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Wolfenstein Review

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Gory first-person (Nazi) shooter

★★★★★

After taking a trip back to 1992 in id’s iPhone reworking of Wolfenstein 3D – utterly essential, by the way, aside from the shockingly disappointing finish once you demolish the final boss – slaughtering a fresh bath of Nazis in the latest console edition should be the stuff of digital dreams. But despite how the first-person shooter genre has evolved and matured since the original Wolfie debuted almost 20 years ago, little has changed in the shallow, Nazi-baiting world of BJ Blaskowicz.

Essentially a bog standard run-and-gunner that ditches any strategy or stealth in favour of sickening violence, Wolfenstein is a fun blaster from beginning to end, peppering the traditional bloodshed with excellent boss battles and the ability to slide seamlessly into an alternate dimension where you can unleash special powers, slow time and reach previously out-of-bounds regions of the game world.

But while the rattling machineguns, gratuitous gore and fearsome supernatural Nazis will have you grinning from ear to ear, Wolfenstein is shot through with flaws that will soon have hardened gun-toters searching elsewhere for thrills: the enemy soldiers are unfeasibly stupid, and will often fail to react when one of their comrades is torn to shreds only metres away; the multiplayer modes are rudimentary and lazy, and won’t add much to the Wolfenstein’s lifespan; and the cutscenes are stiff, clichéd and oddly old-fashioned, and make it feel as if Half-Life never happened.

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