Preview: Bark at the moon...

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Odd alien creatures called Collectors also float aimlessly about the world, invisible to all but you. They drink from pools of Veil energy like a sort of delicious occult milkshake. Shoot them and they erupt like fleshy exploding barrels, electrocuting foes in the real world.

And so, by flipping things between normal and green and occasionally slowing things down, I made my way from one end of a heavily defended road to the other. Wolfenstein's levels are semi-open ended, offering various routes to your objective. In this case I could've forced my way through the middle - the most direct route - by relying heavily on my Mire ability to avoid being turned into a fine red mist by racists' bullets. Instead I crept along the building fronts, at times clambering along rooftops to get the jump on unsuspecting tyrants below. Certain walls, marked by a Black Sun logo, don't exist inside the Veil, so by flipping into that magical dimension I could often saunter through solid brick and properly surprise a bunch of devious huns.

Raven promise that this open-endedness will appear throughout the game, and that parts of the city will be open to exploration at any time. They're quick to assure, however, that this isn't an open-world, free-roaming city, but that at the same time it won't be as linear as old Wolfensteins.

As is tradition for the series, Nazi treasure can be found stashed throughout the world, and this treasure can now be used to purchase upgrades on the black market. Your MP40, for example, can be fitted with a silencer for stealth, improved rifling for accuracy and a drum magazine for more ammunition. Veil powers can be purchased here too, though Mire is still the only ability Raven are willing to talk about. These marketplaces are physical locations in the world - one a straightforward black market front, the other only available inside the Veil, a mystical outlet of craziness known as the Golden Dawn.


Reality is further unhinged by the appearance of the Nazi's Veil-powered superweapons. Heavy Troopers are armoured soldiers wielding powerful particle cannons and capable of sending out explosive shock waves - they also have a penchant for bursting through walls when you least expect. By slipping into the Veil I was able to highlight their weak points - sparkling transistors rather helpfully placed on their shoulders. Dodging the vintage automobiles being hurled about the place by the Heavy Trooper's particle cannon, I popped his shoulder pads and brought him to his knees.

The particle cannon is a meaty weapon, and Wolfenstein's world is built to accommodate its destructive abilities. It tears through wood and turns cover to dust. AI Nazis run from you, desperately trying to seek safety as you blast green lightning death in all directions. The Veil might give you an edge in combat, but it never makes you feel overly powerful. The particle cannon, on the other hand, transforms you into a sort of Nazi-slaying messiah.

Using this weapon I pushed forward to my final objective - the spire of energy erupting from the ruined church. In the tighter spaces of the church grounds, the defensive abilities of the enemy AI really start to show - they duck behind gravestones and stay low when under fire. They won't push forward either, as they've nowhere to push forward to. They'll retreat from grenades, and can so be forced into easily compromised positions. On this occasion, I'd effectively herded the enemy into an indefensible corner of the church's facade, managing to take them out before they had a chance to regroup and take up better cover.

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