More Reviews
REVIEWS Slender: The Arrival Review
Few games can offer genuine scares in the horror genre. Can Slender: The Arrival prove otherwise and it can offer more?

Pillars of Eternity Review
Obsidian Entertainment creates a retro Infinity Engine RPG funded by Kickstarter. Is it as good as previous Infinity Engine games, or does the novelty quickly wear off?
More Previews
PREVIEWS Dirty Bomb Preview
Looking for a more competitive, challenging online FPS multiplayer game? Splash Damage is introducing just that by dropping a Dirty Bomb on the free-to-play game market.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones
Release date: 04/01/15

Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin
Release date: 04/07/15


LATEST FEATURES 6 Helpful Tips for Pillars of Eternity
Simply put, Pillars of Eternity can become maddening if players aren't careful.

Top 10 Active Video Game Kickstarter Campaigns
There are lots of indie projects going on right now, so we did the dirty work for you and found the best.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES Top 50 Pokémon of All Time
Can you believe there are now six generations of Pokémon? Six!! That's a crazy amount of different creatures to collect. But which are the cream of the crop? Don't worry, Magikarp isn't actually one of them.

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP shandog137
The perils of the Hype Train…
By shandog137
Posted on 03/09/15
The recent release of Evolve and The Order 1886 really got me to thinking about the disparity between the perspective of sales-driven publishers and the quality-driven purchases of consumers. The “Hype Train” is nothing new, but the way it is utilized has been creating far more...

The 10 Most Influential Retro Games: Wolfenstein 3D

Posted on Monday, December 10 @ 10:00:00 Eastern by KevinS
"The 10 Most Influential Retro Games" is a feature series that will run daily for the next two weeks, between 12/3/12 to 12/14/12 on weekdays, with each day highlighting one of our ten picks in an unranked order. Follow our tagged page for Most Influential Retro Games to view the entire list. ~Ed. Nick



id Software was a group started by a small group of programmers with the intent to make a game they themselves wanted to play. There weren't too many games designed for older gamersone being Custer's Revenge, and that's a bit too far for mostso the company wanted to create something just for themselves.  And they brought new, rarely-seen technology to do it, which really put them over the top.



In the early days of what we can call the "shooter" genre, being the "shooter" meant being a sprite on the screen; titles like the original Duke Nukem and id's own Commander Keen stood as examples of how characters with guns could dominate the landscape. There were very few games in three dimensions at all, let alone letting a player step directly into the shoes of the protagonist to wipe out the bad guys. That is, until id came along to stop an android Hitler.

Wolfenstein 3D was simple enough: From a first-person perspective, the goal was to shoot Nazi soldiers, dogs, and military experiments (like android Hitler) to escape from the German strongholds. Everything necessary is scattered around the environments: keys, weapons, ammunition, big guys with bigger weapons, even gold to make war trophies out of at auction when a player makes it out alive. It's wonderful "family-friendly" fun, ain't it? Who doesn't enjoy a good Nazi slaying?

New technology was what put it over the top, and in two different areas, the obvious one being that it's a game in three dimensions. There hadn't been many 3D games before (the first being I, Robot back in the early 1980s from Atari) and the ones that had come out didn't reach a particularly wide audience. Wolfenstein 3D changed that by offering an easy-to-learn, explorative experience from the controlled character's point of view. You weren't just bouncing a sprite around the environment; you were the sprite. You were the character in a direct way that hadn't really been seen before, and that made it exciting. (Plus: Slaying Nazis!)


The second area was an even bigger step forward. The company that published the game, Apogee, was the first publisher that seriously took advantage of the burgeoning Internet. Before the World Wide Web took shape, Apogee was offering what came to be known as the "Apogee Model," namely giving players a demo level or two to whet their appetite and decide if they wanted to purchase the full game. It was a service started over BBS (bulletin board systems) with programs nicknamed "wares" years before, when the idea of "shareware" programs (both original and pirated content) came to pass.

But Apogee had adapted it for their own business use, and Wolfenstein 3D took full advantage of the thought to sell over 100,000 copies by the end of 1993 (and still sells today). Without doing so, we might still have digital downloads and demos, but Apogee was ahead of the curve with their presentation.

The company continued the push the first few Doom titles and Duke Nukem 3D, and what was originally thought to be a niche service (with checks mailed to receive discs of the full games) has turned into a way of life across the Internet. And it all started with a little grudge against the Führer… and the legend of his head being saved for future use... as a mega-powered robot.

*sigh* God, I love this industry.

comments powered by Disqus




More On GameRevolution