Freebie Friday is a semi-regular news feature where we talk about a freeware, just free or open source game. It can be anything from a throwaway web game to a free-to-play RPG or mobile puzzle game. This time: Wolfenstein 3D.
Not long ago, we wrote a Now Playing about Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. There’s a little Easter Egg in there that lets you play the final boss of the first act of the original first person shooter, Wolfenstein 3D, in all its pixelated bitmap glory. Bethesda, the publisher behind the Elder Scrolls and Fallout, Also owns all the Wolfenstein back catalogue. And the lovely people that they are, they’ve put all three acts of the 1992 classic up on wolfenstein.com that you can play in your browser.
Like the recent hits, Wolfenstein 3D sees you play BJ Blaskowicz, a touch-as-nails American spy that infiltrates Castle Wolfenstein to stop the Nazis from doing more Nazi stuff. The game’s significant because it was one of the first ever true first-person shooters, and the first act of the game was given away for free as a shareware demo to entice people to buy the rest. It was a pioneering tactic by id Software that they continued with their other famous titles, Doom and Quake.
I played the demo of Wolfenstein 3D to death when it came out on my parents’ ageing 386 Dell PC. If it was possible to wear out a floppy disk, I probably did so. In an age of side-scrolling, top-down and text-based gameplay, the game was a revolution. It’s hard to explain just how much of a leap in technology we suddenly had when it came out. The fact that you got so much of it for free just made it even sweeter.
Do you remember playing Wolfenstein 3D back in the day? What was the first person shooter that defined your childhood?
You can play the full version of Wolfenstein 3D for free in your browser right now over on their website.