal difficulty setting and multiplayer will make the game last a lot longer. The addition of Veil powers adds another layer and is, in fact, quite necessary to overcome some of the more difficult puzzles and opponents. The cinematic cut scenes are a triumph and greatly increase the gaming experience.
Unfortunately the WW2 theme is in danger of being overdone in first person shooters, with titles like Call of Duty: World at War leading the charge in the genre, and other worthy attempts such as Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway already marking out the territory as their own. Wolfenstein survives looking too same-old, same-old with the supernatural element coupled with not just a little nostalgia from the older games in the series for those of us who played them. But without that element I think Wolfenstein would slip into the average category and I fear the replay value won’t be that great. That said however, Raven’s latest instalment to one of gaming’s oldest institutes is largely appealing and will fill more than a few hours of your life with glorious Nazi shootin’ fun.