Wolfenstein 3D (1992)

3.66 from 80 votes
Considered by many to be the progenitor of the first-person shooter genre, Wolfenstein 3D is a 1992 first-person action game that pits the player, as Allied spy William "B.J." Blazkowicz, against the might of Nazi Germany.
First released
May 5, 1992
Wolfenstein 3-D, Wolf3D, Wolf 3D, Wolf, Wolfenstein
Developed by
id Software, Nerve Software, LLC, Zenimax Media Inc, Imagineer Co., Ltd.
Published by
id Software, MacPlay, Apogee Entertainment, BAM! Entertainment, Inc., Interplay Entertainment Corp., Atari SA, Imagineer Co., Ltd., Activision, Zenimax Media Inc
Game Boy Advance, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Mac, 3DO, Jaguar, Apple IIgs, Xbox 360 Games Store, PlayStation Network (PS3), PC, iPhone, NEC PC-9801, Acorn Archimedes, Browser
Action, First-Person Shooter
Sci-Fi, Alternate Historical, World War II
  • 3DO - Wolfenstein 3D United States
  • A2GS - Wolfenstein 3D United States
  • GBA - Wolfenstein 3D United States
  • IPHN - Wolfenstein 3D Classic United States
  • JAG - Wolfenstein 3D United States
  • PC - Wolfenstein 3D (Steam) United States
  • PC - Wolfenstein 3D United States
  • PS3N - Wolfenstein 3D United States
  • SNES - Wolfenstein 3D United States
  • SNES - Wolfenstein 3D: The Claw of Eisenfaust Japan
  • SNES - Wolfenstein 3D United Kingdom
  • XBGS - Wolfenstein 3D United States

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*Warning: spoilers* Great classic with lots of memories.
In the league of the “big three”, the father of all FPS games today can, of course, not be excluded. Wolfenstein 3D is the foundation of all the great FPS games today, from other classics to the modern titles.

Like DOOM and Duke Nukem 3D, I played this game as one of the first titles in my gaming career as a kid, failed miserably and needed to take revenge on it at a later age. Then, in 2014, I decided that it was time and I finally finished this hard son of a b… It was all worth it and the nice blast of nostalgia that came with it, was worth the wait.

In Wolfenstein 3D, you play as the legendary hero B.J. Blazkowicz, who must escape from the prison Castle Wolfenstein and carry out his secret mission against the nazi’s. You start one of the three main episodes which form the story and blast your way through the prison. You need to find the plans for “Operation: Eisenfaust”, a plan to create an army of undead mutants to ensure nazi victory over Europe. You find the plans, venture deeper into Castle Wolfenstein and eventually fight the Fuhrer himself, in a big ass mecha suit.

After this (or before), you can play the three prequel episodes called “The Nocturnal Missions”, in which you find plans for chemical weapons that the Germans are planning to use in favor of the war. You eventually confront the German General behind these plans in Castle Offenbach and stop him.

Graphicly, Wolfenstein 3D looks amazing for its time. The whole 3D perspective was mind blowing back then and even today, it still holds up. There are many other 3D games out there, especially on the SNES and Megadrive that looked a lot worse and are, in my opinion, unplayable today. The graphic nature of this game, along with all the nazi art is something unique, and of course, the source of much controversy, especially in certain countries, like my neighbors in Germany.

When talking sound, the guns all sound really good, especially for a game this old. The German spoken by the enemies is spot on (when understood) and the big blue guys even scream “Mein Leben” when shot down, something that I think is really cool, even to this day.

The gameplay, movement and animation is all really fluent, and it is this basis that laid the foundation for great games like DOOM, Duke Nukem and Half Life. The best example of this, is when playing Wolfenstein: The New Order, and you play realistic graphics and movement in the old Wolfenstein 3D world.

Although not fair, the only problem I had with Wolfenstein 3D, while finishing it, was the repetitive nature. This is surely also present in a way with games like DOOM, but in Wolfenstein 3D, everything looks the same all the way through. It made it a little bit harder to finish. Nevertheless, it was not all that bad overall.

In the end, I enjoyed Wolfenstein 3D. It remains an all time classic. However, from the “big three”, I think I prefer Duke Nukem 3D and DOOM over this one, based on their variety. Although it is not a fair comparison because this game came first, it is just a little too linear and repetitive today.

Still would recommend this relic from the past.
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