A Few Unasked-for Words about Wolfenstein: The Old Blood
I was born at a time when personal computers were just a dream. When I was a child I had to ride my bike for three miles in the rain to reach the closest arcade, and was forced to use quarters to play Mortal Kombat with a broken joystick and a set of shabby buttons on a TV screen built into a wooden cabinet and painted in neon colors. Imagine my excitement when I got my first PC, and had the chance to lay my hands on the first FPS of my life – Wolfenstein 3D.
Of course, it was not a 3D game – similar games were available for C64 (my first home computer). But the fact that I could shoot Nazis (and a cyber-Hitler) in an environment similar to Windows’ 3D Maze screensaver was amazing at the time.
The Wolfenstein franchise was revived quite a few times since then. The 2001 Return to Castle Wolfenstein failed to amaze me, and I had to wait 8 more years for another worthy FPS which I though finally presented the adventures of B.J. Blazkowicz in enough detail. I was wrong: Wolfenstein: The New Order turned the mindless shooting game into an amazing, interactive adventure, almost like a movie (it even had an “adult” scene!!!111one). And not even its huge size was able to turn me down (although I had to switch to a much more expensive data plan to download it fast enough).
There was a single thing I missed in the game, one that would have made it even more credible: I found no Offizierkasino in the game. Gambling is a popular pastime today, with millions of people choosing to play Canadian casino games at Red Flush and other similar gaming outlets each day. They are drawn in by their ease of use, accessibility and the chance to win big money each day, along with the promotions Red Flush offers not just its new players, but its existing ones as well. Today players don’t have to go to a casino anymore to play – they can enjoy all the great games at home or on the go, through the Red Flush mobile casino.
Gambling is popular today, and it was an equally popular way to spend the long evenings during World War II, especially for soldiers putting their lives on the line each day (or fulfilling boring guard missions). Castle Wolfenstein either doesn’t have an Offizierkasino, or I was the one unable to find it.
After finishing Wolfenstein, the New Order for the second time (never above Hurt me Plenty, though), I thought there was nothing more to add to this amazing game which I enjoyed playing through twice. And, unfortunately, I was right.
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is a standalone game, although it should have been a “mission pack” to the New Order. First of all, it lacks the feeling of adventure that was so amazing in New Order – driving through Poland, killing Nazi soldiers and solving puzzles to reach my destination. The enemies are rather easy to defeat – once you find the way to shoot even the biggest and baddest “badass” it becomes a piece of cake, especially for players eating strafe and crapping frags like myself. But the thing that was the most disappointing for me was the final boss battle of the game.
That massive monster unleashed by the German scientist was impressive at first, but once I found out that it’s blind and only reacts to sound I could easily defeat it. It even helped me with re-filling my ammo and shield by continuously killing off Nazis trying to kill me off, providing me with endless supplies. And in the end I even felt sorry for the poor thing, but the game required me to kill it nonetheless – otherwise it would have never ended. Oh, and one more little detail: the lack of a health bar for the monster was very annoying – not knowing how many times I still need to shoot it for it to fall was an outright malicious move from Bethesda.
It was not THAT bad, though, but my advise to you is to wait for it to go on sale, as it is not worth the full price. I think of it as something released as a “stop-gap” before the new Doom hits the market.