Return to Castle Wolfenstein is a first-person shooter developed by Gray Matter (in conjunction with Nerve) and published by Activision for the PC on November 19, 2001.
Powered by id Tech 3, Return to Castle Wolfenstein is a loose remake of id’s Wolfenstein 3D (and the first in a series of new Wolfenstein games). Along with a single-player campaign (developed by Gray Matter) that puts a similar “alternate historical” twist on World War II (adding supernatural elements and secret technological advancements), the game also includes an online multiplayer component (developed by Nerve) with class-based team-oriented gameplay (which became the basis for the standalone Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory).
In the single-player campaign, players play the role of B.J. Blazkowicz, an Allied OSA (“Office of Secret Actions”) agent investigating a variety of dangerous Nazi projects. After escaping his capture at the titular Castle Wolfenstein, Blazkowicz must investigate the SS Paranormal Division (led by Helga von Bulow), foil the plans of the SS Special Projects Division (led by Wilhelm “Deathshead” Strasse), and stop “Operation Resurrection” (an attempt to resurrect the powerful warlord Heinrich I). Along with the standard SS infantry, Blazkowicz must fight elite troopers, supernatural undead creatures, and mechanized super soldiers.
The game was officially ported to the Mac in April 2002 (by Aspyr), Xbox in May 6, 2003 (by Nerve), and PlayStation 2 in May 27, 2003 (by Raster). Both console versions include an additional prequel mission (“Cursed Sands”, set in the fictional Egyptian town of Ras El-Hadid). While the PlayStation 2 version (titled Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Operation Resurrection) does not include online multiplayer, it did include the a bonus feature in which players could purchase upgrades by finding secrets. The Xbox version (titled Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Tides of War), in addition to online multiplayer via Xbox Live, includes split-screen co-operative multiplayer (with the second player being fellow OSA operative “Agent One”) and an unlockable version of Wolfenstein 3D.
Return to Castle Wolfenstein was later re-released (as a Game of the Year Edition) in 2002 with seven bonus multiplayer maps (developed by Splash Damage) and Wolfenstein 3D. An additional “Platinum Edition” re-release in 2004 also included Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. The original game was then re-released by id as a downloadable game, via Steam, on August 4, 2007.
The game is the first in the series to have a special German version, in order to comply with their strict laws. In it, all Nazi symbols and references were removed, and the story was changed to match.
Playing as B.J. Blazkowicz, you wake in a remote castle in Europe. After escaping the castle you are given a mission to infiltrate Himmler’s S.S. Paranormal Division by finding Helga von Bulow in a European village. You discover a series of catacombs and eventually, Helga, in a bombed out church. You find that Helga transforms into a giant creature of dismembered bodies and souls. After defeating Helga you are given instructions to head into the remote German forest to gather Intel on a secret Nazi V2 rocket plane. After escaping with the plane, B.J. is given the objective to infiltrate Deathshead secret weapons base located in a bombed out city.
After locating the secret weapons base you must find the location of Deathshead’s secret X-Labs. The X-Labs base in the Norwegian Arctic is your next objective. Upon entering the X-Labs B.J. is greeted by scientific mutants and super soldiers created by the Nazis. Deathshead escapes from the X-Labs, but after learning of his plans you are given orders to go back the Castle Wolfenstein to stop the revival of Heinrich I from his grave. After making your way through a village and château you discover the dig site. Finally you arrive at Castle Wolfenstein and discover that the ceremony has proceeded. After a brutal fight with Heinrich you find yourself killing Nazis for fun in the final cutscene as some R&R.
The multiplayer portion of the game was developed by Nerve Software and quickly became the most popular aspect of the game. and influential in the genre. Return to Castle Wolfenstein’s multiplayer component featured a class based system and unique team oriented, objective based gameplay.
The Allies and Axis must complete specific goals on each map in order to win the round, in most cases Allies attack while the Axis defend. There were primary and secondary objectives. Primary objectives had to be completed to win the game but not secondary objectives even though completing them would aid in the completion of the primary objective An objective would be, for example, on Omaha Beach, the Allies must first blow a hole in a wall in order to get access to the Axis bunkers.
Each character class helps their team in different ways, the Medic can supply health packs and revive fallen comrades, the Lieutenant can drop ammo packs and call for air strikes, the Engineer can repair vehicles and plant dynamites while the Solider can use a lot of different weaponry. Thanks to the popularity of this mode, numerous mods starting appearing the most famous one being OSP. OSP is used for competitive play like at QuakeCon because of the control it gives to the players and the admins.
There are three separate multiplayer modes:
The game is powered by the Quake 3: Team Arena Engine. Different versions of the game exist:
The game was ported to Linux and Mac in 2002 and then to Playstation 2 and Xbox in 2003 with bonus content.
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory was originally planned to be an expansion pack for Return to Castle Wolfenstein, however it was released as a seperate, multiplayer only, free game. The game features two teams faced against each other (One team defends objectives while others attack). The game is class based and team oriented. Play as a Soldier, Medic, Engineer, Covert Ops, and Field Ops. Each class features separate weapons and skills.
|Soldier||Heavy Weapons: Mortar, MG42, Flamethrower, Bazooka, and SMG||Ability to run with heavy weapons|
|Medic||Syringe, SMG, Grenade||Drop health packs, revive teammates, and regenerate health|
|Engineer||SMG, Rilfe, Rifle Grenades, Pistol, Knife||Repair Vehicles, build embankments, arm/defuse demolitions|
|Covert Ops||Silent Sten, Scoped FG42, Silenced scoped rifle, smoke grenades, place remote explosives, Silenced Pistol, Knife||Disguise in enemy uniform, shows enemy positions on mini map, shows enemy landmines|
|Field Ops||Knife, SMG, Pistol||Drop ammo packs, call air strikes, call artillery strikes|