STAFF REVIEW of Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Tides of War (Xbox)

Wednesday, July 30, 2003.
by Yellowlab

Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Tides of War Box art Have you ever watched a critically acclaimed Oscar winning movie, and just didn't get why it was so hyped (ie. the English Patient, American Beauty)? You just don't get it. That's the way I felt after playing RTCW:TOW. I read a lot of good reviews, and was expecting a very good FPS. Instead I got a very average FPS. I thought the beginning levels (pre-Wolfenstein) were rather boring and tedious. It got a little better once you get caught and put in Castle Wolfenstein, but even then most of the levels just seemed to be a lot of lever pulling and door finding boredom. The enemies were lame (exploding zombies?!?, fat nazi chicks?!?). There was a lot of underground tunnel levels that got old fast. There were some outdoor levels, which was a nice change of pace, but some of those were a little confusing, or too dificult (one alarm sounds, and it's over). I found my mind wandering during the 15 minute cut scenes of political people sitting around a table spouting inane dialogue. Yawn! Overall, I was very disappointed with the single player experience. What redeemed this title was the Xbox Live feature. Now that was fun. I thought it would be standard deathmatch (not that there's anything wrong with that!), but found it was a squad based matches in which you play a role (soldier, Lieutenant, Medic) and have specific duties. It was a refreshing approach and one of the better Xbox Live games. So the single player experience I give a 2.5 out of 5. The multiplayer a 4.5 out of 5. So, overall RTCW:TOW gets a 3.5 out of 5.

The game controls similar to Halo, so it's not hard for someone to pick up who has played that. The guns do not feel as good as they did in Halo, and the selection was iffy. I also didn't like that you couldn't throw grenades on the fly. You had to change your weapon to the grenade and then throw, and then change back to your weapon.

Really, the visuals were not that fantastic. It was saved by the variety from outdoor settings, tombs, war torn Europe, etc... that kept it fairly fresh.

Dolby 5.1 sounded good. Explosions, shots, and music all did the trick. It's nothing that you'll flip over, but nothing that you notice as being bad.

Just a question: Why do the zombies explode when you shoot them?

Overall: 7.0 / 10
Gameplay: 7.0 / 10
Visuals: 8.0 / 10
Sound: 8.0 / 10


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