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"Who would dare oppose us?"
The 2009 sequel to Return to Castle Wolfenstein, titled simply Wolfenstein, is a First-Person Shooter using a modified version of the Doom 3 engine developed by Raven Software, the acclaimed team behind such series as Star Trek Elite Force, Soldier of Fortune, Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy, and Quake IV.
The game's plot is a continuation of Return to Castle Wolfenstein, which was itself inspired by Wolfenstein 3D (and, before that, the original Castle Wolfenstein), and features American super-spy B.J. Blazkowicz attempting to foil an attempt by the Nazis to harness the power of the Black Sun, an ancient alternate dimension which the SS are using to create all manner of Super Soldiers and monsters. Besides an arsenal of WWII-era firearms and several experimental Nazi energy weapons, B.J. is also assisted by a magic amulet that allows him to tap into "The Veil" between dimensions and harness special powers such as Bullet Time and an energy shield.
Wolfenstein takes place in and around the German town of Isenstadt, and uses a partial Wide Open Sandbox system, with the player traveling through the town, buying weapons from the Black Market, interacting with residents and members of the German resistance groups Kreisau Circle and Golden Dawn, and traveling to specific areas of the town (i.e. Warehouse, Cannery, Dig Site) to take part in story-based linear missions.
Wolfenstein contains examples of:
- Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Vaguely lampshaded at the end of the game by a black market dealer who continues to charge you money for upgrades and ammo just hours before the Nazis are about to destroy the entire town with a super-powered death ray. He says something to the effect of "yes, I have to make money somehow...". It gets even more ridiculous when you realize that he was with the comparatively "good" Kriege brother. The "Bad" one, well...
- Anticlimax Boss: If you time your shots right, you can blow away the first Despoiled that serves as a boss in under ten seconds. Later confrontations with Despoiled are... harder.
- Art Shift: B.J. Blazkowicz looks almost nothing like his Return to Castle Wolfenstein incarnation (and, by extension, his classic Wolfenstein 3D appearance), which is somewhat odd as all the other returning characters appear largely the same (other than a higher polycount and bump-mapping, of course). He seems to be based on the Wolf3D cover art rather than the actual in-game sprite.
- Authority Equals Asskicking:
- General Zetta is seemingly bulletproof and can shoot energy balls. It turns out he's really a giant slug monster mutated by the Veil.
- Averted by Deathshead, who, despite being arguably the real Big Bad of the game, has to have Hans Grosse fight for him, and flees from B.J. after the final battle.
- Bad Boss: Everyone in Isenstadt is piss-scared of General Zetta. After he dies, radio chatter indicates that they're even more frightened of Deathshead, who comes to replace him.
- Bag of Spilling: Justified at the end, when BJ tears apart his Amulet to destroy Hans' own by driving the crystals into it, thereby guaranteeing that this item will not show up in any sequel.
- BFG: The Leichenfaust 44. The Tesla and Flamethrower are also pretty huge.
- Blatant Item Placement: The city is veritably littered with large bags of money, gold bars and similar. And you can pretty much help yourself - nobody seems to mind your nicking their stuff right before their eyes. Mostly because you've got a huge gun...
- Boss in Mook Clothing: Scribes in the early game, before you acquire better Veil powers. Despoiled (the flaming Nazi skeletons) as well, depending on how fast you're able to kill them - dumping enough SMG ammo into their skull is an easy kill, but only once they're summoned.
- Breakout Villain: Happens to Deathshead, partially due to the Sequel Hook set up in Return to Castle Wolfenstein but primarily due to the absolute lack of alternative candidates and sudden focus on him (since you killed off most of the SS Paranormal Division's top brass at Chateau Schufstaffel), and due to General Zetta getting pumped full of lead earlier.
- Bullet Time: One of the special powers (Mire) granted to the player by the amulet.
- Continuity Nod:
- Hans Grosse is The Dragon and the final boss! He even fights with dual chainguns, just like in Wolfenstein 3D.
- The final battle may also be a reference to the Death Knight from Spear of Destiny (the hardest boss in the entire Wolfenstein 3D series), given that Hans is wearing black armor and is equipped with dual chainguns AND dual rocket launchers.
- The loading screen leading up to the final level and battle tells you to "GET PSYCHED!"
- Enemy SS Officers occasionally scream "Mein Leben!" when killed.
- Also, the first time Hans is seen in the game, he says simply "Guten Tag!" to the resistance fighter, the exact line said by him when first seen in Wolf3D (you know, before he hits you point blank with dual miniguns).
- The Heavy Troopers are implied to be an offshot of the Ubersoldaten from the previous game. Their creator, Deathshead, noted at the time how the armor wasn't up to his specifications; the Heavy Troopers are practically bulletproof now. If you can sneak by them undetected, you will also notice how it sounds as if they're breathing through a pump, just like the Ubersoldaten.
- General Zetta continues the trend of overweight, foul-tempered SS officers set by Helga von Bulow in the previous game.
- Cutscene Power to the Max: Averted. The opening scene has your character stopping an onslaught of bullets with an energy shield that then erupts outwards, killing all the shooters. Later in the game, this becomes a fully usable ability.
- Degraded Boss: The hulking, bulletproof Altered serve as the boss of the Hospital mission. You also encounter two of them in the Castle mission, but by then you have the Leichenfaust 44, which kills anything in one shot.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Some of the Nazi special units seem a whole lot like those found in F.E.A.R., particularly the Powered Armor-wearing Heavy Trooper with a gun that disintegrates people and the acrobatic, cloaked Veil Assassin.
- Enemy Summoner: The Elite Guards can raise any Nazi corpse as a superpowered, fireball-throwing Despoiled.
- Evil Counterpart: The final boss, Hans Grosse, has Magitek armor that gives him the same Veil powers you do.
- Evil Sounds Deep: The Nazi Scribes have very deep, inhumanly-resonating voices; it's very satisfying to hear them scream as they burn alive.
- Fat Bastard: Lampshaded with General Zetta, who's as much of a Complete Monster to the town's civilians (his first act upon seizing control was to hang the mayor and town council) as he is to his own underlings, who he abuses and demeans constantly.
- You find documents or hear Enemy Chatter describing several of the more powerful enemies before you meet them.
- Everyone says that there's something very wrong about General Zetta. There is.
- At one point you get to use a prototype Veil-powered tank weapon at a weapons factory. 99% of players will wish for a more portable version to take home. The Leichenfaust 44 is just that.
- You see the portrait of a rather familiar-looking gent on a wall in the Castle mission. You meet Deathshead, said gent, shortly thereafter. Apparently he's got his own fortress now.
- Throughout the game, you are told by various Golden Dawn scholars that harnessing too much power from the Black Sun was disastrous for the Thule civilization. Then, during the Zeppelin mission, you find a document warning Deathshead that doing so will cause a power spike that might destroy the whole zeppelin. Of course, in his attempt to kill you, Hans Grosse does just that, with predictable results.
- Genre Savvy: Deathshead tries to learn from his mistakes. He specifically orders his doomsday weapon to be moved to the Zeppelin once he arrives, triples airfield security, kills the Resistance leader, orders large crack squads to exterminate the remaining Kreisau members, and uses Hans Grosse in a Thule Medallion-powered suit to guard his device, knowing you're going to get through his defenses sooner or later. It doesn't really help him.
- Ghostapo: The flaming skeleton wearing an SS Officer's uniform on the front cover is a bit of a giveaway.
- Giant Space Flea From Nowhere: Literally! In retrospect, the Queen Geist's appearance makes perfect sense, however, as the name implies, she's a large specimen of the non-hostile-until-provoked flea-resembling Geists... and if the Black Sun generator exploding wasn't enough to provoke her, nothing would.
- Highly-Visible Ninja: Blazkowicz's cover is blown the moment he arrives in Isenstadt. Even worse is that the game gives you ostensible stealth options such as a couple of suppressed guns and the ability to silently knock someone out from behind, but just about any action you perform causes every enemy in the vicinity to come down on you, so it's rarely even worth bothering with stealth. The silencer's description states it makes it harder for people to see you after taking the shot. It's rather hard to miss someone's head exploding into a slushy mass (like they did in RTCW), even if the gun was silenced. The silencer makes it harder for enemies to spot you after you've fired. It's more "realistic" that way. Great for killing half a squad before the rest notice.
- Hundred-Percent Completion: Collecting all intel, gold, and tomes of power. Getting all intel gets you free weapon upgrades, all tomes of power gets you free Medallion upgrades, and gold... does nothing, but you'll want to get all of it to buy things.
- Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: The Black Sun not only fuels the Nazi war machine, but it's home to a variety of very nasty native species that the Nazis experiments are allowing to come into our world. Also, traveling to the Black Sun and back tends to turn humans into insane mutated monsters unless the jump-gate is perfectly attuned (which it usually isn't).
- Interface Spoiler: The weapon menu.
- Just a Stupid Accent: Excused with the fact BJ knows German fluently, but can't work out accents.
"It's ze American!"
- Killed Mid-Sentence: When BJ enters the area where the Veil Portal is under the Hospital, the Nazi officer standing in front of it is viciously torn apart by a giant hulking mutated beast that used to be a poor scientist who got sucked in while proclaiming how powerful the Nazi army is destined to become.
- La Résistance: Unusually for a video game, they're the German Resistance, even if at some point, they tell you to kill 'The Germans'...
- Laser-Guided Karma: A scientist explains to a Nazi officer that everyone who passes through the interdimensional portal comes back a monster, then notices Blazcowitz and cowers, demanding to be protected. The officer says, "No, it is you who will protect me!" and tosses the scientist into the portal. He starts a rant about how the superior Nazi war machine will destroy the allies, only to be ripped in half seconds later by the gigantic mutant emerging from the portal.
- Level Five Onix: The Heavy Troopers are big and bulletproof, but their attacks are easy to dodge and shooting their easy-to-hit weak points makes them blow up (although presumably it's a bit harder to do on consoles without mouse aiming).
- Lightning Gun: The Tesla Gun, a returning weapon from Return to Castle Wolfenstein.
- Ludicrous Gibs: The ultimate fate of the Queen Geist and General Zetta, upon the ends of their respective boss battles.
- Made of Plasticine: Enemy soldiers die in 2 or 3 shots (1 or 2 shots once you upgrade your weapons, and one with Empower on). While this is reasonable by real-life standards, by action-movie First-Person Shooter standards, it's rather weak. The game makes up for it by throwing squads at you, and with the semi-occasional Elite Mook.
- Mana Meter: The charge on the amulet.
- Mook Face Turn, partially at least. Strasse was a Flat Earth Atheist in Return to Castle Wolfenstein, but now he fully embraces the Veil, perhaps because it's closer to pseudoscience than the occult, even though Nazi mages were called in to harness Veil energy. There's significantly less magical mumbo-jumbo and more "hard science" apparently involved this time around.
- The Mole: Anton Krieg and Dr. Alexandrov.
- Mooks - It's raining Nazis!
- Giant Mook - The Heavy Soldiers, equipped with Power Armor and a particle beam cannon.
- Elite Mooks - The black latex wearing female Elite Guards are back, this time with magic powers and the ability to resurrect killed enemies as superpowered undead Nazis.
- Superpowered Mooks: The Nazi Scribes have the same Veil abilities as the player (mostly super-speed and indestructible shields). Most of the higher-end enemies also have some variety of magic powers.
- Never Found the Body: Lampshaded in the ending. As soon as BJ says they never found the main villain's body, a cinematic plays showing Deathshead, alive, well, and pissed.
- Oddly-Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: This game is a sequel to the entry in its series named Return To Castle Wolfenstein.
- Poor Man's Substitute: In Return to Castle Wolfenstein, the OSA Director was played by the late Tony Jay. In this game, though, he was replaced by a new actor who doesn't sound the least bit like him. To be fair, though, there wasn't anything else that could have been done; the guy is dead, after all.
- Power Crystals: the plot revolves around the Nachsonne Crystals mined outside Isenstadt. Unlike most examples of this trope, they themselves are inert, but can be used as "lenses" for Black Sun energy, giving off various effects depending on the type of crystal used.
- Punch-Punch-Punch Uh-Oh: Played straight between Hans and a unnamed Kreisau Circle agent during the cutscene in the tavern.
- Put Down Your Gun and Step Away: A rather boneheaded example by B.J about 3/4ths of the way through the game.
- Shoot The Scribe First, or he'll shield enemy soldiers from your attacks as they generously pump you full of lead.
- Recycled Title: Even though it doesn't have the "3D" in the title.
- The Tomes of Power hidden across Isenstadt look exactly like the items of the same name in Heretic. Guess what other game Raven Software was responsible for.
- The Nazi officers sometimes cry out "Mein leben!" when they're killed, just like the SS Nazis in Wolfenstein 3D and Doom 2.
- Hans Grosse also yells "Guten Tag!" when the boss fight starts, as with his incarnation in Wolfenstein 3D.
- "Zere's some kind of shield protecting him!"
- Stripped to the Bone:
- What the Leichenfaust 44 does to enemies.
- The Medallion's Shield ability also does this, when upgraded with a Reactive Crystal. It can be seen in the opening cinematic (where it saved BJ's ass), and can be used in the late game as well.
- Use of Veil energy can do this to someone - and promptly bring them back as super-fast skeletons. Elite Guards can make them as well.
- Stupid Jetpack Hitler: It wouldn't be a Wolfenstein game without it. The Rocket Troopers actually do have jetpacks. They're also the most annoying enemies in the game (see Demonic Spiders above).
- Too Awesome to Use: There is literally no ammo for most of the energy weapons, the flamethrower, or the rocket launcher for most of the game, so the only way to get more ammo for them is to spend your finite gold to buy ammo at the Black Market (gold which could be better spent on weapon/Veil upgrades).
- The only exception is the Particle Cannon, since the Giant Mook Heavy Troopers who carry it spawn in town with reasonable frequency.
- The Unfought: Deathshead pulls it off. Again!.
Damn you, Blazkowicz!
- Token Romance: Caroline Becker was perhaps meant to be a love interest, and B.J. laments her death rather emphatically considering how little time they actually spend together. Or maybe he just really values her leadership abilities.
- Truce Zone: In the town's pub, the player has an opportunity to approach various German soldiers while they're drinking and overhear their conversations. If you deliberately try to talk to them however, one will find them less than hospitable.
- Walk It Off: Where have you gone, Mr. Health Meter? Did you get drunk and piss off all the developers or something? Lampshaded by Hans Grosse during the final boss fight. "That should have killed you, Blazkowicz!"
- Wave Motion Gun: The Zeppelin, on which the Thule portal is mounted, has a mechanism by which the portal can be pointed downwards. Then, when the Black Sun is harnessed, the energy gets shot at the ground, and... you can guess what happens.
- The Particle Cannon is a smaller version.
- Wide Open Sandbox: The game uses a Hub based system centered around the entire town of Isenstadt, which you can explore for collectibles and scripted sequences involving the townspeople, all while fighting Nazis throughout the streets.