Wolfenstein: Captain Generic Saves The Day

By Alec Meer on April 20th, 2009 at 9:24 pm.

Just out is this moving-picture displaying the introductory sequence to Raven’s upcoming Wolfenstein do-over. It’s a curious project, for once putting the mystical overtones of the Wolfenstein series front’n'centre, as opposed to the usual late-game burst of fantasy weirdness. This cinematic, though, aptly demonstrates its two conflicting elements – Nazi-shooting and crazy gothic magic, the latter this time to be wielded by you as well as your exaggerated foes. No in-game footage, and thus no enormous sense of how this sequel/remake (semake? Requel?) will play. But I guarantee you this: it will feature the shooting of pixel-based German men.

BJ Sillynameowicz’s latest incarnation is as about as blandly generic as action heroes get, but I rather imagine that’s the point. He’s the archetypal US soldier, all lantern-jaw and gruff stubble, dropped into a bewildering world of dark magicks and dark festishism. Ironic juxtaposition, and all that. Frankly, he looks so 80s action hero that he’s a little ludicrous (as the name also implies) – and I do hope that’s something that’s played with rather than Raven simply treating him as sympathetic hero.

Anyway, go video:

Other salient points about Wolfenstein include a few winks that RCTW: Enemy Territory will be the inspiration for the multiplayer – so it could be a sequel of sorts to poor Quake Wars- and this plot summary:

It is the year 1943. The Second World War is at its height. While Allied forces have stalled the expansion of Hitler’s Third Reich, the Nazi war machine still has its boot on the throat of mainland Europe. However, the Führer demands nothing less than global domination. Enter Heinrich Himmler’s feared SS and its plan to master an occult force known only as the Black Sun. With this mysterious power source at its disposal, no army on Earth could stand in the Reich’s path. No army but the man who had single-handedly shut down Himmler’s Übersoldat program and thwarted the resurrection of ancient superhuman King Heinrich I, that is. Once again, the world requires the particular talents of special agent B.J. Blazkowicz.

It’s due later this year, so no doubt we can expect oodles of footage and information soon.

Bonus! A GDC interview I don’t believe we slapped here at the time:

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75 Comments »

  1. teo says:

    I loved RTCW but this seems, like you said, generic
    The Doom 3 engine just isn’t very exciting. It doesn’t feel good

  2. CannedLizard says:

    Anyone else have TF2 flashbacks when they heard a german accented voice yell “SPY!”?

    Anyway, looks cheesy. Not necessarily in a good way.

  3. Flappybat says:

    Even the fancy green bits don’t enthuse me.

    If you can’t make exciting green bits then you might as well stop making games.

  4. Noc says:

    AMERICAN SPY IS NOT OUR SPY.

  5. Senethro says:

    Poor, poor Quake Wars. It had its flaws but I loved it very much.

    If Endrant Studios (who are doing the MP) try to keep the gameplay old school with fast movement, hip shooting, run’n'gun style then I’m sure I’ll have fun with it. But I hold no high hopes that it’ll be successful among a demographic demanding a different flavour of faux-realism with carefully simulated running speeds, mandatory aiming with sights and full of OOOORAH

  6. Okami says:

    Why are the germans talking in english with german accents to each other?

  7. Hulk Hogan says:

    THIS IS FOR ALL YOUR HULKAMANIACS OUT THERE!

    This looks like pretty much every FPS produced in the last few years but I find the dark magic to be intriguing

  8. Tei says:

    I think the history on this one will be fun :-)

  9. Reverend Speed says:

    Am I mad in thinking BJ looks like Captain Scarlet?
    http://www.spectrum-headquarters.com/skybase_central/cast_scarlet1.jpg

    And would it hurt them to stick in a few more reaction shots and even a mild spit take from the lead?

    Wolfenstein was always clearly a cross between Indiana Jones and Where Eagles Dare – combining those two elements while filtering out nearly all the charm and wit is a helluva technical achievement. Good on you, Raven!

    And Quake Wars is lovely and almost impossible for a newcomer to understand and play within an hour. I’m confident Splash Damage won’t make that mistake again…

  10. Turin Turambar says:

    Oh, it’s a very generic, unoriginal WW2-with-magic FPS with a bland hero. Agreed.

    But it looks like a very solid and fun shooter, 90′s style.

  11. Andrew Dunn says:

    No interest in this whatsoever.

    But then Wolfenstein’s always left me cold.

  12. Radiant says:

    I was really hoping this would turn out to be something so insanely Eastern Europe game studio bonkers but it looks to be middle of nowhere America game studio bonkers which is a bit of a shame.

  13. Joshua says:

    Everyone should just buy The Club instead of this.

    Raven’s other game, Singularity, doesn’t look much better.

  14. teo says:

    But who wants to buy this at full price? Seriously?
    At half price it would be a decent purchase

  15. Senethro says:

    >:(

    If I wasn’t busy with my degree I’d suggest throwing up an RPS-reader Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory server next weekend to remind you all using a healthy dose of fragging why we should be at the very least cautiously optimistic!

    Guys, we like PC games, remember? Whats more PC than an id software property FPS? Stop this moaning minnie stuff right now!

  16. Respectable Gentlemen says:

    If it’s multi-player is like Wolf:ET then I will consider buying it, but that trailer is horrifyingly awful.

  17. Radiant says:

    @senethro when was the last time id software made a good game [awesome quakelive aside]?
    When was the last time Raven did?

  18. Tworak says:

    I’ll probably pick this up down the road if the mod support is good.

  19. Senethro says:

    @Radiant: Has id made anything since Doom 3…? (wow, thats a thought.)

    Raven has a long history of producing technically solid FPS using other peoples’ intellectual property with good attention to art assets but a possible lack of imagination with regard to architecture (i.e. its a long linear corridor). But look at their wikipedia page and point out the last PC FPS they made that was actually bad instead of a plain “above average”.

  20. Rhooke says:

    All that happened when I watched that video was that Lt. Stubbly reminded me of Nathan Drake, and then I started daydreaming about Uncharted 2 and wondered when that would be coming out.

    Then I think something blew up.

  21. Petethegoat says:

    “But I guarantee you this: it will feature the shooting of pixel-based German men.”

    Enter Voxelstein 3D!

  22. SirKicksalot says:

    That trailer is better than the entire Indiana Jones 4.

  23. Carra says:

    RtCW: ET is one of my all time favorite multiplayer games. But it was made by Nerve Software, not ID nor Raven.

    -When was the last time Raven did?
    Mmm, Jedi Academy was a great game. Which is now six years old now, sigh.

  24. Jonas says:

    So uh didn’t the Tirpitz sink off the coast of Norway (rather than England) in 1944 (rather than 1943) as a result of a massive airstrike (rather than sabotage)?

    But then again, in the face of the whole occult thing, I guess historical accuracy doesn’t really matter :P

  25. Andy`` says:

    “RtCW: ET is one of my all time favorite multiplayer games. But it was made by Nerve Software, not ID nor Raven.”

    Splash Damage made ET. Nerve did the RTCW multiplayer that it springs off though, which makes me wonder if QW would have been better (lovely as it is) if Nerve and Splash had worked together on it. Still, looking forward to Raven’s interpretation of those multiplayer ideas.

    “So uh didn’t the Tirpitz sink off the coast of Norway (rather than England) in 1944 (rather than 1943) as a result of a massive airstrike (rather than sabotage)?”

    In crazyvideogameland, WW2 never ended.

  26. DeliriumWartner says:

    “That trailer is better than the entire Indiana Jones 4.” Granted SirKicksalot, but no trailer would be better than that film.

    Does anyone else think that the best thing might not have been to shoot at the “bomb”? If a spy on my Boat of Evil pulled out a glowy-thing, I wouldn’t then shoot at it to see what happened.

  27. DigitalSignalX says:

    I kept waiting for a female lead to scream Innndyeeeeeee!!!

    FPS? Check. WW2? Check. One guy vs. a million Nazi’s? Check.

    But this is new and different more detailed. So we’ll buy it.

    edit: playing Rogue Trooper atm, awesome game. It is what it is. An fps with cheese, hold the mayo. Maybe Wolfenstien can win if it doesn’t take itself as seriously as that CGI does.

  28. paneon says:

    It’s probably ‘Cliched-Wolfenstein-Game-Comment-Number-1′ – but after watching that, I found myself staring at the Castle Wolfenstein (i.e. the original from 1981) wikipedia page wistfully. (Of course, that’s a remake that we’ll never see from ID & friends)

  29. Clockwork Peanut says:

    I agree with Senethro, why’s everyone so negative?

    No I don’t expect the new Wolfenstein to evolve FPSs in any way, but at the end of the day Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Doom 3 were both fun games, not masterpieces, but fun. I think judgement on a game like this should be reserved until we play it.

  30. Magnus says:

    “how this sequel/remake (semake? Requel?) will play.”

    “Requel” definately.

    but I think I’ll pass on “yet-another-ww2-shooter-that-evokes-a-little-nostalgia-for-an-old-dos-game”.

  31. Malagate says:

    Is it me, or does almost every WW2 based shooter I can think involve playing the Americans? Yes, there are few exceptions like when you’re playing as the Russians, and one time I remember playing as a member of the French Resistance, but everything else seems America this and America that…
    It’d be awfully nice to see a few more games that involved playing as some actual European soldiers rather than more Yanks, especially when the setting’s in Europe. Hell, I’d settle for some Canadians or Australians for a change.

    Also how the hell could they get a ship within 3 miles of England, specifically London no less? England, which had one of the strongest navies in the world at the time, and Radar. With some of the heaviest defenses around London. Not to mention I do believe the Germans had rockets that could fly about 200 miles rather than have to be within 3 miles to use them. Actually, those rockets were in operation from 1944, this game is in 1943, but still 3 miles is super lame.

    But, well, it’s not like games developers are going to spend 2 seconds putting some vague historical accuracy in there when they could just put in magical trinkets and make all the enemies soup nazis/zombie soup nazis/Lieutenant Gruber from ‘Allo ‘Allo. I might just forgive another American lead in this case as it is somehow related to Wolfenstein.

    I doubt they’ll top mecha-hitler though, that was just so random and awesome from the original that I believe anything can be improved with his addition.

  32. paneon says:

    @ Malagate

    I think you have a point – why don’t we see more games where you can play as the French, or more specifically the Vichy French? There’s lots of interesting campaigns of the Vichy French vs the British Commonwealth/Free French forces haven’t been explored at all in WWII games. I know, I know – I agree that it’s quite scandalous.

  33. DrGonzo says:

    Call of Duty always let you play as Russians and English as much as it did Americans.

  34. Bret says:

    I think it’s due to the fact the Vichy sided with the Nazis, making them pure evil and therefore less likely to have a campaign to begin with, combined with the fact they have a reputation as utter wusses. I mean, all french people with the possible exception of the resistance are currently viewed as militarily incompetant, and we’re talking the group that didn’t just roll over for Hitler, but rolled out the red carpet. Not exactly the gang to get you excited to go forth and massacre.

  35. ANeM says:

    I love how the PR guy calls BJ a “Classic Character” and says that “Everyone knows him”
    For starters, he has only been in three games, two of which are are old school pseudo 3D shooters and one was a decent, but not amazing FPS released eight years ago.
    Not to mention Spear of Destiny is obscure as you can get in terms of old FPS games.
    Added to that, his name is trivial in all of those games. Its not in the title, it doesn’t really come up playing through the games. He is the Wolfenstein Guy, much as the Doom guy is Doom Guy.

    He has no name worth mention, he has no character traits worth mentioning and we have no attachment to him.

  36. Idle Threats & Bad Poetry says:

    Appropriate news for April 20th, Hitler’s birthday. Adolph, you’ve been dead for decades, and you still suck!

    Anyhow, the original Wolfensteins were awesome for the fact that you got to kill a robo-suited Hitler and, in Spear of Destiny, the frigging angel of death!! That was an awesome twist that I never saw coming.

    Frigging RtcW had us kill Rob Zombie. Who cares?? >:( To be frank, I have zero interest in this game, but id needs to make a Wolfenstein game that lets us frigging kill Hitler again. Think of all the directions you could go to make a very satisfying game about killing frigging Hitler!!

  37. Real Horrorshow says:

    “I love how the PR guy calls BJ a “Classic Character” and says that “Everyone knows him”
    For starters, he has only been in three games, two of which are are old school pseudo 3D shooters and one was a decent, but not amazing FPS released eight years ago.”

    Holy shit, a developer PR guy overexaggerated something. Call the national guard!

  38. Idle Threats & Bad Poetry says:

    I just watch the movie, by the way. It’s actually oddly satisfying. I will download the high res version for later enjoyment. ^_^

    Edit: Whoa, hey, look at this! An edit button! I’m going to edit this post to express my joy! Yay! o/

  39. Bret says:

    Amusingly, the Doom guy has a more well known personality.

    Admittedly, that personality is basically raving psychosis, and even that is only due to a mid 90s marvel tie in comic, but hey, better than BJ’s got.

  40. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    I’d expect more people are familiar the name of BJ Blazkowicz’s grandson; or at any rate, with the name of his alter-ego.

  41. DigitalSignalX says:

    Panzers II lets you play as the Germans, Italians, English, Americans and (I believe a first for any ww2 game) Yugoslavian Partisans. Take that.

  42. Y3k-Bug says:

    I swear I’m trying to not be a Negative Nancy, but I don’t care about this game at all. Looks so hopelessly generic.

  43. MetalCircus says:

    Oh dear. Turned off this now. Was hoping it would be silly nazi fun but no. It’s serious occult shooter now. Sigh.

  44. Bret says:

    You know, a Finnish campaign might be fun. Sneaking, sniping, and fighting the dirty reds and the Nazis at once?

    I’d give it a go.

  45. Eldoop says:

    So is this going to be a case of the player having an insanely powerful object that, in this case, is apparently capable of killing about 20 people simultaneously but that he can only use when it is convenient to the plot for him to do so? ‘Cause I hate that.

  46. ANeM says:

    “Holy shit, a developer PR guy overexaggerated something. Call the national guard!”

    Exaggeration would be if he were simply talking about a lesser known, but still classic character like the Jade from BG&E. Or a well known, but poorly really just a poorly thought out character (Albert Wesker).
    BJ is hardly a character at all and everyone I’ve spoken to who has played Wolf3D have been surprised to find out he even had a name.
    He didn’t exaggerate. He just made shit up.

  47. lumpi says:

    This is going to be SO mediocre.

    Actually, I feel a bit sorry for the developers, having to work with a franchise that has lost its appeal for ages now. I wish them good luck with producing a nice-looking action shooter.

    PS: HURRAY for edit buttons!

  48. SpoonySeeker says:

    If we keep calling them Nazis, that makes them less than human and then we can glorify their incredibly gory and apparently painful deaths!

    I know it’s just a videogame, but the way that developer talks about killing soldiers is really quite unsettling.
    I mean, if you heard someone talking in quite the same way with the same relish in their voice about killing prostitutes in GTA, you’d probably back away from them very quickly.

  49. KP says:

    What’s wrong with Quake Wars? :o
    The demo was a burnt turd and made me not buy it. –then somebody got me to try it out again. It’s awesome fun! Like somewhere between TF2 and Battlefield. My first choice when I need a brainless game (TF2 being second).

  50. dan says:

    I still dream of an fps where you have to fight your way through the chaos of a routed army and make it home / back to your lines alive.

    Why can we not play on the losing side for once?

    I’d love to see a game or mod based on dunkirk, or the fall of the german reich after normandy.