Our little boy Wolfenstein 3D - beautiful, fair-haired Wolfenstein - has recently celebrated its 20th birthday: Old enough to vote, yet not mature enough in the eyes of Johnny Law to throw back a few. Thus, our collective game-child celebrates the only way it can: killing Nazis with guns - or rather, inviting others to do so.
To facilitate this, Bethesda has released a free, browser-based port of Wolfenstein 3D for your consumption. The game speaks for itself: shoot Nazis, find treasure, shoot more Nazis, and repeat until catharsis purges your mind and spirit of all unpleasantness. It's a simple formula, yet the sound of a panicked enemy yelling "mein leben" never fails to charm. Indeed, going back to my youth - playing Wolfeinstein 3D on a display computer at Radio Shack, much to the annoyance of employees and patrons alike - the game introduced me to the fun of the FPS, and as such, will always hold a special place in my heart.
John Carmack was recently featured on the Bethesda podcast, doing a bit of a retrospective of the influential game. Evolved from earlier 3D projects, such as Hovertank and Catacombs 3D, Wolfenstein 3D included features such as patrolling enemies, sprites that could be viewed from several different angles, moving doors, and textured walls - laughably elementary by today's standards, but impressive for the time. After Wolfenstein's release, Carmack & Co. realized the growing modding community, and according to the id founder, "that influenced a lot of our future decisions, in Doom and Quake, about making it actual easy and straightfoward" for users to mod their games.
For those that would like to hear John Carmack's trip down memory lane, check out the video after the jump!