Wolfenstein: The New Order
DAVE KOZICKI digs Fast and Führer-ious gunplay
MTHERE WILL BE BLOOD >> We’re going to breeze right past the story. Not because it’s bad, but because it’s surprisingly good, filled with twists and messed up moments you’ll be covering your mouth in disbelief. We will tell you this, you play ‘Merican hero William ‘B.J.’ Blazkowicz who, mid-firefight in 1944, takes an explosive swan dive out of a chalet, garners a four-inch piece of ilitary based shooters are nothing new. Neither are those set in World War II. Hell, neither is the Wolfenstein franchise or its lead William B.J. Blazkowicz. To survive and thrive in this genre you need to try something different and take chances. Now Wolfenstein: The New Order doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel. What it does, however, is give you a blood-soaked tale of revenge, colourful and memorable characters, over the top heroics, multiple pathways and gunplay styles and even throws in a love story which doesn’t feel forced or make you want to puke. Yep, what Wolfenstein: The New Order does, it does well. shrapnel in his noodle and stays in a vegetative state for 14 years.
The war passes him by with the Reich hitting full stride making the world its bitch. When he abruptly awakens to the new world order he must become a one-man army, freeing and recruiting members to the newly formed Resistance and spank Fritz’s arse back to the Stone Age. Developer MachineGames doesn’t shy away from the atrocities of the Nazi’s with cold hard looks at forced labour and concentration camps, genetic experimentation and the abduction of scientists to develop advanced technology.
The heavy tone should feel out of place given the high velocity pacing and bursts of comedy, but it walks the line just right and doesn’t feel too ham-fisted. Outside of the plot buckle up for all the big set-pieces you could dream of. Prison break? Got it. U-boats? Them too. Moon base infiltration? You bet your arse! You’ll be globe (and moon) trotting and shootifying goose-steppers away with a surprisingly deep toolkit of death at your fingertips.
AKIMBO SLICE >> Like to play it sneaky sneaky? Sniff out alternate route, equip a silencer and ghost enemies deliciously with a dagger to the hamstring before penetrating the throat. Execute commanders to eliminate the call for reinforcements and mop up the stragglers. This style
Prison break? Got it. U-boats? them too. moon base infiltration? YoU bet YoUr arse!
of play unlocks Stealth perks so you can throw knives (a one hit kill), reduce the sound you make while sprinting and even marks enemy commanders on your map. Maybe a more measured and deliberate approach is more your style? Eliminate the opposition while peeking out from cover and earn yourself Tactical perks such as faster health regeneration, reload
speeds and larger magazines. Want to make a wonderful horrible mess? Almost your entire arsenal can be dual-wielded with the payoff a bullet ballet as you surf down a virtual river of blood. Heads explode and coat the walls as you deliver Michael Bay inspiring retribution. Oh god, it’s magnificent! Full metal jacket types claim Assault perks which focus on speed, armour and ammunition boosts specific to dual-wielding.
If you like to make an entrance Demolitions is for you. Grenades kablamo on impact, you can return incoming ordinance back to sender, vaporise Krauts instantly and reduce explosive damage taken. The beauty of the entire perk system is you can follow any or all skill trees at a whim. It rewards your play style and doesn’t limit you to one facet.
SPAWN KAMPFER >> MachineGames wants you to give you the Wolfenstein experience you want. If you only want to run and gun and obliterate everything in sight, you can do that. Bodies hit the floor and it’s a tremendously satisfying shooter. Those who prefer to bring their lunch, pack a picnic and stay for the day will enjoy the deeper insight gained through reading the copious newspaper clippings which flesh out this alternate timeline.
You’ll uncover side missions and back stories to the broken members of the Resistance, learn what they struggle with and why. You’ll stumble upon gold trinkets, recordings and letters which flesh out the questionable tactics employed by both sides blurring the line between hero and villain in the theatre of war. Exploration also pays off more tangibly with permanent health increases for those savvy bloodhounds, so take your time and investigate. You won’t regret it.
While we’re mostly singing its praises there are moments of enemy AI inconsistencies which pull Wolfenstein: The New Order down from true Aryan status. If some Shultz catches a glimpse of you he’ll cautiously approach your last position and investigate. If you’re in plain sight expect to run from suppressing fire and they’ll flank you. These are all good things. They will also, however, walk right past or even over a dead body if you’re playing it quiet like and not even bat an eye taking a little of the shine and tension off the stealth-based elements.
THE REICH STUFF >> The New Order succeeds as it doesn’t limit your options, but encourages you to diversify and rewards you accordingly. Play it your way and reap the benefits. The mesh of comedy, uber-violence, heartfelt moments and even existential examinations shouldn’t work at all when thrown together into the melting pot. Somehow the mix coalesces into a rock solid shooter with a compelling plot which you’ll want to see through as you bring the Nazi war machine to its knees. Viva la Resistance!
Ich mochte fleisch. Du bist fleisch!
Das metall hund hunger hat!
Miem gesicht! Mien schones gesicht!