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[P]
Return to Castle Wolfenstein Multiplayer test released

By ucblockhead in MLP
Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 11:11:44 PM EST
Tags: Software (all tags)
Software

id Software has just released a multiplayer test of their upcoming game, Return to Castle Wolfenstein


When I was a lad, a computer game came out, one that pushed the technological limits of the computer further than they'd been pushed before. That game was Castle Wolfenstein. With nail-biting gameplay and actual speech ("Kamerad!") out of the tinny Apple ][+ speaker, it was one of the first classic games. I foundly remember wasting days at it and its sequel Beyond Castle Wolfenstein

Then, a decade or so later, the boys at id released Wolfenstein 3D. The plot was the same as the original, but the look of the thing was new and exciting. It was one of the first "First Person Shooters". This was the game that launched a revolution in gaming.

Time passed, and id released some other games you may have heard of, with names like "Doom" and "Quake". Now they've returned to the plotline that put them on the map.

The game itself is based on the Quake 3 engine. Previews with screenshots can be found at either Gamespot or The Games Domain".

The game itself is meant to be strong in both the single player or multiplayer experience (unlike Quake 3, which was fairly useless for single player gaming.)

It is fairly clear from looking at the multiplayer test that the guys at id have noticed that the Halflife:Counterstrike servers are far more popular than those of any other game. There is a heavy Counterstrike influence here. Gone are all the arcade-like features seen in Quake 3. No jumppads, teleporters, or wierd, exotic weapons. From the one included map, it also seems as if the various games will be of a realistic nature. No "capture the flag", strictly speaking. In the test map, the allied side must blow a hole in a sea-wall, capture warplans, and then transmit them home.

The game itself looks gorgeous, though it looks like a high-end system will be de rigeur. I had to turn down the graphics quality as far as it would go to get it to run decently on a machine that runs Counterstrike flawlessly.

Linux fans take heart, they've also released a Linux Version. (though I personally have been unable to get it to work.)

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Return to Castle Wolfenstein Multiplayer test released | 21 comments (21 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Impressive, so far. (none / 0) (#1)
by DeadBaby on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 03:39:06 PM EST

Judging from the multiplayer test I think RCW might be one of the most played online games of 2001. I was quite skeptical about a rehashing of Wolf3d but unlike other embarrassing remakes in other mediums I think computer games have a ton of potential when remade a decade or more after they were made.

The only thing I don't like, at this point, is the overall quality of play. It's a fun game but no one is really adapting to the new game play style yet. Too many people playing it like a WW2 deathmatch.

"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
That's because most people *want* a WW2 deathmatch (none / 0) (#2)
by John Miles on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 03:57:35 PM EST

Case in point: I can't imagine what they were thinking with that "30 seconds to respawn" business. Gee, guys, if I wanted to veg out and watch TV, I'd be in my living room on the couch. In recent games, iD has consciously moved away from time-wasting features like lifts; jump pads were added to Q3 specifically to avoid the interruption in gameplay you experience while waiting on an elevator. And now it takes half a minute to respawn?
<P>
Interesting idea, but the gameplay mechanics are flawed. The designers have traded off too much fun for the sake of "balance." Plus, it's too easy for newbies and wannabee-DM'ers to interfere with people who are trying to play by the book.
<P>
And let's not even get into the revolting menu system UI. It's clear they never even <i>tried</i> running at 1280x1024 or higher resolutions. Of course, this judgement may need to be reserved for the actual game, instead of the preliminary test version that was released.
<P>
I still have high hopes for the single-player game, but I doubt I'll mess with the multiplayer version any further.
<br>

For so long as men do as they are told, there will be war.
[ Parent ]
Well.. (none / 0) (#4)
by DeadBaby on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 04:26:27 PM EST

I think just about every FPS developer these days thinks ID/Epic have the DM/CTF style covered and really, when you look at the numbers, they do.

There have been plenty of neat themed (Rune, Hexen, Turok, etc) games with online play that have had almost no interest from most players.

The re-spawn time-out is a good idea to me. In most FPS games there's very little reason not to die. A lot of players develop very bad game styles because of this. It's taken me a very long time to nurse my FPS style to a point where I can stay alive for long periods at a time.
"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
[ Parent ]
Respawn (none / 0) (#8)
by ucblockhead on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 07:58:03 PM EST

I'm sure the "30-second respawn" was inspired by Counterstrike's lack of any respawn at all. While it is dull waiting for the round to end, it makes getting killed "matter" more. This makes people more careful and more conservative, which makes for a game where tactics matter as much as reflexes.

There are different ways to have "fun". Sometimes the arcade-like never stop moving action of Quake 3 is fun. Other times, the "sitting, waiting for the terrorists to approach the bombsite" tension is fun.

(Your comments about newbies and DMers is well taken, though, and this is a current problem in Counterstrike. One thing that Wolfenstein does right here is that your score is not just your number of frags (as with Quake 3 CTF). Much of what encourages DMing in counterstrike is being "on top".)
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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

Brilliant Idea, Actually (5.00 / 1) (#15)
by DarkZero on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 10:59:29 PM EST

Case in point: I can't imagine what they were thinking with that "30 seconds to respawn" business. Gee, guys, if I wanted to veg out and watch TV, I'd be in my living room on the couch. In recent games, iD has consciously moved away from time-wasting features like lifts; jump pads were added to Q3 specifically to avoid the interruption in gameplay you experience while waiting on an elevator. And now it takes half a minute to respawn?

Personally, I played the original Tribes for a long, long time. During that, I experienced most of the problems that this system fixes, because they were rampant in Tribes.

One: You kill someone near the enemy base, and they take away half your life during the fight. Literally three seconds later (no exaggeration at all), the guy will have respawned and returned to the scene of his death at full health. Having half life at the time, you die pretty quickly. He continues to defend the base with his full health, while you try to traipse back across the map to get back to the enemy base. That's not fair at all. That gives defense WAY too much of an edge.

Two: No penalty for death AT ALL. In fact, there was an incentive for dying. If you died, there was a chance that your weapon would keep firing until it runs out of ammo while you lay dead on the ground. This, of course, resulted in tons of guys making suicide runs on the flag and dying intentionally while firing a grenade launcher. Whereas the player that is trying to stay alive only gets about three to five shots off from the grenade launcher during the entire fight, the player that intentionally dies while firing his grenade launcher gets a full compliment of fifteen to twenty grenades off, and because they ran in quickly, they get to launch those grenades deep inside the base. That is insane.

Three: No reason to heal. There were ways for you to heal in Tribes... but no one ever used them. Dying restores all of your health instantly, and if you're on defense, you don't even get moved away to an inconvenient area. Committing suicide, effectively CHOOSING to lose, actually has many more benefits than being an ass-kicking veteran player that dies only two or three times during a twenty-five minute game.

Having to wait kinda sucks at first, but I think it actually makes the gameplay more fun. There are rewards for killing players and there are penalties for dying, which is exactly how it should be.



[ Parent ]
I've been having luck... (none / 0) (#14)
by kreyg on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 10:20:54 PM EST

I often play on the Axis side as a medic, I see lots of teamwork going on. Somehow, the teams seem to end up pretty balanced with the right mix of classes to keep things running. My calls for ammo are usually answered, people cover key areas and request assistance.

You need a game with LOTS of players for that to work out though.

There was a point to this story, but it has temporarily escaped the chronicler's mind. - Douglas Adams
[ Parent ]
medic and other things (2.50 / 2) (#3)
by attosecond on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 04:08:27 PM EST

the medic thing is stupid, basically
as a medic I can heal myself by droppin a medpack and then picking it up - so allies "document carriers" are choosing the medic class and heal themselves after every encounter with the enemy, back to maximum health - or reviving the soldiers covering them again and again
this is far from WW2 realism

another thing is that the eagles and swastika symbols are not used on the flags, and the allies are under US flag...
this takes a lot away from the WW2 atmosphere

yeah, and the germans speak mostly english

so all in all as an FPS game it's fun, as a WW2 game it sucks ass



It's supposed to be a sim? (4.50 / 2) (#12)
by kreyg on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 10:12:18 PM EST

I've been hooked on this for a few days now, and I've been having a lot of fun, mostly because I've been able to "suspend my disbelief."

Since the plot of the game (according to the official website) involves battling armies of the undead, I don't think we can or should expect a historically accurate WWII sim. The Axis symbol is, if I'm not mistaken, a "Wolfenstein" symbol, not a historical one.

I often play a medic on the Axis side. I rarely heal myself. There's little need or opportunity, medics heal slowly automatically, and 99% of the time I get killed because I either run out of ammo (easy when you're a medic) or get blasted into little pieces by a rocket or air strike. Medics are far from invincible - although strong teamwork will get you a long way, especially if you can get more ammo.

I think the need to rely on teammates to give you ammo is pretty cool. And sacrificing myself in a firefight to revive a fallen comrade who is better equipped or more needed than I is one of the most intense and heroic experiences I have ever had in a computer game.

In short, it's not a WWII game, it's Wolfenstein. That's pretty cool with me, sorry if your expectations were mislaid.

There was a point to this story, but it has temporarily escaped the chronicler's mind. - Douglas Adams
[ Parent ]
Single Level... (4.00 / 2) (#13)
by DarkZero on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 10:15:25 PM EST

For one thing, I don't think the Medics are meant to be "World War II realism". The point there is gameplay. Without a Medic to heal them, the invading forces (the Allies, in this case) would be screwed in every game, because they'd die really fast and then have to run all the way back from the beach. With the Medic class included, the Allies can hold a stairwell or a small section of a building for a prolonged period of time, and plan assaults on the War Documents... this is far better, gameplay-wise, than realism. I think the general rule, as in 90% of games, is, "Realism is a nice perk when it doesn't completely screw over the gameplay. Otherwise, it's expendable".

Also, as for the flags, I think you should concentrate on the fact that this is just one map. One map wear it's the Americans versus the Nazis. I'd be really, really surprised if these were the only choices, and the Russians, British, Italians, etc. didn't get their own respective textures and flags on maps that are set to use those countries. It would be a nice thing to bring up in an interview, though...

[ Parent ]
"just released" (4.50 / 4) (#5)
by Delirium on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 05:43:00 PM EST

I assume you mean "released over a week ago." But yes, the test so far looks excellent. Once the netcode bugs (nearly everyone lags except when you're playing on a LAN) get worked out, it'll be quite enjoyable.

The only thing I'm apprehensive about is the focus on the full game as being an attack against Himmler's evil race of mutant zombies and whatnot. I like the one level in the test as a semi-realistic beach assault with fairly well-modeled weapons, but I'm not sure if the historical semi-realism will be able to carry over when mutant zombies are introduced into the game.

Yeah (3.00 / 1) (#9)
by ucblockhead on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 08:23:14 PM EST

It looks like it will be a bit schizophrenic, with the multiplayer version going for "realism" (kinda, sorta) while the single player version has the wierdness of Wolfenstein 3D.


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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

What the heck? (4.00 / 1) (#6)
by pete on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 05:46:39 PM EST

I realize I haven't been paying attention for a year or so, but weren't they working on another Doom game? What happened there? Also, I love how they haven't updated their web site since the Quake 2 days.

--pete


its not really id software (4.00 / 1) (#7)
by rebelcool on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 06:36:51 PM EST

its another company doing the brunt of the work on it, with some assistance from id. Kinda like Heretic back in the day.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

On a similar note (1.00 / 3) (#10)
by MSBob on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 08:46:19 PM EST

There is a press agency that releases articles similar to those in this parody on a daily basis. You can access it online here. It's from North Korea. There I saw articles about flowers that Kim Jong Il grew in his garden. No shit. Check out some of nonsense they publish. You'll have a chuckle.
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

Ouch! (1.00 / 3) (#11)
by MSBob on Sun Sep 23, 2001 at 09:02:57 PM EST

Shoot! Wrong story. This was meant to go in the "everything's nifty story that's in the queue". My apologies.
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
Thank you (5.00 / 1) (#16)
by fluffy grue on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 12:18:42 PM EST

Thank you for actually mentioning the original CW. It annoys me how pretty much every article calls this a "revamp of Wolf3D," and completely ignores the fact that Wolf3D itself was a pretty but gameplay-lacking revamp of the original Wolfenstein and its sequel.

From the looks of things, the original Wolfenstein still has more raw gameplay than this latest graphics wankfest...
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]

I couldn't not mention that! (5.00 / 1) (#17)
by ucblockhead on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 01:06:41 PM EST

There was no way I could have not mentioned that. The original Castle Wolfenstein was the first game that truly roped me in. I spent hours and hours at that thing. In fact, I'm about reading to download an Apple Emulator and play it...
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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Bah (5.00 / 1) (#18)
by fluffy grue on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 01:33:06 PM EST

The C64 version was better. ;)
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Channelling flamewars circa 1984 (5.00 / 1) (#19)
by ucblockhead on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 01:52:32 PM EST

C64S SUCK!!
GET AN APPLE ][+!!!


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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

No! (5.00 / 1) (#20)
by fluffy grue on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 07:45:29 PM EST

I don't buy any computer which can't even display its own logo on the screen in the correct colors!
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

YOU'RE JUST JEALOUS (5.00 / 1) (#21)
by ucblockhead on Mon Sep 24, 2001 at 08:29:24 PM EST

YOU'RE JUST JEALOUS BECAUSE APPLE'S
BECAUSE APPLE'S ARE MUCH BETTER THAN
LAME C64S.
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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Return to Castle Wolfenstein Multiplayer test released | 21 comments (21 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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