Weapons of Wolfenstein

 Posted by at 4:35 pm  Features
Aug 262012
 

Recently I’ve been playing 2009’s Wolfenstein, the most recent game in the classic Wolfenstein series.  Or no, wait.  It’s a remake.  Or… is it a reboot?  Either way, the game is… alright.  The game still takes place in World War II and you’re still shooting Nazis.  The story is like something out of a pulp fiction comic, the pseudo open world mechanic doesn’t come off nearly as smoothly as it should, the boss fights are stupid, and the acting is dumb.  However, two things game this game worth playing: the explosions, and the weapons.  In this article I’m going to detail what exactly about these two aspects made this game so enjoyable.

The explosions in Wolfenstein are as enjoyable as they are because of the game’s physics.  Clutter is just about everywhere in the game’s environments, from crates and barrels to towels and filing cabinets.  All of them fly apart into pieces at the slightest hint of an explosion, and there’s something almost childishly satisfying about reducing the contents of a room into piles of garbage.

But what are the explosions without the weapons that cause them?  Wolfenstein’s weapons start out rather vanilla, but eventually you’ll start finding experimental Nazi weapons, and with the game’s surprisingly fun weapon upgrades, they only get more ridiculous from there.  The upgrades actually change the appearance of the weapon, so even the more historically accurate guns start looking like some kind of sci-fi/steampunk powerhouse.  For this list, I’ll start with the simpler weapons first and work my way up to the best.

Grenades:

Throwable explosions.  Grenades are almost always available and are great for blowing things up.  These can be upgraded so that you can carry more, and make larger explosions.

MP40:

This gun is dumb.  Every weapon is better than it.  You should really only be using the MP40 in the beginning, while on your way to get better, cooler guns.  Even then, just screaming at the Nazis would probably do you more good.  It is one of the two weapons that can be silenced, which is cool I guess, but there really isn’t ever a need to be stealthy.

MP43:

A better version of the MP40.  Look, it even says it in the name!  It’s three… MPs better than the MP40, I guess.  Anyway, once you slap some nice damage and accuracy upgrades on this guy, it’s good for running from point to point in the overworld area, or when you run out of ammo on everything else.

Kar 98:

A powerful bolt-action rifle, the Kar 98 kills in about one hit by itself, but once upgraded it can tear off arms, legs, and heads with a single shot.  Pretty cool to do that with a tiny WWII relic, if you ask me.  This gun is where things start to enter ridiculous territory, especially once you’re able to disarm (literally!) two Nazi’s with one bullet.

Flammenwerfer:

The flamethrower.  It throws flames!  Kills pretty much anything in one hit, since as soon as an enemy catches fire they flip out and scream until they die.  Great for clearing out an entire room in a matter of seconds, if you can’t spare an explosion.

Panzerschreck:

For when you absolutely, positively, NEED an explosion right there.  It’s a rocket launcher, for those of you who haven’t seen Saving Private Ryan.  Sort of boring compared to the later weapons, but it can become a pretty handy WMD when upgraded.

Particle Cannon:

The first experimental Nazi weapon you find.  Do you remember near the end of The Matrix, where they pull out this crazy lightning gun that makes this screechy sound and then blows people across the room?  The particle cannon is pretty much that, just with disintegrating eeevil Nazi beams instead of lightning.

Tesla Cannon:

Its a Tesla coil with a handle attached to it, essentially.  This gun is about as accurate as electricity spewing from a gun would be, essentially sneezing lightning everywhere as if Zeus lent you his nose during allergy season.  With upgrades that include extra prongs of lightning, chain lightning, and a tazer attack that replaces your melee, it’s hard not to just lay on the trigger with one hand and continuously fist-pump with the other, whilst laughing manically of course.

Leichenfaust 44 aka The Hadouken Cannon:

This is how you make a gun.

After a brief spin-up, the Leichenfaust fires a giant blue fireball that disintegrates anything in its path before exploding on whatever surface unfortunate enough to stand in its path.  Not only does it melt Nazis, reducing them to bloody skeletons.  Not only does it make physics objects flee like The Great Destroyer of Tiny Things has come for them.  The absolute icing on the Nazi-assembled, dragon punch-resembling cake comes after firing.  Once the Leichenfaust fires, its barrels rotate, and then the gun dings.

It DINGS, like a goddamn toaster.

Adding a ding to the end of a weapon’s reload – much like Fallout 3’s Fat Man – is so satisfying.  Every gun should have it.

Throwable Objects:

What could possibly be better than the Leichenfaust, you ask?  Well, Wolfenstein’s best weapon is more subtle than awesome.  Some items found on the ground, like pickaxes, sledgehammers, or even explosive barrels can all be picked up and thrown at unsuspecting (or suspecting, they really have no bias) Nazis.  While watching the greatest quarter-circle-forward-P you’ve ever seen fly across the room and reduce an army into piles of bone is fun, chucking a sledgehammer at a soldier’s dome and watching him topple over a railing to his doom beats anything the rest of the game will ever do.  Additionally, the way that the player character throws barrels is strangely similar to passing a basketball, prompting me to yell “Yo! Up top!” before shoving 100 pounds of Explodium in his face.

And there you have it.  Wolfenstein may not be the most thought-provoking, innovative game to come out in recent years, but it is certainly worth playing just to check out the insane weapons.

James

James has been writing game reviews for a few years at (the now mostly dead) getxbox.net, and more recently began writing with Kate at Critical Hit. James enjoys character customization, indie games and RPGs of somewhat questionable quality. Replayability is a huge focus of his enjoyment of a game, and graphics are something he usually doesn't pay much attention to as long as there is good gameplay to back it up.