Wolfenstein: Hands-on, tech bits, new screenshots and system requirements
When visiting our office Activision's Christian Blendl also brought an early but playable version of Wolfenstein. PC Games Hardware played the FPS game and delivers the first impressions of the gameplay and the technology.
The most important innovation in comparison to the predecessor is an amulet that helps the protagonist B.J. Blaskowicz on his way through the game. The magical piece of jewelry grants access to another dimension and special but temporary abilities. On the one hand Blaskowicz can enter a parallel world where enemies and secrets are glowing even in the dark - that makes it much easier to get rid of the opponents. But on the other hand the dimensions are also overlap making passages into the parallel world visible on walls for example. More features provided by the amulet: increased speed and absence of gravity.
Wolfenstein: Id Tech 4
The new content components have a huge effect on the visual appearance of the shooter. For the appealing realization of the amulet's abilities, Raven has updated the id Tech 4 (Doom 3, Quake 4 (dt.), Enemy Territory: Quake Wars) with new Post Processing effects. Among them are lighting effects as well as realistic drops of sweat and condensed water that become visible on the display. Id's engine proves that it still got what it takes to be base for a modern game. The enemies are still visualized pretty well and the Bump Mapping gives them and other objects like walls, flagstones or hospital equipment a realistic appearance.
The changes between light and shadow that created the atmosphere of Doom 3 have been integrated into Wolfenstein, too. So all in all, the new shooter is quite impressive in matters of graphical quality.
IT also seems like Raven has enhanced the physics section of the engine code. Physical gimmicks like destructible furniture, moveable objects and tables or boxes that can be used as cover are already part of id's technology base. The physics effects caused by the amulet on the other hand are new. When the gravity is removed, characters and objects loose contact with the floor and start floating in the air, moving in uncontrolled patterns. If furniture hits the walls, it shatters in a quite impressive way.
Additionally, blast waves can catapult almost anything around that is in their way. Unfortunately Chrisitan Blendl couldn't tell us what exactly Raven has changed in the physics libraries of the id Tech 4 Engine. But will try to receive further technical details in an interview with the developers.
Wolfenstein: System requirements
The minimal system requirements of Wolfenstein have been revealed in the forum of the game. A community manager specified them as follows:
Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP or Windows Vista(R) (Windows 95/98/ME/2000 are unsupported)
Microsoft DirectX(R) 9.0c (included & required for Windows XP & Vista)
CPU: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 3.2 GHz or AMD Athlon(TM) 64 3400+ processor
RAM: 1GB RAM
Video Card: 256MB NVIDIA(R) Geforce(R) 6800 GT or ATI Radeon(TM) X800
Sound Card: 100% DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
HDD Space: 8GB (Plus an additional 800MB for Windows swap file)
Media: 100% Microsoft Windows compatible DVD-ROM drive
Internet: Broadband connection and service required for multiplayer