back to article Return to Castle Wolfenstein

As a nipper during the 1970s and early 80s, there can't be a war movie I haven't seen, either at the cinema or on telly on a rain Sunday afternoon. You can surely say the same of Grey Matter Interactive, because its Return to Castle Wolfenstein lets you play pretty much every famous war film scene. Not that this is a dull …


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  1. Z-Eden
    Thumb Up

    Tis a good game. I remember spending hours on online multiplayer endlessly playing the beach assault level (all others were rubbish to play).

  2. Alan Bourke

    Good game

    ... played it through again recently. The recent Captain America film is largely this. Some nice little touches that hark back to Wolf 3D, like the hot dinners that give you health, and the way the standard soldiers fall when shot.

  3. Adam Foxton

    Amazingly enough

    I was playing this earlier today!

    Sat in a boat which is itself sat on the equator, there's nothing better to while away the hours than Nazi-shooting. Except C&C matches, but the old work's laptop won't run it :(

    Excellent game, almost makes up for the lack of pints on this tub.

    1. Turtle

      Re: Amazingly enough

      "Amazingly enough I was playing this earlier today!"

      I still play this often. Tons o' fun. *Very* surprised to see that this is considered an antique in any way.

  4. HP Cynic

    Fun write up of a great game.

  5. mark 63 Silver badge

    This is antique?

    I only got round to this after my last hardware upgrade a few months ago :)

    (a quad AMD btw, not a p2!)

    1. K

      Thank god..

      .. I wasn't the only person thinking that!

    2. Jeremy 2

      This is antique?

      Made me feel quite, quite old....

  6. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    "summons demons in her undies"

    I'll bet that tickles.

  7. Sarah Davis

    broken links

    the Buy from Amazon link is wrong (again - see article on Carmageddon)

  8. Ben Holmes

    I didn't think this came out all that long ago.

    I guess I'm old.

  9. Jim McCafferty

    My aching bones

    I never thought Return to Castle Wolfenstein would make it to the retro archive - Wolfenstein in 3D was supposed to be the golden oldie! Feeling very old....

    Hours of fun - especially the enemy territory mod - until the cheaters started clearing the beach level with rocket jumps.

    My only complaint was the overheating guns... usually malfunctioninh at a point where the scene in front of you needed serious lead injection lest the consequences were not particularly pretty.

    1. Wyrdness

      Re: My aching bones

      Given the choice of the silenced Sten, which overheated very quickly, or the MP-40, I usually picked the Sten as it did more damage and fire very short bursts of just a couple of shots.

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        Re: My aching bones

        Yes, no contest.

        Using the Sten in short bursts of three of four shots is hugely effective, as it's both got some punch and it's very accurate. You can almost snipe with the thing.

        The MP40 is a fairly random bullet hose and to inflict the same amount of damage, I find it needs a reload before the Sten would overheat.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My aching bones

      "Wolfenstein in 3D was supposed to be the golden oldie! Feeling very old...."

      Cue all the *truly* ancient users pointing out that Wolfenstein 3D was itself a "modern" sequel to the original "Castle Wolfenstein" game, which was originally released on the Apple II in *1981*!

  10. Rameses Niblick the Third (KKWWMT)

    I remember being somewhat disappointed

    I really wanted to like this game, and to be fair, the first third or so, I really did enjoy, but the catacomb level was such a change of pace that I remember being really bored with it and losing interest.

    I guess I was always more of a Medal of Honour guy.

    1. Ben Rosenthal

      Re: I remember being somewhat disappointed

      Yeah I stopped playing single player somewhere in the catacombs too, played the hell out of the multi player on-line though. Probably the last on-line FPS I really got into.

  11. Piercy
    Thumb Up

    Enemy Territory

    I used to play enemy territory. It was released free. A class based FPS and was absolutely brilliant. If youre used to TF2 its like that but without cartoon graphics. If anything TF2 copied the ideas from ET (but likely they got the idea from somewhere else).

    RTCW, such a cool game :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Enemy Territory

      > If anything TF2 copied the ideas from ET (but likely they got the idea from somewhere else).

      Yeah; from the original Team Fortress :p

    2. Daniel B.

      Team Fortress

      Team Fortress originated as a Quake1 mod. CTF started the whole modding craze on Quake1, but TF was probably the magnum opus of Q1 mods! So much that they actually managed to make up a standalone game out of that mod :)

  12. Mondo the Magnificent
    Thumb Up

    Antique allready?

    How time flies.. I recall buying RTCW and loving the 3D rendering, however the game wasn't quite as good as I anticipated.

    The sniper rifle was great as was the silenced Sten gun, which if I recall correctly, had a nasty habit of overheating.

    It wasn't perfect, but it was a good step forward in bringing a new look to those classic sprite based games we wasted so many hours playing.

    I do still own the installation CD and may just replay it sometime seeing as it's now considered an "antique" and may just hold a "classic" title seeing as ElReg has rekindled my interest in this no so old school 3D FPS.

  13. adam payne

    Great game and I put many hours in to it.

  14. A. Coatsworth

    "jarhead black-humour"

    Great game actually., I still should have the CD somewhere... but they made a terrible mistake with the "black humour" mentioned by the writer: they made me feel pity and even *gulp* sympathy for the poor nazi soldiers... a thing that should never, ever happen!

    At the start of one level you could hear 2 sentries complaining because the night was freezing and the high command hadn't issued them with enough blankets, so they had to endure the night shift under prepared... a few second later, I hosed them with a spray of hot lead, it was the only sensible thing to do. In another level, other 2 soldiers were scared sh*tless by the murdered beast that had escaped from the dungeon (i.e. Blazkowitz) Poor, poor guys

  15. 1Rafayal

    I remember playing this, and also remember not being blown away by it.

    If I recall correctly, the graphics for the time were pretty good, but it was far too linear? Especially if you take into account that Half Life was only a few years old at this time.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Err, Grey Matter merged into Treyarch. The entire team from 2015 who made Medal of Honour Allied Assault joined the newly created Infinity Ward to create Call of Duty, which Treyarch didn't touch until Call of Duty 3, barring a fairly unknown console only release of Call of Duty 2.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Ah... one of those old games set in the version of the Second World War, where the Nazis had swastika flags. Not the revised history most modern games adopt, whereby the Germans seem to have fought under the old Imperial standard. And then of course there's the Civilisation franchise where Germany is represented by their most infamous military leader... er... Bismark and Russia by their most infamous military leader... er... Catherine the Great.

    Disclaimer: Not a Nazi, I just hate the re-writing of history to make it fit contemporary PC morés.

    1. BorkedAgain

      @ madra

      What in the name of all that is holy and good are you talking about?

    2. fuego

      Implication being...

      ...that all Germans ever were Nazis, and all Russians ever were Soviets?

      The game featured swastikas because it's set during WWII, as you correctly state. Where's WWII mentioned in Civ though? The country had more leaders in its history than just Adolf, so why focus on that cock?

      Also, ever stop to think it might be a question of decorum? How palatable do you think a game like Civ would be if for example you could play as Pol Pot and win?

      You're looking for a conspiracy, where none exists.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Implication being...

        "How palatable do you think a game like Civ would be if for example you could play as Pol Pot and win?"

        It's actually harder than it looks. You have to be oppressive to your own people, whilst being introverted and technology resistant. It's bloody hard work to win as Pol Pot, race to Fundamentalism, Railroad and Engineers and then start destroying the other players with Fanatics before they discover Partisanism…

        Oh you meant ethically. My bad.

    3. Dave 126 Silver badge

      > I just hate the re-writing of history to make it fit contemporary PC morés.

      Christolphe Waltz, who played the 'Jew Hunter' in Tarintino's Inglorius Basterds has said that he had never considered playing a Nazi before because he'd always felt WW2 had just been turned into a cinematic theme-park whilst pretending to historically correct. Tarrintino's film, by contrast, makes no pretense at all of being historically accurate and so Waltz was happy to do it.

      Likewise, the plot elements of RTCW are so bonkers that no one could for a moment consider it authentic, so any inaccuracies can be overlooked.

    4. TeeCee Gold badge
      Thumb Up

      There's a reason for that, it's illegal to sell a game in DE that's covered in swastikas.

      IIRC, the DE version came with doctored graphics. Most games companies are too tight to do this.

      Still playing it occasionally and it runs well under Win 7 64 bit at 1960x1080, although requires some jiggery-pokery to get it installed and running.

      1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        While I understand the reason for it swastika avoidance does irritate me. Blood Rayne, for example ,used a three-armed pseudo-swastika. If was as if in the game's weird alternative reality Hitler was Manx.

        1. Juillen 1

          You mean

          A triskele, which has nothing to do with a swastika?

    5. seven of five

      But with civ, where you rewrite history anyway: Would you really like to play with the alter ego of a stupid, murderous twat?

      The german one was hardly a military genius (but narcissic enough to overturn those who knew better), the russian one ... dunno just bonkers?

  18. carter brandon

    No wonder this makes me feel old, I played it when it was released and I was 51 at the time.

  19. pPPPP

    I thoroughly enjoyed this game. And it really was not that long ago. I still have the PC I played it on.

  20. The Mighty Spang

    more big up for Wolf ET

    I know, not related, different dev & all

    but wolf et was the best multiplayer game of all time, forcing you to *really* co-operate. i spent *so many* hours playing that

  21. John 62


    Count me as another one wondering why this is in the Antique Code Show. I haven't played RtCW, but I played the original Wolfenstein on a demo PC in a shop as a teenager.

  22. Daniel B.

    Not id?

    I had the distinct idea that this was an id job. Looks like it was outsourced then ....

  23. Andy Fletcher
    Thumb Up

    Vot am I going to do wiss all zis cheese?

    I don't know, find some crackers or somesing?

    Great game - in my top 5 for sure.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I'm not absolutely sure it was this game, but seeing the article reminded me so I think it was: I recall being faced with a particularly nasty and powerful enemy. Unable to defeat him in the normal, manly way, I did what any self-respecting player would do: I ran and hid.

    I hid, as it turns out, under some table or piece of equipment that was deep enough for me to avoid the enemy's fire, since he couldn't duck.

    While pondering strategy, I amused myself by taking pot shots at him from under the furniture. Bang, ow! Bang, argh! Bang, ergh!

    And it occurred to me: The game deals at least -some- damage no matter where this guy gets shot. It would take a while, I reasoned, but it would be risk-free.

    And so I defeated a powerful and menacing foe by shooting him fifty times in the ankles.

  25. Bucky O' Hare
    Thumb Down


    Cmon, seriously, "Antique Code Show" ?

    I think you need to set a pre-2000 limit at the very least. I'm 32, I don't class myself as old, but this is certainly not antique.

    Boo hiss to The Reg.

  26. Steve Carr 1

    Sherman? Heck no!

    The text says you get to escort "a slow-moving Sherman tank", but clearly the author is not well enough versed in WWII hardware, as the tank in question is actually a Panzerkamfwagen (Panzer) III. In fact the screen shot with the article says you are escorting a captured Panzer in the mission as well.

  27. burundi
    Thumb Up

    Loved This

    This was the first game I played seriously online, I spent many hours (too many) blasting the other team with Panzerfausts from the top of the cable car level. I loved the Game of The Year expansion pack as well, that was great for online play, I think I spent most of my time on the BlueYonder game servers.

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