Gameinformer published an article some weeks ago about the history of Wolfenstein games. Intresting to read for those who are new to the Wolfenstein franchise.
Here’s their article:
First-person shooters are inescapable, with the biggest franchises letting players roam the battlefields of history and imagination to mow down foes, win wars, and emerge as the top contender on scoreboards. The genre hasn’t always been as ubiquitous as its current success suggests, however.
While Doom is often remembered as the game that kickstarted the first-person shooter craze, Wolfenstein 3D paved the way for its sci-fi sibling to come screaming into existence. However, Wolfenstein is more than just a stepping stone. Over the years the pulpy WW2 has changed several developers’ hands, constantly transmuting and bouncing all over the place tone-wise, but has never lost its identity, even when both Medal of Honor and Call of Duty arrived, choosing to wallow about in arcadey violence instead of following the more realistic and procedural design of more modern WWII titles for two decades.
With Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus out in a few weeks’ time, we thought it pertinent to go over the long history of the series and break down the confusing chronology of its decades-long storyline.
Shootin’, Stabbin’, Sneakin’ Around Nazis Wolfenstein arrived nearly a decade before we first met the bare-chested, machine gun-wielding Schwarzenegger stand-in B.J. Blazkowicz. Castle Wolfenstein and its sequel, Beyond Castle Wolfenstein, were action-adventure titles developed for the Apple II and Commodore-64 that put more emphasis on infiltration and sneaking than the bloodletting of its successors.
Let’s not misspeak here: you still killed a lot of Nazis in these games. However, both titles had more in common with the pre-Solid Metal Gear games than anything else, letting you hide bodies, pick locks, and stab enemies. These early titles were a far cry from the constant stream of bullets tearing apart Nazis that would come to define the series’ ethos. Still, Muse Software’s adventure series laid the foundation for later Wolfenstein titles, particularly with its thematic focus on infiltrating bases, keeps, and bunkers.
In 1992, id Software, at that point known for the amusing platformer Commander Keen, took the series in a bold new direction that changed video games forever.