Id software has constantly set the standard for 3D action shooters as they were the driving force behind the genre with such groundbreaking series as Doom, Quake, and the Wolfenstein.

While a lot has changed in gaming since I first played Escape from Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II computer, it was comforting to know that I was easily able to slip back into the world of Wolfenstein even though it has been 8 years since Return to Castle Wolfenstein shipped and 6 years since the online game Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory.

As with previous games, players take on the role of Allied super agent B.J Blazkowicz as he travels to the German town of Isenstadt in an effort to get to the bottom of Nazi experimentation into mysterious crystals and the occult. While in the town, BJ meets up with various groups ranging from the local resistance to a group who teaches him about the mysterious Veil and the Black Sun.
It is learned that the Nazis are looking to create doomsday weapons with the supernatural power of the Black Sun, and BJ must stop them at all costs. This leads to dealings with the local black market to upgrade your weapons which in a nice twist, requires players to locate gold as they battle through the various missions to upgrade their weapons.

The game has a central storyline but allows for side missions as players are able to decide to do things such as travel to an officers home or head out of town for another cog in the storyline.

There are always patrols on the streets, and players can decide if they wish to engage them or continue on to the main mission.
The action in the game is fast and your arsenal includes machine guns, rifles, rocket launchers, and some nice advanced weapons such as energy cannons, as Tesla weapons which fry bad guys on the spot.

This is a good thing as aside from the usual Nazi Storm troopers and officers, there are some very nasty enhanced enemies that draw upon the Black Sun to deal deadly energy, move at a high rate of speed, project shields, and summon demons.

Players will also be able to use a medallion that will allow players to slow time, increase their weapons damage, project a shield, and locate secret passages and vulnerable areas on targets. This is a highly valuable tool as you will not be able to survive much of the game without the services of this item as the enemies waiting you are fierce and numerous.

Graphically the game shines, and I loved the use of colors. Many World War II games stay with a muted color scheme, yet Wolfenstein boldly embraces this only to add a surge of amazingly bright colors in the more action filled sequences of the game is nothing short of breathtaking.

The game is long, and there are some very tough battles for players. This was my main frustration with the game as it uses a checkpoint save system, which required you to replay difficult portions of the game should you die before reaching a checkpoint.
The frustration that I had at some of the missions was lost when I was able to finally defeat a section but sometimes you had to wonder if it was luck rather than skill that allowed you to finally crack a tough segment.

The voice acting and story are good but are not anything genre changing. The game knows its audience and lets the action draw you in and keep you playing.

The game offers online gaming ranging from the usual deathmatches and team deathmatch varieties. I enjoyed several matches where my team and I had to attack a secure locale and escape with a valuable artifact.

In the end, Wolfenstein will not break any new ground, but it is a lot of fun, and if you like action, this game has it in spades.
4 stars out of 5.