Since id Software already put the development of Quake 4 in the hands of Raven Software (the studio that is mostly known for shooters such as Soldier of Fortune, Quake 4, Take No Prisoners) it should come to no surprise that id Software would let the next Wolfenstein installment getting developed by Raven Software. They know how to make games, and they certainly know how to make shooting-games.
The game's story takes place right after Return to Castle Wolfenstein, and if you pay attention you might find some references to that game. The game runs on a heavily pimped version of the Doom 3 engine, and while the leveldesign is not always stunning, the game does have a good deal of nice imagery and overall eyecandy. The controls are taken straight from Call of Duty (at least on the Xbox 360 version), which is actually not a bad thing since that control setup works very smooth and it makes it easy for you to pick up and play. To me that is something that is crucial in a Wolfenstein-game. You can upgrade your weapons anytime in the town with silencers, scopes, etc. Its too bad that it feels a bit as if the game almost forces you to push on to the next mission, so its easy to miss a dealer who sells these upgrades.
One of the announced features of Wolfenstein is that throughout the game you collect cristals, which let you enter a certain dimension called the Black Sun. Basically it means that you can slow down time, use extra firepower (handy for taking out shielded enemy's), use a energy-shield, or simply use special sight to look into the other dimension to search for hidden doors or weak spots on enemy's or walls. This works quite well, although this does make the game a lot easier then it already is (even on highest difficulty its still pretty easy to gun your way through the singleplayer). I would say that someone relatively experienced with shooters will get through the campaign in about 2 days.
The biggest flaw for me is that Wolfenstein has a very weak AI. Most of the enemy's will just run into your fire. They will duck for cover when they need to, but its still easy to take them out especially with the Kar rifle. The enemy's do get more challenging in large numbers though. The boss-battles are really awesome and a big highlight of this game. With every boss you need a certain type of strategy to defeat them, and they make a nice interruption from the typical run-and-gun gameplay.
In the sea of first person shooters that are out today, its hard to find any good games that stands out. You can definitely see and feel that Raven Software tried something different with Wolfenstein, but still wanted to incorporate enough story to satisfy the fans. When you shoot down a Nazi-soldier you can even sometimes hear them yell "mein leben!", which is a clear ode to the classic Wolfenstein 3D. I wouldn't call Wolfenstein a great game, but its definitely a good game for fans of Wolfenstein or overall fans of off-beat WWII-shooters.
The ending of the game even makes me wonder about a sequel...
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