Background: Lately, if you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ve noticed that I’m on a Wolfenstein 3D kick. This game like Deus Ex, garnered an incredible modding community. Frankly, I cannot go through the list of many Wolfenstein 3D mods, maps, and total conversions that are out there. Yet, there are some that I have targeted for my reviews. Unsung (2011) developed by Nembo is the first one on my list.
World War II, has captured the imagination of gamers long before Call of Duty and Medal of Honor. Wolfenstein 3D, and it’s more recent spawn provide a science-fiction vantage point on the conflict. Not much attention has ever been given to World War I the FPS genre, aside from Vedun, a multiplayer focused shooter and the upcoming new installment of the Battlefield franchise which too will likely be multiplayer-focused. Unsung provides a breath of fresh air regarding this war being depicted in single-player gaming while offering a Wolfenstein 3D-like aesthetic.
The mod’s premise is that in 1917, a German bunker at a critical position must be eliminated to allow for Allied troops to fulfill their objective. The player character is a member of a trench raiding party tasked with capturing the bunker. With comic book-like cutscenes and an eerie midi soundtrack this game sets the stage for one of history’s least-understood and least explored (in pop culture) conflicts.
Atmosphere (Levels): Unsung is a dark mod. Few bright levels are present in the story mode. Brown, gray, and straw gold corridors await the player. These corridors range from catacomb walls, concrete bunkers, and the brown trenches where so many lost their lives on the western front. Few open areas are present in story mode. Levels are never linear. At times, the player may become lost, but that adds to the feel of hopelessness and fear these levels invoke.
Enemies: The enemy German soldiers wear Feld Grau uniforms instead of the traditional brown of Wolfenstein 3D. The come in a few variants, regular infantry, ‘off-duty’ infantry (my terminology; they wear the round blue cap of the German infantry when not wearing helmets). Lastly the sturmtruppen, the stormtrooper assault infantry that were tasked with assaults. They use flamethrowers and MP18 submachine guns.
Furthermore, they wear sappenpanzer body armor. They are dangerous foes compared to the others.
Weapons: The MP18 is a effective tool in the close confines of later levels.
In the earlier ones though the K98 rifle is the best choice.
Although, the P-08 Luger certainly makes an appearance as well. It wouldn’t be a Wolfenstein total conversion without it, right?
Final Analysis: Unsung is a interesting and grim look at one of the world’s most overlooked and misunderstood conflicts. It’s story and gameplay is set against the background of this conflict and it does an excellent job telling a fictional, yet believable story of a trench raiding party and the bravery of many ‘tommies‘ on the front line.