With the announcement of a new Wolfenstein game, it’s fitting to pay a retrospective tribute to the granddaddy of all first-person shooters before the rebirth later this year.
Castle Wolfenstein (1981)
The original Castle Wolfenstein was released all the way back in 1981 on DOS, the Atari 400, the Commodore 64 and the Apple II.
The game was actually a top-down sneak-‘em-up, but appeared as a side-scrolling adventure due to the lack of polygons at the time.
Players had to traverse through levels by sneaking past guards, impersonating Nazi soldiers and sometimes even killing opponents.
A sequel, Beyond Castle Wolfenstein was released in 1984.
Wolfenstein 3D (1992)
The franchise had a few more releases, but it was 1992’s Wolfenstein 3D that really set things off.
The game has become prolific as it became the inspiration behind the evolution of first-person shooters. Without it, we’d probably have no Battlefield, Crysis or Call of Duty.
Wolfenstein 3D starred BJ Blazkowicz as he explored the maze-like halls of Castle Wolfenstein until meeting up with a giant robotic Hitler, whose plans he foiled to save the day.
Return to Castle Wolfenstein (2001)
Return to Castle Wolfenstein really felt like a new era for the franchise, as Activision jumped on to publish with Gray Matter and id Software developing.
The game had some great tech that powered an impressive single-player campaign. On top of that, the game introduced multiplayer, which became an instant favourite and is still played among hardcore Wolfenstein enthusiasts.
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory (2003)
Splash Damage and id Software saw that gamers loved the Wolfenstein multiplayer and understood that a dedicated game was needed.
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory released in 2003 was a free and open-source multiplayer game for Windows, Mac and Linux.
The open-source nature of the game allowed it to be bent and tweaked to please the modding community, giving the Allies vs Axis action years and years of life.
In 2009, Activision and Raven Software decided that a revitalisation of the franchise was needed, and kicked in a much-needed sequel to Return to Castle Wolfenstein.
Series hero BJ Blazkowics returned, however, this war veteran brought some new gameplay elements in to the mix.
By utilizing a paranormal power known as the Veil, players could enter into another dimension. But the best part was that players could slow down time in order to fill some Super Nazi freaks with much needed lead.
The game was pretty well received and featured one of the most badass weapons to date – the Leichenfaust-44.
Wolfenstein: The New Order (2013)
And finally, we come to 2013, and its way overdue for a new Wolfenstein game.
This time around, The New Order sees a different reality where the Nazis managed to win World War II, and of course it’s up to series hero BJ Blazkowicz to save the day from the maniacal Nazi powers.
The New Order will still remain true to the franchise’s formula – shooting Nazis in the face, using super weapons, and delving into the supernatural and paranormal.
The game is set to release on PC, Xbox 360, Playstation and next-gen consoles in Q4 2013, and we cannot wait to get our hands around some badass weapons and over-the-top plotlines.