Wolfenstein 3D, PC

Wolfenstein 3D is an infamous first-person shooter, developed by id Software and published by Apogee Software in 1992. It is essentially a first-person remake of MUSE Software‘s overhead stealth game, Castle Wolfenstein, but with no stealth and lots of shooting.

The story goes something like this: “World War II rages. The Nazis are planning to build an unstoppable, mutant army. On a mission to steal the secret plans, you’ve been captured and imprisoned. Now, a lucky break gives you the chance to escape, but a maze of passages and trigger-happy Nazis stand in your way.” This means that the game is adorned with endless Swastikas, eagles, and images of Adolf Hitler, which decorate the walls of the buildings you’re escaping from. Which is not a great look, even though it is for historical context. The decor is highly repetitive and at times feels like an unnecessary over-saturation of Nazi symbolism.

Wolfenstein 3D was released through Apogee in two sets of three episodes under the “shareware” model (in which the first episode was released for free, to drive interest in paying for the rest). An additional episode, Spear of Destiny, was released as a stand-alone retail title through FormGen.

The game was a critical and commercial success (selling over 250,000 copies by the end of 1995), and is considered to be one of the greatest video games ever made, although playing it now I got bored with it quite quickly because it’s very repetitive and doesn’t have a great deal of variety. It’s also pretty challenging because you can go from full health to dead in three or four shots. I guess id was going for a more ‘realistic’ approach with the gunshot damage. It can make the game quite frustrating to play, though.

Wolfenstein 3D led to a number of more modern sequels, such as Return to Castle Wolfenstein in 2001, Wolfenstein: The New Order in 2015, and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus in 2017. And it also, rather famously, led id Software onto the even more famous Doom, and later to Quake.

More: Wolfenstein 3D on Wikipedia
Steam: Wolfenstein 3D on Steam
GOG: Wolfenstein 3D on GOG.com

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