Wolfenstein • Page 2

The Reich stuff.

Your reward for defeating the heavy trooper is his weapon. The particle cannon is highly satisfying to use, as the turquoise beam burns right through anything and anyone you care to swish it at. It's also upgradeable, like every other weapon in the game. You can stick a recoil supressor onto your MP-40, for instance, add a bayonet to your Kar-98, or use a silencer and scope to create your own sniper rifle.

So how do you get hold of these upgrades? "Treasure hunting has been a big deal in the Wolfenstein series since the beginning. It's a really big part of what the game's all about," says Sokal. "This time we incorporated an economy system so there's gold to find throughout the game, along with military intelligence and magic tomes. The more you collect, the more upgrades you'll have available to you. Then you can purchase them on the black market."

The black marketeers are one of three factions you'll have to deal with in Wolfenstein. The others are the local resistance force, who will often fight at your side, and a group of scholars studying the occult and the supernatural. There's plenty of backstory to uncover if you want to go looking for it - or, "If you just want to smash up some Nazis, you're more than welcome," says Sokal. "If you just want to run through it all as quickly as possible, you don't have to bother talking to anybody."

There's no need to spend time and money on upgrading your entire arsenal simultaneously. If you have a favourite gun you can invest all the gold you find in making it as powerful as possible, so it doesn't become a throwaway weapon. You might as well spread the wealth, though, as you can carry as many guns as you like at once.

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How come no one's done a videogame tie-in for Allo Allo yet?

If you can't be bothered to go treasure-hunting all the time, there are ways to make earning gold easier. At the end of each level you'll be told how much of the available treasure you've found. You can go back and replay earlier levels with a more powerful weapon, such as the particle cannon, using it to cut right through the Nazis and get straight to the gold. Plus, upgrades which turn out to be rubbish can be sold back to give you more cash for buying new ones.

The full range of weapons and upgrades is yet to be revealed, as are the other Veil powers you'll be able to experiment with. It'll be particularly interesting to see how these affect the multiplayer experience, but Sokal will only go so far as confirming they will play a part.

"I can't expand on that," he says. "But I can say this: if you're a fan of what made Return to Castle Wolfenstein a great experience, we've taken a lot of those elements and put them in this game. We don't want to disappoint fans. We know what they're looking for, so we've got all that in there, plus we're throwing in the Veil."

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I went out with a Nazi zombie once. Terrible tipper.

This is a series with serious history and a strong fanbase behind it, so multiplayer is not the only area where Raven and id are keen to meet players' expectations. But what do they see as the essence of Wolfenstein, the most important elements that need to feature?

"It's about fast-paced combat, finding unexpected stuff around every corner, and making sure it's anything but just another World War II shooter," says Sokal. "We want it to feel sci-fi and supernatural. Not to be clichéd, but... Expect the unexpected," he adds, not doing a very good job of not being clichéd.

The question is whether Wolfenstein has enough innovative elements (Veil powers, super-cool weapons, giant robots) to make up for all the familiar ones (crates, machinegun nests, Nazis). The game is out "when it's done", so there may be a while to wait before we find out. In the meantime, I'm off to play Diner Dash while thinking about cooking and flowers.

Wolfenstein is due out for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC later this year. Okay, "when it's done", but let's be honest.

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