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Review of "Operation Heimzahlung" by Wolf Skevos-J
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Executor
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2004 1:42 pm
   Subject: Review of "Operation Heimzahlung" by Wolf Skevos-J
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Another one missing from U-Rate-It. Guess this forum will have to do...

IMPRESSIONS
WHOA! This one really impressed me. WSJ really did a good job on this one. The feel has strong RTCW influences, yet it doesn't feel at all like an RTCW port. This is a must-download for every Wolfenstein player.

GRAPHICS: 20/20
In a word, perfect. Although a lot of stuff is heavily RTCW-influenced (although I haven't found any graphics directly ported from it), Heimzahlung's graphics have their own unique look and feel, and everything blends together beautifully. Kudos to you, WSJ!

SOUNDS: 19/20
Much of it is from RTCW, and it all works perfectly. One great feature: the Nazi troopers, instead of having one small set of sounds for each guard, have a huge selection of alert and death sounds that are picked from at random by every guard. Not to mention the guard sounds, being from RTCW, are very good, and their German-accented English is a great improvement over the truly horrible American-accented German of the original games. No more "Schutzstaffel!" "Mein leben!" "Schutzstaffel" "Mein leben!" over and over again. The only real problem is that they're much louder than the original sounds, so when you have your speakers turned up to play a normal add-on, when you fire a gun in Heimzahlung you may hear a nasty surprise. Also, the player's MP40 has a single gunshot noise while the enemy gun has three such noises in rapid succession to compensate for the machine gun enemies' slower rate of fire. I prefer the "rapid" sound for both the player and the enemies--the MP40 just doesn't sound right with a single shot effect. At least the pistol enemies and the player's pistol have the same sound--I find it really annoying and weird when they have different sounds when they're the SAME GUN.

PLOT: 17/20
Nothing all that special, some big giant monster of a Nazi general with a corny joke name and a bunch of similarly gigantic minions creating the ultimate superweapon or strategy to rebound from the brink and crush the Allies. At least it was much better written and thought out than many other such storylines.

GAMEPLAY/LEVELS: 19/20
These were really good and had a great atmosphere. There are only a couple of flies in this soup. First of all, the levels are a bit small and there should have been more of them. I still wanted more even after I beat the game. Second, the stealth levels are really quite frustrating until you get the hang of them, and Wolfenstein is suited more to frantic, action-packed firefights anyway.

MUSIC: 18/20
The music tracks were mostly conversions of RTCW pieces to IMF format, which was not 100% successful. Level 5's music was awesome, though.


OVERALL: 93/100
One of the best add-ons since Totengraeber, Heimzahlung excels in practically every area. It is the best of WSJ's add-ons. If an official add-on hall of fame were created, Heimzahlung should be included.

Category ratings (total ratings):
0-2 (0-10): Bad
3-4 (11-20): Poor
5-8 (21-40): Below average
9-11 (41-60): Average
12-15 (61-75): Above average
16-18 (76-90): Very good
19-20 (91-100): Excellent

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 4:22 am
   Subject: Re: Review of "Operation Heimzahlung" by Wolf Skev
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Executor's detailed review says it very well...this mod is far and away one of my all time favorites I've played to date...it's very straightforward in a lot of ways, but it's attention to detail, level design, and the fact that it's very fun to play made it not only fun for me, but very replayable as well. I have to say this game more than any other so far inspired me to make a "realistic" Wolf mod. I haven't heard much discussion about this game before (I just assumed it was old news by the time I joined the community), but if it's gone unnoticed, that's a shame...it's a great game! Yeah, there is some RTCW influence, but who among us hasn't been influenced by outside sources while making a mod? My rating? On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it a 9.5 (there were a couple minor bugs, but to me, this game was almost perfect!) Cheesy Grin

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 7:00 am
   Subject: Re: Review of "Operation Heimzahlung" by Wolf Skev
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Operation Heimzalung, the best mod in the realistic style. This mod is not my favorite WSJ but it's a great work. All the actors, sounds and musics are news ! There is a good atmosphere and the final boss is so cool !
One thing : this mod seems to be 100% realistic but curiously we meet immortal soldiers ! Shocked Strange very strange. Sarcastic
Maybe that it's a good question to WSJ : Why you have put immortals soldiers in your levels ? Mr Green Or maybe it's just a bug.

Graphics 16/20
Sounds 20/20
PLot 12/20
Gameplay 15/20
Music 15/20

Overall : 78/100
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 8:50 am
   Subject: Re: Review of "Operation Heimzahlung" by Wolf Skev
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Quote:
Why you have put immortals soldiers in your levels ? Or maybe it's just a bug.


The levels with invincible guards are NOT designed to be played normally. They must be played in a "stealth" style, which means that to successfully complete the level:

-You cannot use any weapons but the Sten and the knife (the enemies can't hear the knife or the Sten).
-You cannot allow an enemy to fire as that will alert the others.
-You cannot allow an enemy to trigger an alarm box.

If you make too much noise or allow an enemy to reach an alarm box, an alarm will go off, the invincible dudes will attack, and you will fail the mission. You're not supposed to be able to kill them because if they are alerted, you're dead.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 8:54 am
   Subject: Re: Review of "Operation Heimzahlung" by Wolf Skev
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WTF? I posted here a while ago in response to the question about the invincible guys (my answer was the same as Executor's), and I even viewed the post after it said it accepted it here...but now...nothing! Anyway, what I was going to say has already been said. I personally like the invincible soldiers...it adds an element of necessity to the whole stealth thing. There are very few other ways to force a player to use stealth, since most good players who can find a doorway and put their back to the wall can hold off an endless flow of "killable" enemies with nothing but a knife. Making them invincible doesn't allow that option, and adds to the challenge...and fun! Cheesy Grin

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 9:04 am
   Subject: Re: Review of "Operation Heimzahlung" by Wolf Skev
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I'm not sure about that. Having a horde of enemies (mutants especially) descend upon you from many angles, and with little or no cover, makes survival very difficult or impossible.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 9:08 am
   Subject: Re: Review of "Operation Heimzahlung" by Wolf Skev
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Laughing I stand by my knifing abilities...if I can find a room where there are no exits (or enemies) behind me, get at a diagonal angle to the door, and get my knife ready in time, I can hold out against an endless flow of foes...since they can only go through the door one at a time (I once managed to get Hans Grosse "jammed" in a doorway where he was just walking and not shooting and I killed him with the knife). Of course, a key element in all of this is cover...if, like you said, you are stuck out in the open and surrounded by enemies, you better be flexible, because it's time to kiss your arse goodbye... Cheesy Grin

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 8:43 pm
   Subject: Re: Review of "Operation Heimzahlung" by Wolf Skev
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Another well-written review, Executor. Smile Thanks for the praise.

Again, we have differing opinions... It's kind of interesting to see, since some people thought Operation Heimzahlung was my greatest add-on, while others thought it was my worst. When Operation Heimzahlung was first released, a number of people said that it was "unprofessional," "rushed," "lacking." There were even a few who said they were "disappointed" by it... as though Castle Totenkopf and Project Eisenritter had been much better somehow. To each his own, I guess. Of course, Operation Heimzahlung wasn't as inspired as my other add-ons, so maybe that had something to do with it.

And yes, there was a strong RTCW influence. I chose to give the game an overall RTCW flavor. The sound effects for the guards were not only converted from RTCW, but were used in a similar fashion... such as an MP40-wielding guard yelling "Halt!" or "Schnell!" whenever he attacks. I thought that the playing of different sounds at random was much more realistic than having the same guards saying the same things over and over again.

Almost all the music I composed myself. I tried to make many of the songs sound as close to RTCW music as possible... though I did throw in a few of my own songs (like the one on level 5 Smile ) But I'm not really that musically talented.

The graphics probably could've been better... some people complained about the solid-black SS, and there were a lot of borrowed graphics, many from Spear Lost Episodes. My PSP skills weren't all that great back then. But I did try to use the graphics in an effective manner, so I'm glad if it worked for some people.

Loki wrote:
Why you have put immortals soldiers in your levels ?


As Executor and Majik Monkee said, the "immortal guards" were there in order to force the player to use stealth. At first, I thought that a horde of them would be enough to make it impossible for the player to win if he alerted them, so I just beefed up their health while still leaving them "killable." But then I saw Ian, my brother, playing one of the levels, and when he ran out of ammo, he just kept fighting them with the knife. So I figured that the player had enough of a chance that they'd keep trying to win, when they weren't supposed to at that point. Thus, I granted immortality to those guards. Perhaps this wasn't a very good approach to the "stealth" thing. Also, believe it or not, the alarm boxes aren't actually "switched on" by an enemy... they're "alerted," like any other enemy. Since I didn't know any other way of coding it at the time, I tried to create the impression that an enemy had sounded an alarm. The alarm does, however, make noise, and it will usually alert enemies who haven't seen or heard the player yet. You must destroy them before they make "noise."

Well, that's enough babbling from me...
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 9:34 am
   Subject: Re: Review of "Operation Heimzahlung" by Wolf Skev
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I'd like to add that I've never played RTCW (avoids the flying garbage), so the elements of it in this mod, while I did recognize some of them from info I've read on RTCW, they were new to me when I played this game. So, from the perspective of someone who's never played RTCW (avoids a hail of rotten fruit), it just appeared as cool new elements in the game to me. Someone who's never played Blood before might have been more impressed by some of the stuff in HOS than they would have been if they'd played Blood. In that respect, even the borrowed elements in this game were new to me still, which made it that much better. What I found most refreshing, oddly enough, was the lack of mutants and scientific abominations. I love those things in most add ons, but this was the first I've played in a long time that didn't have even a tiny element of science fiction to it, and I found it refreshing... Cheesy Grin

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