This past Sunday marked the 20th anniversary of “Wolfenstein 3D,” the game that essentially laid the groundwork for the first-person shooter genre and influenced many of id Software's titles for years. To celebrate the milestone, Bethesda (which acquired iD Software in 2009) has released a free, browser-based version of the iconic game where you’ll have to shoot your way out of a Nazi stronghold during World War II.
21 first person shooters you shouldn't have missed & HTML 5 Gaming: Old Classics and Modern Titles You Can Play for Free
Although Wolfenstein wasn’t id’s first 3D shooter — Hovertank and Catacomb 3D came before it — it was a major improvement as it moved from a 16-color EGA to a 256-color VGA graphics palette and used 2D sprites mapped from eight perspectives to produce a better illusion of 3D objects. It also established the fast-paced action commonly expected in the genre, encouraging exploration and rewarding players with various treasures, hidden rooms, and even some easter eggs like a Pac-Man level.
Doom came a year later with better graphics and network play, while 3D Realms and Valve followed with titles such as Duke Nukem 3D in 1996 and Half-Life in 1998. Together with the advances in 3D hardware technology these companies helped spawn a PC gaming industry now worth billions of dollars.
Along with the free, web-based game Bethesda also published a 25-minute developer commentary track where industry legend John Carmack talks about his memories of the game and the early days of id Software.
Downloads and Drivers
From the Forums
Subscribe to TechSpot
Receive a weekly update of our best features and tech news you don't want to miss: