Despite how it may seem at first glimpse, the new Wolfenstein isn't just another paint-by-numbers World War II shooter - according to developers Raven Software, it isn't a WW2 game at all.
The "World War II FPS" is a category that is rather... over-saturated, shall we say? So it's quite understandable that Raven Software is trying to quell the notion that their upcoming entry in the Wolfenstein franchise is a WW2 shooter a la Band of Heroic Men in Company of Brothers Who Answer the Call of Duty of Our Fathers. Beyond that, though, Wolfenstein Creative Director Eric Biessman told VG247 that not only is the game not another WW2 shooter, the Raven team doesn't consider it a WW2 title of any sort.
This isn't to say that the game isn't set during the events of World War II - it is. Nor does this mean special agent B.J. Blazkowicz won't be fighting Nazis - he will. Rather, Biessman says that Wolfenstein is not a WW2 game in the same way that Raiders of the Lost Ark isn't a WW2 film.
"When we started development of the game we asked ourselves, 'What if?' What if the Nazis had access to an unlimited power source? What if the Nazis could create beam weapons? What if the Nazis could create suits of powered armour? It was pretty cool to imagine the possibilities and see them come to life in Wolfenstein."
While the immediate knee-jerk reaction is to dismiss Biessman's comments as standard studio posturing ... I have to admit, the guy has a point. After all, Dr. Jones does brawl and whip his way through villainous Nazis (at least in the good movies), and the films are filled with Third Reich symbols and imagery - but would anyone really refer to the Indiana Jones movies as WW2 films, lumping them in with Saving Private Ryan?
All right, Biessman. We'll take your word for it - for now.
The sequel to 2001's Return to Castle Wolfenstein is schedule to hit release sometime in Summer 2009 for PC, 360, and PS3.