One of the most memorable first person shooters is back and better than ever in the action-packed and very bloody Wolfenstein: The New Order.
The New Order takes place three years after the events of 2008's Wolfenstein. In an alternate timeline where Nazi’s have won the second World War, you (as series protagonist B.J. Blazkowicz) snap out of a 14 year long stint of being a vegetable only to find that the world has changed - and not for the better.
The story in Wolfenstein: The New Order is no doubt the high point in the entire series and the character development is some of the best I've seen in some time. The supporting characters and villains really help bring across just what sort of world this alternate reality is - that being very bleak.
Amongst all the hopelessness, I liked that the game was still able to crack a joke every now and then. From the little quips between fellow soldiers to action hero one-liners, the dialogue and performance were a standout.
We have action around every corner and a sense that you’re one lone soldier against the world and with B.J. Blazkowicz’s damaged psyche popping up from time to time, you have somewhat of an understanding why things get a little bloody in Wolfenstein and very bloody indeed.
The violence in Wolfenstein: The New Order is over the top and can be pretty confronting, yet it is justified considering the setting in which the game takes place. There is plenty of blood splatter but I was pleasantly surprised when instead of showing certain scenes, the camera would cut away even though you knew that whatever was happening was quite horrific. That definitely changed up the feeling of this game from being something that could have been seen as nothing more than a reason to go around shooting people - to a game that has a little more depth.
The gameplay has a nice mixture of stealth and guns-blazing-gun play and while it is a very linear game with the odd alternate route to completing sections, this in no way should be held against the game. It all comes back to you being a man on a mission with one focus and of course you get plenty of weapons along the way to help you out.
The one thing you’re never going to be short of when it comes to weapons, is choice. They are well designed and give you plenty of variety when it comes down to taking out your enemy. Nothing feels overpowered and the lack of ammo at times can really add to the tension of clearing out a room of bad guys.
A couple of things that may seem a little odd for a modern day shooter is the health system and the need to press a button when you want to pick up items. While your health regenerates, it only does so up to a certain level depending on how badly hurt you have been. This was a good decision by the developers as it really makes you take into consideration your health a lot more knowing you can’t just go behind cover to regenerate your health in full. The same can be said for having to pick up items. The game makes you look at every aspect of your game, which is a nice change up from other shooters.
With this latest entry into the franchise, we are treated to a beautiful looking game and besides a few texture issues, the alternate world of Wolfenstein is so well detailed. Filled with nice throwbacks to the original Wolfenstein 3D, from set pieces to some sound effects, Wolfenstein: The New Order has been made with its gaming roots firmly in the mind of the developers. I even like the fact that you still had the option of eating dog food to regain a little health.
The only real problem I had with Wolfenstein: The New Order is at times the enemy A.I. wouldn’t notice me while at other times they picked up on me and sounded the alarm without me even seeing where they were. Overall this was a pretty minor occurrence and didn’t take me out of the game for too long and didn’t have any effect at all if you went all macho with guns blazing.
Wolfenstein: The New Order brings an old school gaming feel to a modern day first person shooter and does so successfully. Even with its linear gameplay and sometimes questionable A.I., its flaws are quickly forgotten with a strong story and for the most part, amazing visuals. It is a great return to form for the Wolfenstein series. It’s fast-paced and has non-stop action while also dealing with some tough choices in a war-torn world.
I enjoyed my time with the walking tank B.J. Blazkowicz and am looking forward to the next entry in the Wolfenstein series.
I’m giving Wolfenstein: The New Order an 8.5 out of 10.