Wolfen­stein: The Old Blood

SFX - - Videogames/ miscellaneous -

Stand­ing tall for­ever

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

Re­viewed on: Xbox One Also on: PC, PS4 Pub­lisher: Bethesda

2014’ s

Wolfen­stein: The New Or­der was a glo­be­trot­ting – and oc­ca­sion­ally glo­beleav­ing – tour de force which took us to the Moon and back. Where could the se­ries pos­si­bly take us now? Well, back to the cas­tle – but if you’ve seen one ta­pes­try, you’ve seen them all. Luck­ily, Ma­chine Games know the fight for free­dom should feel free, and The Old Blood flour­ishes most when it leaves those walls for breath­tak­ing moun­tain views, a Ger­man vil­lage that prac­ti­cally glows in the set­ting sun, and even cat­a­combs with a wel­come In­di­ana Jones vibe.

Stealth takes more of a pri­or­ity this time, with a com­pelling open­ing act that re­lies on per­fectly timed sneak­ing to avoid hulk­ing su­per- grunts. That time spent clutch­ing a hum­ble crow­bar makes the mo­ments when you get your mitts on the big guns sweeter. There’s not a dud in the bunch of The Old Blood’s cast ei­ther. New vil­lain Helga von Sch­abbs is an in­spired ad­di­tion, never let­ting her mad search for power dis­tract her from rec­om­mend­ing a good wine.

Sadly, The Old Blood is all very familiar. With­out the “Nazis won the war” con­cept, Ma­chine Games strug­gles to spin an orig­i­nal yarn, pulling in many of the same weapons, sys­tems and set­pieces from the pre­vi­ous game. The Old Blood is still a great first- per­son shooter, but a once win­ning cliché cock­tail is start­ing to look cloudy, and when you start see­ing “ideas” like Nazi zom­bies emerg­ing, you might won­der if it’s be­gin­ning to cur­dle. Tom Stone The Old Blood started life as a DLC ex­pan­sion for The New Or­der be­fore be­ing made into a stand­alone game.

Aim for where the heart would be.

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