It's interesting to note that, whilst Wolfenstein 3D did nothing new ('Ultima Underworld
' predated it by a month or so, and had a more sophisticated, texture-mapped 3D engine than 'Doom
', even), it was the first texture-mapped, first-person game to ditch any pretension
s of complexity.
It always seemed as if, until then, programmers were so over-awed with their complex 3D engines that they assumed only a game of epic scope
would do justice to the months spent writing it - Wolfenstein 3D bucked the trend, and was essentially Gauntlet
but in 3D
The world rejoiced, although I remember that, at the time, it didn't take long before the novelty wore off. After that, the gameplay seemed very repetitive and a little dull, even before Doom came out. Wolfenstein 3D is therefore a classic mainly because of its contemporary impact, and not because it is a timeless gaming experience.
It's interesting to see how... transitional Wolfenstein 3D seems nowadays. The decision to give the player a health bar *and* lives didn't catch on, whilst the menu screens nowadays appear to belong to a different geological time period. Also, there's no 'mouselook', because in 1992 some PCs did not have mice.
On the other hand, bits of it still appear in games nowadays - the minigun is still a staple of 3d shooters, the practise of bumping against likely walls whilst hitting the 'use' button is still something of a curse.
As an interesting trivia point, one of the wall panels in a maze in E2:L3 apparently says 'Call Apogee and say Aardwolf'. This was to be a competition, although it was abandoned due to the various 'sprite browser' utilities which quickly started to circulate.
Wolfenstein 3D requires at least 640kb of memory.