Return to Castle
Wolfenstein: Tides of War
Castle Wolfenstein: Tides of War
| The Final Say!|
Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Tides of War
- reviewed by Edwin Milheim
Review Date: 22 June 2003
Not based on an average
Editors Note* This review was carried out by our American team member Edwin
Milheim. We thought we get the benefit of someone who had access to XBox Live
in order to better inform you.
to Castle Wolfenstein: Tides of War is developed by Nerve Software and is
executive produced by id Software. The XBox game is based on the award winning
PC title, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, originally developed by Gray Matter
Interactive studios, and Nerve Software.
Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Tides of War Features
- Players 1-2 (16 in Multiplayer)
- Memory Unit
Genre: First Person Shooter
- XBox Live
- Rating: M+
Dolby Digital In-game
Activision, and id Software tries for another
blast with Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Tides of War for the XBox video
game system. Most will agree they have hit the mark. The XBox game is based
on the award winning PC title, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, originally
developed by Gray Matter Interactive studios, and Nerve Software. To begin
with I have a thing for WW2 style games, even if they have a bit of occult
mayhem in them.
to Castle Wolfenstein: Tides of War places the player in the role of Army
Ranger, B.J. Blazkowicz. The player is recruited by the OSA and is the Allies’
specialist in covert operations and weapons. The job is simple enough for a
guy like that, simply infiltrate the heart of Nazi Germany and stop the
darkest plans of the Third Reich. Hitler's head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler,
is twisting science and the occult into an army capable of annihilating the
Allies. Blazkowicz must fight the good fight to put an end to Himmler’s
all starts in Egypt where the player uncovers the very early stages of the
occult plans of Himmler. The player ends up in several locations throughout
the adventure from Egypt to Norway and to the very heart of Nazi controlled
game itself whips you along at a pretty good pace, the story is told through
cut scenes and the various documents and journals that the player finds along
the way. The PC version of this series begins with the character already
trapped in a cell inside the Castle. The XBox version sets up the game’s story
a little better, giving the player a few new opening levels to play through.
enemy AI in the game is pretty good but nothing that will set records. The
enemy takes cover behind objects, then they would
just step out in time to hose some lead death in the players direction only to
take cover again just as you get a good bead on them.
is pretty darn thrilling in my book, at least the enemy does not just stand
there toe to toe with the player blasting each other until one or the other
dies. I think having played the PC game was where I got spoiled because I did
find aiming at the enemy a bit difficult in the XBox game. My cursor was
pretty much every place but on target half the time. While the enemy of course
had better than average aim. Poor me. Finding cover has a new meaning for me
in this game. Duck fire, dodge fire….Etc.
annoying thing with the AI was that once in a while it seemed like the enemy
spotted me way too easily. Even when I was around a corner and out of site.
Maybe it has something to do with the code of the game where the actual edge of
the corner is actually smaller than what is seen. Who knows? Of course this did
not take anything away from the experience. If anything it set a little more of
a thrill as I eased up to a corner and hoped nothing was on the other side.
to Castle Wolfenstein: Tides of War further does a good job at drawing the
player into the Occult-ridden nightmare that the Nazi’s are to blame for. You do
get a summer action movie feel going as you play, which was one of the things
that kept me coming back for more.
regards to my bad aiming, I was happy about one feature in particular. The
single-player game mode has an auto-aim function that's great for beginning
players, but it isn't without its problems. When going against Zombies for
instance. These walking corpses are best killed with shots to the head, but the
auto-aim locks your cursor at center mass (Chest). Even with auto aim the player
is forced to waffle around with the aiming and to move it up for a head shot. If
you're used to first person shooters on the XBox you will not have too much of a
problem, but if this is your first jump from PC gaming to XBox, you may want to
play at an easy level of game play to get used to aiming and shooting. Even with
some XBox first person shooters from the past I still had to get used to aiming
and shooting with Castle Wolfenstein Tides Of War. Often I was in such a hurry
to blast the enemy I ended up looking up or down and trying to center the aiming
more often than not. Plus one for the auto aiming feature.
end Wolfenstein's single-player campaign is OK, don’t
get me wrong it gets the job done in entertainment value. Maybe I was just
looking for more excitement than what was there. For the most part the single
player game is the standard “Get this item, make your way to the end of the
level” style. In the end it’s a good experience I very much recommend.
tend to have a love hate experience with the game, Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Tides Of War’s environments are large and look very good. Both environments and
models are very nicely done. The game has some really fantastic special effects,
explosions and flame effects are just a sinful indulgence that just puts icing
on this adventurous cake. Which is pretty sad when you think about it because in
some of the levels your just to busy blasting the bad
guys to get a chance to look around and site see.
things off very nicely is the sound. The sound is what I cranked. So much so
that I heard more than a few times from my wife…”Turn that down!” The sound
makes full use of the Dolby Digital 5.1 support, bringing a nervous gleeful
giggle as the surround sound makes you jump as it sounds like a bullet hit or
door opening behind you. (Depending on where you have your speakers set up of
pebble of comparing the PC to XBox jump grew in the back of my mind, I started
playing with the split screen two player option with my daughter. The family
that plays together, shooting and blasting anything that moves…stays together.
The XBox version adds a split-screen two-player cooperative mode to the
campaign, and here is more of that love-hate factor. Playing with a friend or
family member is loads of fun. During game play in this mode the frame rate
slowed down a bit, but it was not enough to distract from the enjoyment. Maybe I
am just nit picking as they say but the fluctuations in frame rate bothered me
just a bit.
Live support is what makes the game stand out. The game can be played with up to
16 players online, and it comes with all the standard Xbox Live player-matching,
XBox Live Communicator support, cooperative and multiplayer action giving this
much more bang for the buck than if it had only a single player game mode.
team is made up of four character classes. The soldier is a standard grunt
player class, who has access to the game's heavier weapons. The engineer class
can drop or defuse dynamite, making him necessary to complete objectives that
include blowing something up or stopping something from being blown up. The
lieutenant class can drop ammunition packs for his teammates, this is essential
since there are no ammo or health power-ups in the multiplayer mode. He can also
do one of my favorite things… call in air strikes. The medic drops health packs
for injured teammates and can also bring dead players back to life. In the realm
of multi player games the character classes round out a well made team in deed.
Each player must depend on the others to get the job done to any great effect.
really be much use in multi player mode, players need to know the maps. When you
jump on into a game, your in with out much of a clue
on what the objectives are. In order to know what your
expected to do you have to bring up the objective screen. Do it fast and get in
getting in there is all well and good and I know your going to want to go out
and get this game, Don’t be surprised when you hit the awful plague that nips at
all online players heels sooner or later. Lag…If you
have the bad luck to be connected to a bad server the came can suffer from lag.
The best bet for players is to do filtering with optimatch to find servers right
for you. By the time you read this I expect most of the good servers will far
out number the bad ones.
one last thing the downloadable maps make this game a real keeper. As of this
writing the Barn Mission is online to be down loaded. In this Map The
Axis Powers have hidden ammunition in an abandoned barn, and it's the Allies'
job to find and destroy it. Now I’ve kept you long enough get in there and blast
a fellow player!
end, Return to Castle Wolfenstein’s single player game is not anything that will
be cause for a parade or awards. On the other hand its multiplayer mode is a ton
of fun. XBox Live subscribers that spend the time to learn the game's maps will
definitely get a lot of enjoyment out of the game's online features.
have a rental place near you where you can try the game before you buy it, do
so. But I think you will be buying your own copy soon after.
fun, play games.
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