Some time ago one of the well-known computer magazines, in a review of Bloodrayne, wrote that you cannot fall in love with a sexy vampire girl who also kills Nazis. Just like in the Castle of Wolfenstein, but there is no vampire girl ;). Nonetheless, this doesn’t show the peculiarity of the game. I think that this game was a pioneer. Maybe not in the sense of the graphics, but in the times when the disk space was limited, you couldn’t have everything. This game was a precursor to all the shooter games, which era began 20 years later. I won’t mention the whole series of Captain Blaskowicz adventures.
What is it about?
We arrive at the castle of Wolfenstein. The man, with whom we are together in a cell, says that this place is used to interrogate Allied soldiers and when they get the information they remove the interrogated. Only in one way. Our companion doesn’t have a lot of time because he was interrogated and soon they will come for him, but we still have hope. He gives us the loaded pistol, which he obtained in a suspect circumstances and we are forced to end conversation with him. Of course, it cannot be too easy and we get to know that there are very important plans concerning operation Rheingold somewhere in the castle which we have to get before leaving the castle.
We move in the system one screen= one room. The interesting fact is that the arrangement of rooms in the castle of Wolfenstein is generated randomly. Every room has one exit. Sometimes there are also stairs to the floor below. There are 5 floors. In the beginning we are dressed in a prison uniform and we avoid everything that moves.
Everything that moves is indicated by the symbols which do not bring good associations. Our enemies (which is a new thing in the games) do not move only from point A to point B and back. When they see or hear us they move in our direction to apprehend us while screaming in German. We can escape them or kill them, they can also surrender when they see weapons. In the last two circumstances it is an interesting solution because we can take everything that they have, mainly munitions or keys. We can also deceive them. When we find the uniform, the guards will not react at our presence. Of course, to make things more difficult, there are some difficult opponents wandering through the castle who are indicated by two sig runes. These guys are difficult to kill and will not fall on the uniform trick and they are chasing us through the rooms before they are killed or blocked. The only upside is that we can take their bulletproof vest. This way we receive symbol worn by them but this doesn’t help us in anything. There are chests in some of the rooms. When we open them, a counter appears which informs us how much time is needed to perform this operation. Sometimes it takes so long that we can go do something else. We can use also a pistol, but I do not advise to shoot at the chests in which something explosive such as munitions, grenades or completely useless cannon ball is placed. The medals are also useless but at least they do not blow up. Sauerkraut or a breadroll with a sausage don’t influence the game too much, but when we eat it we receive information at the bottom of the screen. There two possibilities – it is tasty or it is not. We can also find liquor, vodka or a plonk, after we drink it we receive a message at the bottom of the screen that says HIC!. In one of the chests we can find the thing that we are looking for – the plans. We can escape without the plans, but we will not receive a promotion.
As I wrote earlier, you cannot have everything. The graphics is a weakest point of the game. The walls are visible from the top, and the characters are placed on it and to move you would have to crawl. When I was a child, I drew like this. The game was developed in the times when the entertaining ability was the most important and this game is really playable even though the gameplay is a little illogical.
I won’t write if the game is difficult or not, because it is C64 so it is obvious that it is difficult. The innovative gameplay causes that you can get pleasure from playing. After some time, we would probably get bored with the game, but a couple of tricks were used that will cause that after finishing game one time, we want to do it again. The first thing is a promotion system. If we escape with the plans, we will receive a promotion and the next time the game will be more difficult. There are 7 seven degrees, from a private to a general. There are also treasures to find and different reactions, so no one stops playing after one time 😉