It would take a long time to groan about the revolutionary spirit that almost every part of the Wolfenstein series has brought with it. But you already know that, so let's get straight to the point and take a look at the history of the Wolfenstein series.
The old castle of the fascists
It all started with a small, like its name, speedy company Mouse Software. One fine day, her employee Silas Warren came up with the idea to create a game about the fascist fortress Wolfenstein. So it was named Castle Wolfenstein, and this project can be considered the progenitor of the first FPS.
Looking at the game now, it's hard not to smile, contemplating funny fascists in yellow overalls with a swastika on the chest and the main bald character, who looks more like a cancer patient than the well-known strong man BJ Blaskovets [although it was not him]. The goal of the game is to steal secret information from the fortress. The 1981 game was accompanied by such cool features as voice acting and stealth. Imagine, our hero could dress up in the clothes of the killed enemies and deal with them like a rat. So the next time someone starts telling you that Hitman or Splinter Cell were revolutionary and took stealth to the next level, just say that it was in the first Wolfenstain in '81, and they're just dirty casuals.
A sequel called Beyond Castle Wolfenstein was released three years later. There were not so many innovations in the game [at that time the sequel was ideal only for its presence], only the tweaked graphics, if I may say so, and the plot about the assassination attempt on Hitler. We are talking about Operation Valkyrie, when in the Fuehrer's bunker, where he held a secret meeting with members of the Reich, a bomb was placed under his table. The end of the game was just that. Also, an ordinary Fritz could stick to you and request a pass, if you deceive him - you will pass by without shooting.
Alas, in 1984 there were no potential buyers, since the PC itself was very expensive and not everyone had it. The studio has closed.
The coming of idSoftware
And now, 1992, John Carmack enters the gaming scene, who did more for the gaming industry than Jesus did for Christianity. It was his idSoftware studio that started developing the legendary Wolfenstein 3D.
At the stage of preparation, they thought about a cool name, and in the end they bought it from Mouse Software, already dead at that time, you know what game. Initially, the team was going to fully follow the canons of the original Castle Wolfenstein, with authentic disguise and hide and seek. But soon they were abolished in order not to overload the gameplay.
The game has been split into several parts. And the first Escape from Wolfenstein was distributed completely free. It is because of this that copies of the game sold out around the world in huge quantities and gave her world fame. Finally, the main character acquired a name - BJ Blaskovets. Throughout the following years, he invariably played the role of the protagonist of the series, and retired only this year [and then not of his own free will], where he was replaced by daughters.
The game, by the way, was not a pioneer of FPS, as is commonly believed by the people. The real first FPS were Catacomb 3D and Havertank. And it was from Catacomb 3D that Wolfenstein borrowed the idea of placing the protagonist's face at the bottom of the screen. But here's the catch - these games were created by Carmack himself, so idSoftware's accusations that they took away someone else's glory are not acceptable.
Later, in 1992, the game acquired a sequel called Spear of Destiny, where the studio mixed a bunch of mysticism, the spear of fate, fascists, hell. There is a legend that John Carmack took chickens at a meeting, cut off their head and threw them in the middle of the table so that they ran for a few seconds, fell, and then letters appeared out of their blood describing the plot of the next game. This is how the studio came up with Doom after the release of Spear of Destiny.
9 years later in 2001, we saw a new part of the series called Return to Castle Wolfenstein, which has become no less cult than the original game. It was created by three studios at once. Gray Matter interactive worked on a single player company, Newer Software honed multiplayer, and idSoftware worked with Carmack to produce the project, and how chained dogs controlled every bunch in the studio.
With this approach and tight control, the game came out wildly cool and wildly profitable. The multiplayer was not inferior in quality to single digging, which is very powerful for 2001. The publisher for the shooter was then Activision, which had not yet managed to become an evil company like EA. It was this game that gave the publishing house a start in the world of big players, big money and fame.
In 2003, the English studio Splash Damage released the following Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. At first, this was a shooter with RPG elements, which during the development phase turned into a free online shooter. And although today such a verbal bunch sounds scary, then the game came out pretty cool.
Firstly, a military technique appeared in it, which, although it could not be controlled, its very presence pleased. Secondly, the game delivered its cool perk system. Finally, the creators have carefully transferred the atmosphere from the last game to six original maps. But that's not all. Developers have released the game's source code to the open source, and the great minds of the gaming community began to craft their own maps.
The series returned again after a significant hiatus in 2009. At that time, many had already forgotten that the game was coming out. 4 teams decided to resurrect it at once: Reven Software, idSoftware, Pi Studios and Endrant Studios.
Alas, instead of resurrecting the series, they began to finish it off even more. We have to admit that the six-year break played a cruel joke on the developers and they had to adapt to the new fashion, and not set it as it was before.
Then they added to the game the then popular slow-mo, blood on an invisible lens, not ordinary abilities, etc. Also, the action was transferred from the castle to the sandbox with NPCs placed on the map. There was also multiplayer in the game, but it was so raw that if Gordon Ramsay were a gamer, he would have gone to beat up developers.
And in 2014, Wolfenstein: The New Order came out from under the lines of code of the Machine Games studio, a key turn in the history of the Wolfenstein series, thanks to which the series again became a trendsetter. In 2010, after a failed game, idSoftware disowned its brainchild, sold it to the Swedes from Machine Games, and began to engage in the equally disastrous [they did not know about it yet] Rage.
We got a real full-fledged sequel, where we played as Blaskovets, injured during the storming of a certain fortress, who was lost in a coma for 14 years. After that, we woke up in a world where the Reich made a technological breakthrough, won the war and took over the world. We decided to oppose this.
Although I personally didn't like the game, the whole world was going crazy with ballistics, vigorous gunfights and great spirit. But the world community began to accuse the studio of Nazism. In Germany, this series has always been problematic, but this time the neighbors also flared up. In the UK, for example, people didn't like the lore of The Beatles being renamed Die Kafer. They were given a choice: to be shot or to sing in German. They chose the latter. The public found it offensive to associate their work with Nazi ideology.
Soon the addon "The Old Blood" was released for the game, repeating the plot of the very first Castle Wolfenstein, where Blaskovets must steal secret information from the Wolfenstein fortress. Needless to say, gamers also liked the game.
In 2017, the second part of the Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus trilogy from the Swedes was released, where we saved America from the invaders. The game just got better, for example, now it was possible to take in both hands any weapon that fired any cartridges. It became one of the best games of that year, and the same Igromania beautifully described it as "A mixture of" Indiana Jones "and" Elusive Avengers "directed by Tarantino." However, the AI of the enemies began to limp, and the game itself ended abruptly.
Already at the end of this month we will attend the completion of the trilogy from Machine Games. And who knows if the Wolfenstein story will end there or not.
The Topic of Article: The Grandfather of All Grandfathers: The Story of the Wolfenstein Series.