Released in 1992, Wolfenstein 3D was one of the first-person shooters to be released and, as such, helped pioneer the genre. A lot has changed since that first game. With more detailed visuals, unique gameplay mechanics and a much better experience overall, Wolfenstein: The New Order attempts to improve on its predecessors in every way imaginable. It’s a gritty and surprisingly old school experience.
Like the previous games, the story of Wolfenstein: The New Order revolves around B.J. Blazkowicz, the same soldier who took down droves of Nazis and Mecha Hitler in Wolfenstein 3D. The game starts off in the midst of WWII, with the first few hours spent in 1946 as Blazkowicz and his assault team attack a major German fortress. Unfortunately, things go very wrong when an explosion sends some shrapnel into the main man’s head, resulting in him spending the next 15 years as a vegetable in a mental institution.
The majority of the storyline takes place in the 1960’s, a period in which Nazi Germany controls most of Europe and the world as a result of winning the war. In a world where resistance seems futile, your primary mission remains as always — eliminate the ultra-evil Nazis. The trailer below summarizes everything:
Frantic and suspenseful gameplay have always been at the core of the Wolfenstein series. In The New Order, both are taken to a whole new level, as you can either choose to create mayhem by going about business like Rambo; by utilizing a new, stealth approach that makes it easier for you to silently enter compounds to take down enemies; or by using a combination of both. When going stealth, there are German commanders who can call in reinforcements in virtually all locations, so you have to be careful not to get detected.
If you decided to go the way of Rambo, know that The New Order plays like an old school shooter, with tough-as-nails Blazkowicz able to carry all of his guns at the same time. In an age where developers try to make their games as realistic as possible, this old school aspect and the freedom it provides remains one of the defining features of the Wolfenstein series.
The weapons are well-designed and are all capable of wreaking havoc when used properly. You will have access to machine guns, dual pistols, miniguns, shotguns, laser guns, grenades and everything you might need in your war against the evil Nazis.
A skill tree is present in the game, but the perks you get from it aren’t that major, making it worthwhile to spend some time finding the various weapon upgrades scattered all over the game world.
Graphics & Sound
Wolfenstein: The New Order looks gorgeous, with most locations being varied in design and beautifully-rendered. From large prisons to open world spaces, underwater locations to even the moon, things look as stunning as you would expect from a game released on the tail end of the Xbox 360 and PS3’s life cycle (it’s also available on the PS4, Xbox One and PC).
True to tradition, the soundtrack is action-packed, so if you’re looking for slow music, you won’t find it here. The fast-paced tunes are heavily influenced by rock and will keep your blood pumping as you plow through droves Nazi soldiers, giant mechs and robot guard dogs. The way the guns sound — they sound loud and sweet — and the character voice-overs are nicely done and contribute greatly to the game’s overall sense of realism and immersion.
Having played all of the Wolfenstein games, I have to say that Wolfenstein: The New Order is the best one to date, delivering a memorable, nostalgic and intense experience. Minor drawbacks such as a weak skill system do little to detract from its solid gameplay and great visuals. It’s a great, well-executed FPS game that fans of shooters will surely enjoy. Give it a shot.
PLATFORMS: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360