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Spear of Destiny (PC) artwork

Spear of Destiny (PC) review

"Destined to wear you out"

I'm not going to lie: the complete edition of Wolfenstein 3D is way too long. Yeah, I know it was originally intended to be thirty levels, but when you add The Nocturnal Missions, it becomes the same thing ad nauseam. I never thought I'd get tired of blasting Nazis, but the latter half of Nocturnal proved me wrong, stretching the affair to a mind-numbing sixty stages.

Like any successful FPS from the '90s, further expansions were bound to crop up, and one could only hope that its developers would add new features such as additional weapons, enemies, or hazards. However, Wolf3D's expansion, Spear of Destiny, does almost none of that...

This add-on pads out the already tiring experience by an additional twenty-one stages. Yes, I did say in my previous review of the original package that it offers some nice, cathartic slaughter and simplicity. However, titles like that tend to work in small doses or with short campaigns. When you up the dosage, you only end up OD'ing, and that's precisely what Spear accomplishes. Here, you don't receive almost any new content, so you pound through the twenty-one stages of the same nonsense you already completed. Sure, stage layouts are different, but there aren't enough factors involved to make that difference feel significant.

As with its parent package, Spear sends you through numerous mazes filled with Nazis and their attack dogs. You gun them down first with a pistol, eventually nabbing a machine gun and a chaingun for automatic bullet distribution. Meanwhile, all the fascists (and their little dogs, too) fly backwards, yell something in German, and lie in a pool of blood. You continue this process until you reach the end of the stage, then begin the rigmarole anew. Sometimes you hunt down keys to unlock doors, and other occasions you might stumble upon a secret chamber by “opening” the wall. There, you find all the goodies you could ever want, including health-restoring kits and ammo packs.

Of course, you could just save scum and not worry about your hit points. I know some folks look down on that, but who cares? It's your life and your free time, and they're not your mother. At least I assume not. I would hate to be gatekept by my mom...

Anyway, that is pretty much the rundown of Wolfenstein 3D. It's the same thing repeatedly, except it gets progressively tougher, the walls sometimes display differing textures, and you fight unique bosses at the end of each episode. Imagine all of that, stretched out to sixty levels, then pushed even further to eighty-one romps. If that doesn't sound exhausting, then you have the patience of a saint.

Spear goes through familiar motions, sending you through convoluted areas filled with recognizable foes and providing no new features. About the only thing it does to separate itself from the main campaign is throw a few new bosses at you, including a “Death Knight” clad in the most magnificent power armor, and a demon that serves as the final boss. Yes, this expansion actually crossed the supernatural line, but near its conclusion.

That, of course, leaves you wondering: why didn't the package include some new adversaries, especially since the forces of Hell are afoot? Would it really have killed the experience to toss in some monsters or demons? Oh, don't give me the “it would be too much like Doom” excuse. Demons are a mainstay in video games, and since you already fight a fallen angel as the main antagonist, including an army of lesser minions would not be a bridge too far.

At any rate, there isn't much else to say about this piece. It feels unnecessary and only provides content that would sate those who can 't get enough of the previous title's repetition. Honestly, unless you're hard up for a first-person shooter to play, I recommend skipping this one. Even if all you're doing is revisiting the Wolfenstein franchise, this installment is worth missing.

JoeTheDestroyer's avatar
Staff review by Joseph Shaffer (May 05, 2024)

Rumor has it that Joe is not actually a man, but a machine that likes video games, horror movies, and long walks on the beach. His/Its first contribution to HonestGamers was a review of Breath of Fire III.

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