Wolfenstein 3D

One of the most influential games of all time, Wolfenstein 3D on the Jaguar also happens to be one of the better console ports. Many people would be right in thinking that Wolfenstein was the game that came before DOOM in id Software's library of first person shooters, but probably don't know that it is actually based on an older game called Castle Wolfenstein for the Apple II, Commodore 64 and, ironically, the Atari 8-bit machines of the 70s and 80s. Castle Wolfenstein was a totally different type of game where the player would move around 2D screens trying to avoid being spotted by guards, but obviously it was par for the course back in the early days of gaming. Wolfenstein 3D is similar to Castle Wolfenstein in that you are again trying to find your way through a large castle but in 3d you are actively encouraged to shoot German soldiers, steal hoards of Nazi treasure that's just left lying around the place, and ultimately find and kill Adolf Hitler himself. Well, Adolf Hitler housed inside what looks like a Titan from Titanfall, anyway. As the '3D' part of the title suggests, the game is a 3D first person explore-a-thon where you simply tear around the castle shooting any guards or dogs that see you and look for the exit to the next level of the castle. There are few puzzles and only a handful of different enemy types, but you really shouldn't mark it down for this as at the time of original release, there was very little else quite like Wolfenstein 3D out there.

DOOM is where id really found their way with the FPS, so you should look at Wolf 3D as if it was a trial run...which is exactly how it feels. That being said, the Jaguar version in particular looks very good - the frame rate is silky smooth and the castle decor looks great. The sprite-based enemies are also surprisingly large and well drawn. There's not really anything in the way of complex architecture in any of the stages (it has an Alien Vs Predator-type feel in the way all the environments are just flat walls), but there's quite a lot of stuff just littered about to make the castle feel more 'lived in' - tables, chairs, barrels, statues and suits of armour...and the walls are all adorned with suitable Nazi-esque tapestries of swastikas and portraits of the Fuhrer. This, of course led to the game being banned in Germany...but happily we still get to play it. I've only really played the Apple Mac version of Wolfenstein 3D so I can't say how well the Jag port holds up against the other console versions, but having seen screens of the heavily edited SNES port, I'll happily state that this is probably the definitive console incarnation. It plays really well, moves smoothly, has some nice music and sound effects ("Achtung!") and is a generally decent FPS. It's not really up to the same standards set by DOOM and AvP, but it's a great game and one you should track down for your Jaguar.

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