|Return to Castle Wolfenstein|
February 6, 2002 | Lucian Fong
The moment Activision announced that a sequel to the classic shooter, Wolfenstein 3D, was in development, Mac gamers were pining for a Mac version. Seeing as how it was based around the cross-platform Quake III: Arena engine, everyone knew that it would be a relatively quick and painless port to the Mac. Nearly two years and several Mac OS X-only multiplayer test builds later, Aspyr Media announced that they had secured the rights to publish Return to Castle Wolfenstein.
Blazkowicz Returns!In Return to Castle Wolfenstein (RtCW), you are recast as the Nazi-wrangling superhero, B.J. Blazkowicz. You and a fellow agent from the Office of Secret Actions (OSA) are sent to Castle Wolfenstein to investigate reports of paranormal activity and strange chemical and biological experiments. Unfortunately, you are captured and imprisoned in the bowels of Wolfenstein while your partner is tortured. Armed with just a knife and bits and pieces of information, your task is to escape and uncover the plans of Heinrich Himmler. As you fight your way through each part of the seven missions, you’ll slowly uncover Himmler’s sinister plot to gain the upper hand against the Allies in World War II.
The story is presented through a series of in-game cutscenes between each mission. There is quite a bit of dialogue, which is important if you want to follow the storyline, so be sure to listen carefully. Several of the conversations take place in the Office of Secret Actions between who appears to be the British Prime Minister, his aide, a British and an American general. The other cutscenes reveal what your enemies are up to. A nice touch in Wolfenstein 3D that was omitted in RtCW, are the German speaking soldiers. Unfortunately, you’ll have to put up with English-speaking Nazis and their thick German accents.
Peeling off Some CapsSo how will B.J. Blazkowicz thwart Heinrich Himmler’s maniacal plans all by his lonesome? With guns, guns, and more guns, of course! Well, you get a knife too. As an elite member of the Army Rangers, you’re trained to use any weapons at your disposal. You start off with a knife and a Luger pistol, which can be equipped with a silencer. Although they may be weak compared to the hardware you come across later in the game, they are very effective if you are trying to be stealthy.
Among the other basic weapons is the Colt .45, which can be wielded John Woo-style if you pick up two. The American Thompson and German MP-40 submachine guns are fairly similar in damage, accuracy, and rate of fire, although ammo is much more plentiful for the latter. One weapon that is essential for stealth missions is the silenced Sten. If used properly, it can be extremely deadly. My weapon of choice for taking out enemies is the Mauser sniper rifle. Not only is it fun to pick off Nazis at a distance, but the sound of firing the Mauser is extremely satisfying. You’ll feel like Dan Jackson in the bell tower in Saving Private Ryan.
Random gun fact: According to my gun-crazed friend, the Mauser in RtCW behaves much more like the World Ware II-era Russian SKS. The real Mauser 98k held five rounds and was bolt action, whereas the rifle in RtCW holds 10 rounds and is semi-automatic.