Posting on various Amiga Facebook groups, I am rather surprised at how little knowledge there is out there about gaming on Next Generation Amiga machines or even the existence of Next Generation machines themselves, but this perhaps should come as no surprise as the current next generation user base is tiny and what machines are currently available tend to be either in short supply, or dismissed as too expensive for the casual gamer to care about. Equally marketing hasn’t exactly been the Next Generation Amiga’s strong point over the years, there are no adverts in mainstream press, we have a bi-monthly magazine in Amiga Future that isn’t sold at newsstands so the general public don’t tend to see much and most of the current scene and events rely on word of mouth either via social media or through dedicated forums than through coverage in the mainstream.
One interesting thing I have found by demonstrating games which run on OS4, is that it does pique the curiosity and stir interest amongst the casual user. In the past month alone I have shown off pictures of a High Definition version of Quake II or the FPSE Sony Playstation Emulator on a few Facebook forums and this has got people asking questions about the new machines and how to run them. Quake II HD even got a few people salivating in their response. By far the largest and most positive response I have got is the subject of today’s post Return to Castle Wolfenstein which comes to us courtesy of the prolific coder HunoPPC and can be downloaded from his website here The file itself is not that big (36.4MB) and so should only take a few seconds to download. The specs themselves to run this game are set quite high, so whilst classic A1200 owners with a PPC board are welcome to try this out, I am not sure that this will actually run very well on a lower spec machine.
First of all before you download anything I would advise you to offer a small donation to HunoPPC for his work in porting this across which can be done via his PayPal link on his website. I know it can be easy to overlook, but he has spent quite a bit of time and effort in bringing this game across to the Amiga and any donation no matter how small can always help to motivate any programmer to carry on and more importantly help bring new games across to our platform.
Once we have the donated to HunoPPC for his efforts, there is a small other thing that you will need to do here which is download a copy of the PC version of the game, (or indeed if you have a copy of the PC CD-Rom) as files from this version are required in conjunction with the Amiga OS4.1 executable files that HunoPPC has provided us.
Indeed if we take a look at the files which have been provided as part of HunoPPC’s package you will see the following:
When we try to start the game, we get a message saying that we need to have the following files from the original PC version/game disk added to folder which is labelled as “Main”. The four files that you will need to move into this folder are the following:
Now I sourced the game using gog.com which currently has this game on sale at the for the price of £4.59 as you can see here
Unfortunately, as those who read my Freespace Descent 2 post will realise, gog.com does not allow you to get hold of the complete file to unpack on an Amiga and so sadly we must download this to a PC, install it there and then port the required files across on a USB key to the X5000 to then place in the folder.
I know I have said this before, but we as the Amiga community could do with being a tad more vocal with companies like gog.com in letting them know that Amiga users are still out there and would like access to the PC game files without having to install them on a PC and then carry them across back to the Amiga in this manner. They actually have a number of games that we Amiga users need to download from their website in order to play the AmigaOS 4 specific ports that exists and so if I were gog.com, I perhaps would be looking at this as a nice potential revenue stream they can capitalise on, no matter how small the current state of the market is and perhaps providing a download of just the required files direct to your machine.
The other thing that you will need to be aware of is that this game requires Warp3D in order to run, so if like me you have a Radeon 7750 card or indeed any other Radeon Southern Islands card, you will need to get Warp3D from the Amistore if you have not already done so and make sure this has been installed on your machine. T
Once all the required files are moved across into the “Main” folder, you should find that the contents of your folder should look similar to the screenshot above and it is finally time to play Return to Castle Wolfenstein and all being well and good the game should start-up quite quickly and go into the title screen which you can see below.
Joystick support is provided in the menu screens which you will need to set up in the menu screen, although keyboard warriors would probably find it just as effective to use the WASD keys for movement here as is the case with most other games of this type. One thing to note is that the config file is set up to run off the keyboard as default so you will need to update the line seta in_joystick “0” line of this to seta in_Joystick “1”.
So what exactly is the big deal with this game? Well surely you must have played the original Wolfenstein 3D game which appeared to grace every format under the sun back in the early 90’s from the PC/Dos version to the ill-fated Atari Jaguar? If not well the game’s main appeal stemmed from the World War II setting where it allowed you to blow to smithereens every Nazi general under the sun in a fast paced 3D environment from a first-person shooter perspective.
Return to Castle Wolfenstein was a follow-up to this classic game which was released by Activision way back in 2001 and features both a single player mode and also a multi-player option which I have not tested out for the purposes of this post. Set in 1943 in the middle of World War II you take on the role of US Army Ranger William B.J. Blazkowicz who is sent to investigate a secret Nazi plot and your first task in single player mode after being captured and managing to escape, is to leave the castle compound from where you are thrown straight into the action.
Right from the start you find yourself in the dungeons of the castle armed with a pistol and a limited number of bullets and you will quickly and quietly need to find a way out without arousing too much suspicion.
In fact it won’t take long before we find out first set of mad scientists at work on all manner of weird experiments with other Nazi guards coming into view which of course we need to shoot, but be careful as we only have a limited number of bullets.
Graphically the game looks fantastic with lots of attention to detail and I found that this game ran with a reasonable sense of speed on both the X5000 and my old Sam460/Amigaone500 setup, although someone was quick to point out to me an issue with the Warp3D driver. Apparently if you look at the screenshot above the Achtung sign, you will be able to see shadows flickering which is an indication that things are not 100% here. To be fair, given the game’s rather high level of difficulty, I think you will be concentrating more on trying to ensure that you have enough bullets for whatever is around the corner than to stand around and admire the scenery or look to pick faults within the game’s graphics.
In fact the difficulty level is quite hard to begin with as it is set quite high even on the easy level. In fact I would probably compare the difficulty level to that found on the Commodore 64 classic Navy Seals. This isn’t meant to put you off as such, but I personally found that you do need to practise some precision shooting to ensure that any bullets are not wasted and these can then be saved for use later on in the level. Certainly the temptation upon seeing an enemy target is to try to spray as many bullets as possible to kill the target in front of you, but I find this game requires you to be a little more cunning than that. It is often more effective to hide behind posts and wait patiently for your enemy to appear or to creep up behind them and then shoot them dead. To help you I certainly would recommend trying to increase the cross hair and the brightness in the options menu as the standard cross hair and brightness is perhaps not bright enough to be see if you are aiming at your target correctly.
Despite the high specs that are required to run this game and the awkward nature of having to use the files from the original PC version in order to set up this game, I can say that Return to Castle Wolfenstein comes highly recommended. Now please excuse me while I have another crack at trying to escape!
Until next time have fun with your Amigas!