Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Id Software's long-awaited reboot of the Wolfenstein series, bowed in November 2001. It had a good singleplayer mode (before the term "campaign" took hold) but was well known for its multiplayer, which spawned the free Enemy Territory game. We're going to go on through a complete playthrough of the single player mode, complete with Nazis, the occult, and atomic supermen! RTCW kicked off the glut of World War 2 shooters, with Medal of Honor: Allied Assault and Call of Duty following on its heels. Where Wolfenstein differs is that it has always had a science fiction bent. The occult, supermachines, high technology and more play large factors in the plots, often based on crazed Nazi schemes.
But before we get on with that, let's take a quick stroll down memory lane with some context. Delicious context!
The Wolfenstein series had not seen an entrant since the "sequel" to the original Wolfenstein 3D (or expansion, as I'd put it), Spear of Destiny, which ran on the original Wolf3D engine. As most know, Wolfenstein 3D brought the concept of a first person shooter to light. The game is clunky and dated by today's standards, but it was a completely new kind of gameplay when it bowed. RTCW is an attempt to bring the same kind of scenario to a more modern FPS engine.
Wolfenstein 3D itself was a sequel/continuation of Silas Warner's Castle Wolfenstein game, a strange 2D stealth game on 8-bit home computers like the Apple II and Commodore 64. It was based on your attempts to escape from the titular Castle Wolfenstein. It saw a sequel of its own, Beyond Castle Wolfenstein, before languishing in obscurity.
Both of these things come together in Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Characters, scenarios, and concepts come together to form a strange and creepy atmosphere full of adrenaline. Since RTCW was based on the Quake 3 Team Arena engine, it's got a lot of turn of the century FPS tropes. You're still collecting health packs (and food), the AI can be a little dumb at times, and the graphics haven't aged all that well. Still, the core gameplay is quite fun with a variety of Nazi murder weapons at your disposal.
So who are we getting involved with in this game?
William "B.J" Blazkowicz
Agent Blazkowicz has starred in every Castle Wolfenstein game. He's a one man Nazi killing machine, sent in to often unwinnable situations and expected to achieve victory. B.J.'s got an axe to grind against the Nazis, given that he is the son of Polish immigrants to the United States. He's the main player character of the game, and is a silent protagonist.
Your nemesis? This motherfucker.
That's right - Heinrich Himmler. Himmler's strange fascination with the occult drives the entire plot. His machinations will yield some bizarre episodes. But let's not get TOO deep into that just yet.
His underlings are quite annoying. Like, say...
Wilhelm "Death's Head" Strasse. He does the dirty work for Himmler, cooking up strange and twisted experiments in his private laboratory, the X-Labs.
Helga von Bulow provides muscle to Death's Head's operation with her squad of Elite Guards. They're lean, mean, silenced machinegun toting death babes, and they make killing the good guys look good.
Of course, we'll run into some helpful friends, and we'll be monitored by Tony Jay's Band of Superfriends... or the OSA. I like my name, though. Yo-SA! You might recognize many of the voices used in the game. They actually shelled out for some real actors, which was unusual at this point for game voices.
A word of note - RTCW is full of secrets and hidden treasures. Unfortunately, I will probably be unable to find every single one. Even with having FAQs around, I have only given about one replay to the game recently, and it's still not enough to refresh my memory in most cases. I'll try to get as many secrets as possible, but since secrets only give you some gold/treasures or perhaps some extra ammo, missing one or two here or there will not affect the progress of the game. The game is linear and you cannot revisit any previous level.
With all that said, let's get to what you REALLY want.
|Episode 1 - Stabbity||blip.tv|
|Episode 2 - Cheese and Wine||blip.tv|
|Episode 3 - Terror Tram||blip.tv|
|Episode 4 - Wolfburg||blip.tv|
|Episode 5 - Tales From the Crypt||blip.tv|
|Episode 6 - The Catacombs||blip.tv|
|Episode 7 - The Church||blip.tv|
|Episode 8 - Fumblestealth||blip.tv|
|Episode 9 - The Rocket Base||blip.tv|
|Episode 10 - Communique||blip.tv|
|Episode 11 - Planespotting||blip.tv|
|Episode 12 - BURNINATION||blip.tv|
|Episode 13 - Last Train to Wolfenstein||blip.tv|
|Episode 14 - The Secret Weapons Facility||blip.tv|
|Episode 15 - Ice Station Norway||blip.tv|
|Episode 16 - The X-Labs||blip.tv|
|Episode 17 - Das Ubersoldaten-inator!||blip.tv|
|Episode 18 - Dam It All!||blip.tv|
|Episode 19 - Sneaky Snakes||blip.tv|
|Episode 20 - Honky Chateau||blip.tv|
|Episode 21 - In Blackest Night||blip.tv|
|Episode 22 - The Dig Site||blip.tv|
|Episode 23 - Get Back, B.J.||blip.tv|
|Episode 24 - Oh, Heinrich!||blip.tv|
Fan art and other goodies!
BJ by Tehzim
Return to Bionic Commando Wolfenstein by Silentbrains
and his Caribbean cousin, both by Necroid.
Elite Guard, by Tehzim
lithuanian dad shows just how sweet that jumping is.
The Let's Play RTCW Drinking game!
My roommate and I have a drinking game now:
Player one drinks when Kefka:
- passes up a health pack because it will put him at 101 to 105 health
- uses a euphemism like "let's cause a ruckus" or "let's see what we can do" for "let's shoot dozens of Nazis in the face"
- makes up some BS to rationalize why an item/treasure/secret is there
Player two drinks when Kefka:
- uses the lean button more than 2 times in a row
- chows down on some food that's lying around
- pretends to be surprised by something or wonders what the Nazis are up to
- screws up and has to backtrack - take a shot or finish your beer if he has to cut the video (we had to add this because of the number of times player one was drinking from the health pack one)
Both drink when Kefka:
- drops below 75 health, with a second drink at 50 (rarely happens)
- kicks something for no good reason (purely so we can argue about what constitutes a good reason)