Wolfenstein (universe)

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Wolfenstein logo.

Wolfenstein is a fictional world created by Silas Warner in 1981, based on Germany during World War II. Initially, the titles set in the universe were strictly military themed, but, in 1992, id Software began adding elements of science fiction and religious fiction to the world. The series now features a dozen games, a comic book series, many fan projects, and even an attempt to make a film, but it never materialized.

The game series began as a stealth game where you would have to try and avoid guards and sneak through Nazi barracks, but id Software changed it into an action first-person shooter. Later titles continued with the strong action elements, but also began reintroducing stealth elements in certain missions.

My first experience with Wolfenstein was from a shareware release of Wolfenstein 3-D my brother got which had been modified using a map editor. I was really impressed by the game, even though the map didn't make any sense. I loved playing with the map editor and made my own weird levels. Later, I played a clean shareware copy with the intact first episode enjoyed it as well, certainly appreciating a more professional map. In the mid 1990s, a friend of mine lent me his pirated disks for the full game. I actually fell for the exit text where the developers threatened to erase my hard drive and quickly deleted the game. However, after thinking about it, I doubted they would do that, and reinstalled it. Because I had found out some of the cheat codes for the game, I never tried to play the game seriously, and just cheated my way through every mission. I also made a lot of new maps for the game, but never bothered to save any of them. Around this time I also played a little bit of Spear of Destiny, but also never made an effort to try beat it. I also discovered that the Wolfenstein series predated the 3-D game by over a decade which surprised me, I had assumed id Software created the IP.

I remember seeing Return to Castle Wolfenstein on shelves at the mall, but never bought it or played it. Sometime around the late 2000s, I tried to actually play Wolfenstein 3-D properly and beat the first thee episodes on "Bring 'em on" difficulty. In 2018, I bought a Humble Bundle of Wolfenstein 3-D, Spear of Destiny, and Return to Castle Wolfenstein, finally becoming a legel owner, and played through Return and beat it.


Released Title Developer Platforms
1981-??-?? Castle Wolfenstein Muse Software Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, PC Booter
1983-??-?? Beyond Castle Wolfenstein Muse Software Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, PC Booter
1992-05-05 Wolfenstein 3-D id Software MS-DOS, Acorn 32-bit, Game Boy Advance, PC-98
1992-??-?? Spear of Destiny id Software MS-DOS
1994-02-10 Wolfenstein 3-D id Software SNES, Jaguar
1995-01-?? Wolfenstein 3-D id Software Macintosh, 3DO, Apple IIgs
2001-11-19 Return to Castle Wolfenstein Gray Matter Interactive Studios Windows, Linux, Macintosh
2003-05-28 Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory Splash Damage Windows, Linux, Macintosh
2008-??-?? Wolfenstein RPG Fountainhead Entertainment BlackBerry, BREW, iPhone, J2ME
2009-08-18 Wolfenstein Raven Software Corporation PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows
2014-05-19 Wolfenstein: The New Order MachineGames Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
2015-05-04 Wolfenstein: The Old Blood MachineGames Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
2017-10-26 Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus MachineGames Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
2019-07-26 Wolfenstein: Youngblood MachineGames Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Titles in the Wolfenstein series seem to be released in spurts. Castle Wolfenstein and Beyond Castle Wolfenstein were released in the early 1980s, by Muse, then there was a dry spell. id Software successfully convinced Warner to let them expand the series and they created Wolfenstein 3-D in 1992, then made various expansion packs, and ported the tiles to many different platforms throughout the 1990s, but no unique titles were released until 2001 with Return to Castle Wolfenstein. There was another long gap until it was followed up with Wolfenstein, then another five years until the next game. However, in the past five years, the series has been seeing a new game once a year.

Other Titles




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