Ending months of speculation,
quietly revealed itself today as the publisher of the Macintosh version of the new first-person shooter game Return to Castle Wolfenstein.
Already released for the PC by game publisher Activision, Return to Castle Wolfenstein is based on the same engine that powered id Software’s Quake 3 Arena game. The title was developed by id in conjunction with Gray Matter Studios.
Hearkening back to a veritable classic first developed by id Software in the early days of 3D action games (itself based on a game that initially appeared for the Apple II), Return to Castle Wolfenstein is a World War II-era action game. The title puts you in the role of B.J. Blazkowicz, an Army ranger who must thwart a twisted experiment that combines both the occult and genetic experimentation — an experiment put into motion by Heinrich Himmler himself. Himmler hopes to raise a monstrous army of horrible creatures through his horrific efforts, and it’s up to you stop him — and them — before it’s too late. This is no retro game, however. Because it’s based on the Quake 3 Arena engine, the game features a long list of cutting-edge graphical features and other functions developed to appeal to today’s most discriminating 3D gamer, including an extensive multiplayer game mode that, among other things, enables gamers to adopt different character classes and work together to achieve various objectives.
Earlier this year id Software published multiplayer test versions of Return to Castle Wolfenstein, including a client for Macs running Mac OS X. Although Activision never announced plans to publish a finished Macintosh version of the game, officials at id Software made it clear that a Mac version was coming, and Aspyr today proved them correct.
Aspyr Media indicates that the Mac version of Return to Castle Wolfenstein is anticipated for a late January release. The game is currently in the works at Westlake Interactive, the popular Mac game conversion studio that frequently works with Aspyr Media. The game’s code name, as listed on Westlake Interactive’s Project Status page, is “Muse” — a reference to the Apple II game’s original developer. The Mac conversion of Return to Castle Wolfenstein is currently underway by Westlake’s Duane Johnson. Johnson’s previous credits include another Quake 3 Arena-engine based game converted by Westlake and published by Aspyr — Star Trek: Voyager: Elite Force.
The Return to Castle Wolfenstein multiplayer test versions were exclusively OS X-compatible. Previous declarations from id Software indicated that they’ll only support Mac OS X on their new projects, which has led to the belief by many Mac users that they wouldn’t be able to play the final game on Mac OS 9-equipped Macs. MacCentral confirmed with Aspyr that the Mac version of Return to Castle Wolfenstein would indeed support Mac OS 9.
Although the game won’t ship for the Macintosh until after Macworld Expo, Aspyr confirmed with MacCentral today that the game will be exhibited at their booth, so Mac users who attend the expo will be able to see the game in action before it’s released.