Tough choices in Wolfenstein: The New Order
What’s the worst thing that could happen when you get a cup of coffee on a train? Maybe it would be spilling some down yourself on the way back, scalding yourself and ruining a decent set of clothes. Or dropping the mug and watching your hot, refreshing caffeine slosh around your feet. Rarely would you think about a German Lieutenant Colonel stealing your drink and forcing you to prove that you’re a pure Aryan.
Unfortunately for poor ol’ BJ that last possibility is exactly the situation he finds himself in early on in his cracking PS4 debut. Knowing that his blonde hair and blue eyes make it very easy for him to walk among the Nazis without tipping them off to his all-American heritage, he risks heading to the coffee carriage late at night to pilfer a couple of cups, only for Frau Irene Engel to walk in on him, along with two heavily armed guards, a large deathrobot (not its actual name) and one very sycophantic man called Bubi. Beckoning him to give her his hot cup o’ joe, she then subjects BJ – and the player, natch – to her racial purity test, getting us to choose the images that most appeal to us.
A nerve-wracking change of pace, this interrogation strips you of your weapons and forces you into a more cerebal dance of death with Frau Engel. Showcasing MachineGames’ ability to make the Nazis seem... well, like Nazis and subvert your expectations of what type of shooter Wolfenstein can be, it’s cleverer than you might expect. And, by the time Engel spits out “If you were not Aryan, you would have gone for the gun,” it’s left a much stronger mark than shooting a thousand soldiers.