Wolfenstein through the ages

Nearly ten years passed between the 1992 release of Spear of Destiny and the 2001 release of Return to Castle Wolfenstein. The colorful hallways and bright pools of blood were replaced by a much grittier aesthetic. But even though the game seemed much more serious than Wolfenstein 3D and Spear of Destiny, Return to Castle Wolfenstein still stayed true to the spirit of the series.

Blazkowicz may not have been making funny faces at you throughout your adventure, but he was still fighting the good fight, picking up hot plates of food and raiding armories for extra ammo along the way. At the time, the game looked great, which made exploring the castle creepier than ever – and the competent enemy AI kept the action fast-paced and fun.

Above: In Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Blazkowicz lost some of his pizzazz. But he was still a badass who beat down Nazis and foiled their paranormal plans to ruin the world

As for Blazkowicz, he looked a lot more like the protagonist in Muse Software’s original Wolfenstein titles. The stone cold expression, traditional army uniform, and lack of any sly eyebrow arching made for a much more no-nonsense look and fit well with the more realistic feel of the game.

As seen in Commander Keen

Did you know that after World War II, Blazkowicz settled down, got married and had a son? Unlike his father, Arthur Kenneth Blazkowicz went on to become a talk show personality in Milwaukee, of all places. He later changed his last name to Blaze for “show biz” purposes.

Above: Behold BJ Blazkowicz’s grandson

After getting married, Blaze named his son William (after his father), and that’s the super obscure origin of Billy Blaze, the star of the Commander Keen games and grandson of the late and great BJ Blazkowicz. Sounds crazy? It’s all there in The Official Hint Book of Spear of Destiny: A Wolfenstein 3D Graphic Adventure.

So what’s in store for Blazkowicz in the new Wolfenstein game by Raven Software? Well, his latest adventure pits him against Nazis who are playing with paranormal ways to rule the world. If you want to know more, pick up the best issue of The Official Xbox Magazine for their exclusive hands-on preview. Also, keep on the lookout for more on the secret history of Wolfenstein and retro prizes as GamesRadar’s Week of Wolfenstein continues.

Above: What’s going on in this screen from the new Wolfenstein game? The Official Xbox Magazine has the answers in their April 2009 issue

Mar 10, 2009

See undead Nazis, amazing 360 mods, and the highest-scoring XBLA game of all time

And nine more things you didn’t know about the first great shooter