By Sam Coles:
Wolfenstein hasn’t had a great time recently the last time we saw a title from the series was back in 2009 with “Wolfenstein” which would confuse your archives and it’s safe to say it wasn’t the best in the series. I’m happy to report that Wolfenstein The New Order is a breath of fresh air from the main stream shooters that guide you through a corridor that show your simpleton mind with massive objective markers just in case you get lost by moving slightly to left.
The story takes place in an alternate history setting of World War II where you start off in 1946 trying to prevent Nazi victory by attacking General Deathhead’s compound. Unfortunately you get blown up and have some shrapnel lodged in your head and you are in a coma for 14 years in a Polish mental health institute. You then wake up and immediately stab a Nazi in the throat and you find out that the year is 1960 and you did not prevent Nazi victory and they now rule the world and beat the USA to Atom bomb and dropped it on New York.
Considering this game defined the meat head FPS it has very engaging story with all the characters part of the resistance being sympathetic and traumatised by the whole experience as the story progresses. Even BJ Blazkowicz your stereotypical looking GI is tortured and tired by the whole experience and begins to question his own actions the further you get through the story. The game’s story is well directed with excellent cinematography with close ups with intense arguments coupled with excellent voice acting with BJ’s film noir style of narration.
The visual presentation is your standard greyish pallet when it comes to the id tech engine, but it adds to this world that has been taking over by an evil authority destroying everything that is colourful and different from them and adding sense of a dark and bleak world with its colour scheme. The graphics are very sharp especially on the characters I did play this on the PS3 and experience a bit of pop in with a few gameplay segments but overall it didn’t hinder my experience.
Sound design is excellent I don’t think that I found a single gun that sounded like a pea-shooter they all sound like the pack in a punch especially the badass auto shotguns when you unlock shrapnel rounds and tear through everything that moves.
The gameplay gives off that old school feeling of shooters from the period of 1993-2005 with big levels that reward exploration and have multiple ways to approach a situation. For example you can approach some parts in a stealthy manner which handles very similar to Dishonered or you can go in all guns blazing, the game doesn’t restrict you.
You no longer have regenerating health (well not completely) you regen some health like 10 bits of health. You have to scavenge for health packs and body armour to keep yourself alive. When you start going over the limit of health, you gain over charge which was a staple in old school shooters.
You are not restricted to how many weapons you carry, you can carry 10 weapons at once, also you can duel wield ridiculous weapons such as double assault rifles, double auto shotguns and double lazer rifles. To be honest it never gets old running through a room with two auto shotguns with shrapnel rounds and seeing Nazi’s heads explode and their arms flying off. The campaign is a healthy length it took me about 12-15 hours to finish and it has a good challenge to it. I found it tested my skills even on normal difficulty I would hate to find out what it throws at you on Uber (Very Hard).
You don’t only fight standard Nazi soldier grunts you’ll be pitted against the shotgun troopers which take a lot of hits until you get lazer based weapons which will turn them into a bloody paste, massive armoured mecha soldiers who wield a chain gun which you have to blast off their armour to reveal weak points and the most annoying enemies of all the tiny drones which are hard to hit.
Overall Wolfenstein is an excellent game for storytelling and gameplay; it has an engaging plot with sympathetic characters and hateable villains along with gameplay that evokes a good nostalgic feel of the good days of the FPS. I would recommend this if you are an id Software fan or if you’re looking for a good singleplayer shooter experience with a good story to tell.