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Return to Castle Wolfenstein

Developer: Gray Matter | Publisher: Activision
Players: 1+ Player Game | Release Date: 11/20/01 | Genre: FPS

Firstly, ID software proved me wrong... big time. I was under the impression that they were a crippled and dying corporation with a few measly hit games (bit of an understatement but hey) under their belts. Well it seems they were just waiting to pounce this bad-boy on us. Return to Castle Solfenstein sets us is in... well... Castle Wolfenstein. You are an army ranger B.J. Barkowitz or something, and are given the mission to escape from said castle, report what you see, and then go back and destroy said castle and its occupants.

Ok the single-player was rather clich?© and the storyline was a little ?Äòiffy'. I'm all for the occult, I mean who doesn't enjoy raising zombies? But I expected a little more realism and a little less supernatural from RTCW. It wont take the average gamer very long to finish this one (15 hours tops) but the story keeps you interested and it has its moments (namely carving swatztikas in the Nazi scum with your knife!).

But if you are looking for a complete and enthralling gaming experience then you're at the wrong place, go for No One Lives forever or similar titles. On the other hand if you are a multiplayer junkie and get a rush out of war like games, well then my friend you have just struck gold.

Obviously two teams, Axis (Nazis) and Allies (Everyone else) who battle it out for their beliefs. Each side has four player classes Soldier (Your basic grunt who does most of the killing) Medic (Heals you and your buddies) Engineer (Blows up stuff) and Lieutenant (Fills up your ammo and can call in air strikes). The gameplay is exciting and makes you feel like you really ARE in WW2 which is a thrill all in itself. The different weapons offer a decent variety and enough firepower to keep the explosion-addicts sated for the moment. You get all sorts of gear, from your basic knives and pistols to your flamethrowers (Portable BBQs) and Panzerfaust (A kind of Bazooka).

For anyone who does not play well in teams you might not enjoy this one. Lone guns are not appreciated and do more harm than good. Try to avoid absolute beginners as getting shot in the face by a medic who doesn't know how to heal you is not fun. If you play as a lieutenant conserve your ?Äòspecial energy' for key strikes on important targets.

The Graphics are exceptional and leave nothing wanting. The installing may take awhile for some users but the general feel of the game is so smooth any wait is worth it.

This Game gets an overall A, it generally deserves an A+ but some of the story points were a little too ?ÄòHuh???' for my tastes.

By Phillip Roy - 03/27/02
ESRB Details: Blood and Gore, Violence
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Screenshots for Return to Castle Wolfenstein

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