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PS2 Reviews: Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Operation Resurrection


Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Operation Resurrection screenshots


The Final Say!


Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Operation Resurrection
 -  reviewed by Alex Cuming 
Review Date: 27 June 2003
Review Score:


 Not Based on an Average
Distributed By: Activision

Having just played Soldier of Fortune on XBox and being disappointed with it, I was really surprised in the quality of this title.  Not just in the graphics department but everything is so bloody amazing.  The graphics have been drawn whereas SOF2 had everything drawn and then built with a level editor. The enemy AI is a challenge, the sound is awesome with its orchestral music and many voice actors to liven the environments up.  Having played the PC version and then hearing about this being on PS2 I was not sure whether it would be near the quality of the former and I was pleasantly surprised.  There is ample usage of lighting and shrapnel effects and bilinear filtering on the walls of the castle as well as every other locale.  The grenades in particular look superb.  It is not just the cheap fog effects seen in many of these games but it is done with parts of the grenade flying in multiple directions.  The player models look great especially for a PS2 game I could not believe the high standard.  Much care and thought has gone into the production of this game and a lot of love has been dedicated to this title in its making. 

The story for the title is brilliant with themes of the prince of darkness attempting to take over the world but being stopped by a monk in the process who used druidic magic to seal away this adversary in a tomb.  This adversary was called Heinrich who was a pre-Christian Saxon prince in the ninth century.  Having translated the texts of the occult he was convinced his people were the direct descendants of Thule.  This race was a powerful army of evil and pure consciousness transcending the laws of metaphysics. 

During the Second World War Hitler’s lead henchman Heinrich Himmler was convinced that this mass army of death could be harnessed to be used against the allies.  During this course Himmler through a multitude of Scientist and funds towards this cause.  By 1943 all the pieces were in place and the whereabouts of the tomb of Heinrich was found.  It is only a matter of time before all hell breaks loose…. 

You are B.J Blaskowicz a US Army Ranger, your task is to infiltrate the Germans hideouts and uncover the activity being carried out in the ancient tombs of Egypt.  You must stop this evil by capturing Heinrich and stopping him in any way necessary.  Along the way you must kill as many Nazis as possible in either stealth combat or speedy massacre. 

What makes this title superb is the level layouts are very intricate and the A.I is top notch.  Every enemy you encounter will hide behind corners waiting for you to show your well rendered head.  Sometimes they will run for cover when you come out all guns blazing and then attempt to ambush you in the passageways.  There are treasures to be found and many levers to trip.   The levels are consistently good with missions like finding rooms, exiting out of them and knocking down false walls to reveal yet more items.


The only trouble with the title that I found was that the enemy A.I can be a little too on the mark.  Although this could be regarded as a quality it can be frustrating when the enemy hides behind corners and guns you down ruthlessly when given the chance.  The enemy will not always chase you down either and they all seem to be quite intelligent, Medal of Honour on Xbox was nowhere in the running in comparison to the dexterity of this title. 

Another feather in Id’s cap is the auto aim feature that is both easy to use as well as it is effective.  When auto aiming you will aim for the chest when a lock on is achieved.  This auto feature will ensure to most effective assaults on the enemy whilst circling around them and firing at them with ease.  This effective bit of programming has been done with great finesse.  Even making the console game easier to control than the PC counterpart. 

The levels in the game are different to those on the PC and are teed up better to prop the story and create a readiness and understanding to the Wolfenstein plot.   At the beginning of the game you are positioned in a town overrun by Nazis with unequivocal attention to detail.  Starting the game in outside locales certainly is appreciated, as many First Person shooters tend to revert to indoors for the majority of the levels.  There is also the feature in it like the PC version where you may save at any position you like.  This is an ideal setting and much appreciated as different strategies can be carried out in each attempt at the same scenario. 

In short if you like first person shooters and are sick of Timesplitters then I would highly recommend this game.  It is superb and will have the player hankering for one more go even long after finishing the title.  The secrets to be found and the weapons are exceptionally well balanced, the grenades are probably the best fun in a first person shooter.  In brief an awesome First person shooter just go get it before it sells out! 

The reason for the high score is that because of the quality of every mission and so much work has gone into ensuring the highest standard of gaming is achieved.  The layout of the levels brings innovation and sets a high benchmark for shooters.  The other reason is that there has never been a first person shooter on PS2 of this standard Timesplitters 2 included!

- Alex Cuming

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