Wolfenstein Lifts the Veil

Mystical weapons and plentiful Nazis remain a mainstay in the latest iteration of first-person shooter Wolfenstein.

"For id, Wolfenstein is a very important IP, it goes way back and we care a lot about it," said Peter Sokal, community manager for id Software.

The game takes place right after the events of Return to Castle Wolfenstein, said Activision's Steve Holmes. In the game, Wolfenstein lead B.J. Blazkowicz stumbles upon an amulet that has secret powers and track those powers back to a town in Germany.

Blazkowicz is sent in to try and figure out what's going on. The game will have you interacting with three factions: A civilian resistance, a group of mystic-researching scholars and a black market. All of the weapons in the game are fully upgradable.

The developers walked us through a level or two, to show off how the game kicks off, transitioning from a straight up shooter to a game with a bit more depth thanks to the powers of the amulet.

Early on, Blazkowicz stumbles upon an experiment and manages to blow it up, releasing waves of ethereal blue material. The veil seems to turn gravity on and off as Blazkowicz tries to escape the area, making for some very original gunplay.

Later we discover that the amulet allows Blazkowicz to slip into the veil where key items and enemy weaknesses are highlighted. In the veil, Blazkowicz can also see and shoot Geist, these fat floating creatures that act as a sort of honey bee in the veil. When shot, the Geist explode, hurting those around them. Blazkowicz can also locate and recharge in pools of liquid while in the veil. There are also doors only visible in the veil.

As you progress through the game, Blazkowicz discovered and unlocks new abilities for the amulet. The one I saw was called the Mire ability and slows down time, allowing you to dodge weapon fire or make your way through tricky traps.

Of course, those darn Nazis also have access to the veil, which means a selection of new enemies. One, called the Scrie, uses the powers of the veil to put shields around other solders and can shoot veil energy at you.

Another enemy, later in the game, can only be taken out by damaging power packs on his back, something highlighted while in the veil.

Of course, there are veil-empowered weapons as well. My favourite was a particle canon that instantly disintegrates enemies it touches. The enemies sort of disappear in a puff of pixels, leaving only their hats.

I pointed out that maybe the Nazis should work on uniforms made out of that hat material, but no one laughed.

The Nazis also make use of veil suppressors, items which can shut down your ability to use the veil in certain areas until you destroy them.

The folks on hand told me that the veil would be incorporated into games multiplayer, but wouldn't go into details. I also asked if Hitler would be making any appearances in the game, but they say he will only be present in paintings found in some of the levels.

Our walkthrough of the game ended with Blazkowicz confronted by a Nazi officer turned into something like a zombie by a massive veil explosion.

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