Iconic Shooter Game ‘Wolfenstein 3D’ Celebrates 20 Years With Free Web Version

By Jay Casteel (@JayCasteel)  |  05/10/2012

Wolfenstein 3D

20 years after revolutionizing gaming and kicking off the first-person shooter genre, iconic game title "Wolfenstein 3D" is back ... for free!!!

In celebration of its 20th anniversary, id Software and its parent company Bethesda Softworks have released a free-to-play web version of the game that runs right in your web browser (play it here).

The game began development in late 2011 by by design legends John Carmack, John Romero and Tom Hall. By 1992, they had finished "Wolfenstein 3D," releasing it as free shareware, which allowed it to be copied widely. The initial release contained one episode, consisting of 10 missions (levels), while the commercial release consists of three episodes, which includes the shareware episode and its two subsequent episodes, bringing the game to a total of 60 missions.

It was originally released on the PC and subsequently ported to a wide range of computer systems and consoles.

In the game, the player assumes the role of an American soldier named William "B.J." Blazkowicz, who was trapped in a Nazi stronghold called Castle Wolfenstein and has to fight his way out to escape. Along the way, he had to overpower SS guards, Doberman Pincers and, ultimately, Adolf Hitler who packs a robotic suit and four chainguns.

"Wolfenstein" is credited for laying the groundwork for all shooters that followed it, and paved the way for gaming's most popular titles to day -- from id's own followups, "Doom" and "Quake," up to today's blockbusters like "Halo" and "Call of Duty."

In addition to the web-based version, the developer will also offer "Wolfenstein 3D Classic Platinum" for free to iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch owners for a limited time. Play it on the web at Wolfenstein.Bethsoft.com.

Below is a video podcast released by Bethesda, in which John Carmack shares insight about the game's development.