Back in 1992 when id Software was preparing to release their seminal first-person shooter ‘Wolfenstein 3D’, I was already sold – it had been over a decade since I had my first Wolfenstein addiction. In 1981 the game ‘Castle Wolfenstein’ for the Apple ][ captivated me to the point that when I heard that Wolf3D would be set in the same game world, I was already sold. Needless to say, Wolf3D was an amazing game regardless of lineage, and I professed my love for it here in my review of the iPhone version. Now the question is – how does it translate into a RPG?
From the minds who kick started the first-person shooter revolution, Id Software’s Wolfenstein RPG™ is now available for your iPhone™ and iPod® touch! LET THE BATTLE BEGIN!
You are Sergeant B.J. Blazkowicz, leader of an elite U.S. fighting unit on a Special Ops assignment. Your call to duty is to save the world from the grip of the evil Axis Army that dwells in Castle Wolfenstein. Fight your way through a freakish bestiary of zombies, mutations, elite soldiers and more. Use your boots, fists and toilets to kick, punch and pummel your enemies to a pulp. Inflict serious damage with weapons such as a flamethrower, a rocket launcher, and a Tesla! GET READY FOR ACTION IN WOLFENSTEIN RPG!
Use your iPhone and iPod touch to activate an arsenal of 16 weapons including Spiked Brass Knuckles, a Submachine Gun, and Dynamite. Tap and swipe to punch, kick, and shoot. Use the accelerometer to take down the Axis Agents from a distance with a powerful sniper rifle.
Tap your screen to search for hidden secrets that reveal stolen treasures and more.
A Taste of the Original
Fight your way through 9 levels and 8+ hours of Wolfenstein action!
YOUR WORST ENEMIES
Face 32 enemies you’ll love to vanquish! Battle elite soldiers, zombies flaming skeletons, and other bizarre Id creations.
Sneak your way into the Mixing Stations and dip into their performance enhancing concoctions for your OWN benefit!
A KILLER LOOK
High-res graphics suspended in a 3D world immerse you in the mayhem.
Listen to your iTunes® music library during gameplay and battle to your own music!
LET IT ALL OUT
Need a break from all that ACTION? Play 2 classic mini-games: “Kick the Chicken” and “War”!
Wolfenstein RPG isn’t exactly new – it was originally developed for mobile phones. id Software had released a Doom RPG back in 2005 for mobile phones and it had been well received, and they followed that up last year with the mobile phone version of Wolfenstein RPG. Now we have the iPhone version of Wolfenstein RPG, updated graphically and optimized for the multi-touch interface.
The game is basically a retelling of the 1992 Wolf 3D story, spelled out in much greater detail and filled with more mini-boss battles and opportunities to craft items and explore to find hidden items and secret areas. There is considerably more interaction with other characters and the environment, as this is no longer simply about running around killing everything. Of course, it is also not such a radical departure that you can ever complete an action without killing enemies, but at least it gets put into context through the dialogue and interaction.
The first thing you will notice is that the game looks and sounds great. When Wolf3D came to the App Store, it looked and sounded like an optimized version of the original. Wolfenstein RPG looks and sounds like a completely retooled version, and is a fantastic looking game with clear sounds and dialogue. The game is still essentially a ‘2.5D’ game with sprites rather than 3D models, so the world has a strange perspective as you rotate, but the general appearance is excellent.
The iPod control scheme uses a virtual D-pad that moves BJ Blazkowicz forward and backward and turns left or right. There is an interface bar at the bottom of the screen that allows you to access sub-menus for health items or weapons. Using items is as simple as going into the menu and selecting an item and choosing ‘Use’. Weapon switching can be done with a quick tap on the active weapon, or holding the weapon icon brings up the full menu selection at once. You can also access the game menu, allowing you to save your progress at any time or alter various options.
At the center of the bottom bar there is an icon representing Blazkowicz. His health is represented by the condition displayed, from full health to near death. While watching the health and armor meters is the best way to ensure you don’t go to an early grave, in the middle of action sometimes the graphic is a nice reminder. Also, the game is excellent about providing updates about BJ’s health status during combat, telling you when he has low health or is near death. Tapping on the icon causes BJ to wait or pass his turn during combat.
The entirety of Wolfenstein RPG is turn-based, meaning that every action BJ takes represents a turn that is part of a round shared by every character in the area. Outside of combat the turns are loosely implemented, simply meaning that no characters can ambush you while you are idle, though they will continue to move about their routine patrol patterns. Fully turn-based mode begins when combat mode is engaged – which happens when you have an enemy in range or they spot you.
Enemies have various strengths and weaknesses that you can exploit using the variety of weapons you obtain – and also the array of health items and stat-enhancing syringes you can pick up or create during the game. Most encounters are not too challenging, allowing you to simply quaff a health potion every now and then. But on occasion you will get engaged in a fierce battle, perhaps even dying in the attempt to make progress.
Wolfenstein RPG also features two mini-games of sorts. The first is ‘chicken kicking’ – you kick a chicken multiple times and eventually it turns into something edible to add health. There is also an area where you can gain rewards for aiming your kicks! The other mini-game is War, a card battle game you play against the insane German officer you will meet bouncing around various locations. This is a simple ‘who picks the higher card’ game and not a replacement for Knights of the Old Republic’s Pazaak, but is fun to play on occasion.
The world of Wolfenstein is highly interactive – usually leading to finding look as you use dynamite on weak walls or kick open crates. However, there are some puzzles to solve, and the ability to craft syringes as you gain recipes. All of this adds to the experience. The RPG elements are pretty ‘Lite’, but provide a nice feeling of progression as you work your way through the sprawling game.
Wolfenstein RPG is a very large game for the iPod Touch. There are nine levels that will take you as long as 10 hours to work through, with 16 weapons and 32 enemies and a host of hidden items and secrets. It is an incredible value at $2.99 on the iTunes App Store, and provides more than just a nostalgia trip.
Where to Buy: iTunes App Store Link
What I Like:
– Nice turn-based combat
– Deeper than original story
– Loads of content, hours of gameplay
What Needs Improvement:
– Don’t be expecting a deep RPG … or a deep story … or deep characters