Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Operation Resurrection
the excellent run the Wolfenstein series has been making over the last
couple of years with initial PC reincarnation of the classic, and the
more recent Xbox game, I was really looking forward to checking out
Operation Ressurection (OC). Boy
were my hopes dashed. While
the single player game is certainly function with a nice atmosphere,
reasonably clever enemies, and great level design well suited for heated
fire fights, the developers seem to have forgotten one of the most
important features necessary for a first person shooter: making a
multi-player mode. The
actual missions of the game are fine and dandy, and players will
certainly be kept busy, but the utter lack of anything competitive
against a real person is a huge disappointment.
The settings for the game look decent with crisp imagery for the buildings with their often poorly lit, providing an appropriately spooky, foreboding atmosphere for the game. In the grand scheme of things, OC doesnít hold a flame to its brothers on the PC and Xbox, and even compared to other PS2 titles, this game is by no means a front runner for a graphics of the year award. This is largely due to the very plain look of the enemies youíll come across in the game. Their character models look like theyíre just there to fill space to players have something to aim at. There just isnít any sharp, detailed artistic merit to how the various Nazis and beasts from the nether regions look. They just have a very function, but underwhelming style to them.
Canceling out much of the graphical woes of OC is the audio in the game. With decent music, good voice acting, and very helpful sound cues, the aural experience here is very good. As is the case with a lot of games with guards on duty, as you creep up on them youíll get to eavesdrop on their conversations. There isnít too much hilarity to be had, but you do get useful tidbits on what to expect from the level. And overall the voice acting in the game is fairly good, with little in the way of poorly written lines or actors that just shouldnít be there in the
The music is well done, with moody tracks the change with the
intensity of whatís happening on-screen, dutifully performing itís
role of adding dramatic flair to the title.
Most importantly are the audio cues of OC, as players will have
to sneak around sometimes in order to more affectively take out enemies.
The footfalls of enemies, reloading of weapons, over heard
conversations, and countless other subtle sonic clues of an enemyís
presence considerably help with the immersive qualities of the game.
really carries OC is the setup of the levels.
The way the corridors, various chambers, and secret nooks are
laid out, thereís a very nice flow to the whole thing, that is very
nice to navigate. On top of this is that there are hidden areas
that can be discovered. When you find them you are rewarded points
that can be accumulated and used to purchase enhancements to your stats
as the game progresses.
after this itís all downhill for OC.
The enemies are reasonably tactical, having the good sense to try
and keep cover under fire, but there are plenty who just go in like a
glutton for punishment, making them easy to pump full of lead.
Overall the action feels like ďfirst person shooters by
numbersĒ, as the game just goes through the paces throwing enemies at
you while including the seemingly requisite stealth options that are so
popular these days. You
really start to feel like a rat in a maze as the missions mount, just
doing what youíve done in so many FPS titles before.
Even compared to other incarnations of Return to Wolfenstein on
the market, OC just doesnít stack up.
What absolutely kills it though is the lack of a multi-player
mode. Itís the lifeís
blood of the genre, with its incredibly entertaining competitive
qualities. Thereís no
online mode, nor is there even a split screen two-player mode in the
game. Itís completely
unacceptable that such an integral facet of FPS games is absent here.
OC is a stripped down husk of what the other Wolfenstein titles
available are. While the
level design is nice, and thereís some good audio features, overall
the title just fails to engage the gamer nearly as much as many of
itís competitors, or itís bigger brothers do.
July 13, 2003
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