MachineGames Likely Developing A New ‘Wolfenstein’ Game

Feb 7, 2013 by  

id Tech 5 Wolfenstein

After releasing their first title, Commander Keen, the game that put id Sofware on the map in 1992 was Wolfenstein 3D. It’s the first first-person shooter I ever played and like its spiritual successor Doom, helped define the genre, rightfully earning its title as the “grandfather of 3D shooters.”

As id Software moved on to to develop multiple Doom and Quake games, and most recently, Rage, the franchise that started it all was seemingly pushed to the back of their library, returning in 2001 with Return to Castle Wolfenstein, which like its predecessor, received positive reviews. Ignoring the free multiplayer spinoff and mobile titles, Raven Software developed another Wolfenstein game for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2009, published by Activision, but it was only met with average reviews and went largely under the radar. And that was it. Until now…

The Wolfenstein series, celebrating its 20th anniversary last year, was often met with controversy for its inclusion of Nazi symbols, settings and music, but may have a new game on the way. With id Software acquired by ZeniMax in 2009 and Raven having developed that last series installment, id Software will not be directly involved with future Wolfenstein games and instead are developing Doom 4.

ZeniMax may have MachineGames working on a new Wolfenstein instead. MachineGames is a Swedish developer staffed by the founders of Starbreeze Studios (Syndicate). That is, according to the resume of composer and sound designer Julian Beeston where he listed Wolfenstein as a 2013 title, until editing it. Thanks to Google cache, we have the original entry:

Julian Beeston Wolfenstein

The November 11th press release encompasses the mysteriously empty official site for MachineGames and reads:

Established in 2009 by the founding members of Starbreeze Studios, the creative team behind the award-winning title,The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher’s Bay (Metacritic score: 90) and the highly-regarded game, The Darkness, MachineGames is working on an unannounced project for ZeniMax publishing subsidiary, Bethesda Softworks, that is being built on id Software’s revolutionary id Tech® 5 engine technology

Adding further credence to the obvious, ZeniMax acquired the Wolfenstein domain from Activision last summer. So piece this together. We’ve emailed ZeniMax for comment.

The id Tech 5 engine was used with Rage, a title that served better as a tech demo than an actual game, so it makes sense that Bethesda and ZeniMax have MachineGames using id’s latest and greatest for the next Wolfenstein. With this news, we can not only expect epic visuals and animation thanks to the engine, but knowing the track record of the development team, a highly realized first-person experience where everything from falling down to arm movements for melee attacks and opening doors will be fully animated as if the player actually is the in-game Nazi hunter.

Sci-fi Wolfenstein wallpaper

It’s too bad Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds wasn’t coming out this holiday to get fans in the mood. The last Wolfenstein game went full-on sci-fi. Should the next game embrace a more gritty and realistic WWII experience or go colorful and crazy like Raven’s 2009 entry? Play the original Wolfenstein for free through your browser on the official Wolfenstein site.

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Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Sources: Julian Beeston, MachineGames

6 Comments

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  1. It’s a touchy topic to be sure, but they really ought to go for gritty realism. The sci-fi supernatural angle in 2009 was lame, as it utterly failed to capture the distinctive, weighty evil of the Nazi regime.

    Perhaps include Hitler in this next one. Take him out…or risk your life trying to. Sure, this was done in the original Castle Wolfenstein in the 80′s. But that one, even without modern graphics, was an epic mission and thrilling.

    Or if they dare, task us with breaking out of a concentration camp, freeing prisoners on a run through the woods or a harrowing ride after hijacking Nazi trucks, planes and weaponry. Anything but another generic FPS, where the enemy could just as well be any enemy.

  2. inglorious bastards was a god awful movie.
    it should have won a golden raspberry award, maybe several

  3. I dunno, I feel like the Sci-Fi flavor has been a part of Wolfenstein for a long time.

    I admittedly didn’t play the pre Wolfenstein 3D games, but I’ve played all of them since. The Sci-Fi element was in 3D (Robo-suits, three-armed mutant experiments) it was /certainly/ in Return to Castle Wolfenstein (Zombies, ancient rituals, cyborgs and super-soldiers, the Tesla Cannon)

    Maybe they went a little overboard in 2009′s Wolfenstein, but I’d hate to see them abandon the element entirely.

    Wolfenstein 09 wasn’t as good as Return, but I think that falls more to some of the modern conventions that it bent to, and some level design that really robbed you of mobility.

  4. “…………but they really ought to go for gritty realism.” – Daryl Davis

    I’m sure that all Wolfenstein fans are with you on that one, Daryl. All that we’re really looking for is a single-player more akin to the atmospheric, action-packed Return to Castle Wolfenstein, filled with lots of World War 2 realism.

    As for the multi-player, again, we already have a tremendous team-based, objective-based multi-player in Wolfenstein Enemy Territory. We honestly just need a more modern version of this great game, ie, updated graphics.

    The 2009 developers refused to listen to the Wolfenstein Community, this was to be their downfall. I hope that the Zenimax crew don’t make the same mistake.

  5. go with the classy gritty ww2, add a little sci-fi, but keep it closer to the real side. no godizilla insects flying around, maybe some super soldats, but keep it ww2 style, and make a multiplayer that will live up to enemy territory.

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