1 person found this review helpful
Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 5.1 hrs on record
Posted: Aug 31, 2016 @ 7:37am

A Paladin’s Steam Review: Wolfenstein: The New Order & The Old Blood. Blasting Baskets of Bullets at Nazis.
  • Genre: First Person Single Player Linear Shooter.
  • Developed & Published by: MachineGames & Bethesda Softworks
  • Platform:Windows, PS4 & Xbox One
  • Business Model: Single Purchase
  • Copy Purchased by Myself
Read the unabridged version of this review on A Paladin Without A Crusade[kingisaaclinksr.com]
Read my thoughts on The New Order Over Here

Overall Gameplay Thoughts
Jumping into the Wolfenstein series through The New Order doesn’t require knowledge of the series’ past. Mostly because there isn’t a ton of lore to go into and the general idea in the New Order is pretty simple. It’s an alternate history story where the Nazis win WWII instead of the US and its allies. It’s an exploration of “what if?” while following a band of survivors and rebels attempting to overthrow the Nazi regime. In this day of FPS deluge, it’s impressive that Wolfenstein still manages to keep a unique identity that doesn’t feel old or tired. Which perhaps surprises me more than it should. On paper, The New Order should be a dull run with its usage of Nazis as yet another villain and a beefcake “super” soldier being the protagonist. Yet they make it works and the only reason I can think of why it does is because they explore what makes the main protagonist tick along with having a wide cast of interesting characters for him to interact with.

As for the gameplay itself, it mixes FPS combat with level exploration, mech driving sections, stealth and questing. It creates a decent adventurous pace to the game that ensures you aren’t doing one thing for too long. That you’re on this hard fought quest to overthrow the Nazi regime and that there are risks involved. It’s a well crafted adventure I have to say, even if the shooting does get bullet spongy towards the end. Boss fights are also pretty creative as well.

The Old Blood Thoughts ("Spoilers")
The Old Blood expandalone is a prequel story to The New Order. B.J. Blazkowicz is infiltrating a top secret research facility, Castle Wolfenstein, to determine the location of Deathshead. However, he discovers that a Nazi scientist named Helga von Schabb is hell bent on uncovering a crypt containing artifacts relating to King Otto of the Holy Roman Emperor. He gets captured and then escapes the Castle to meet a contact in the nearby village. He attempts to steal a folder from Helga but is discovered while at the same time an Earthquake is unleashed and a chemical pours out of the crypt’s entrance, causing the dead to come back to life. What follows is a campaign of trying to figure out how to solve this latest crisis, fighting the undead horde of Nazi zombies and discovering the secret of King Otto’s crypt. Which is a giant monster of unknown origin. After killing it and seeing Helga die, Blazkowicz is rescued by Fergus Reid and the events that began The New Order are started.

Weapons are basically the WWII weapons seen in the prologue of The New Order with some tweaks. There’s a pipe that can be used as a melee weapon and a way to climb walls. A bolt rifle and grenade launcher also make an appearance. The other big mechanic change is the use of Nazi zombies as the primary enemy fodder and older technology suits. The new tech weapons aren’t here, most notably the LaserKraftWerk, so that’s a little disappointing. Otherwise, The Old Blood essentially plays out like the same as The New Order, which is either good or bad depending on your point of view.

For myself, something about the Old Blood just doesn’t bring the same excitement or interest that I had with The New Order. That isn’t to say that The Old Blood is a bad game…the hook just isn’t there for me. The stakes don’t seem as important, there really isn’t much different outside of the usual gameplay and B.J. Blazkowicz doesn’t really have much of a character arc either which doesn’t help the narrative’s pace. Then there’s the Nazi Zombie enemies which feel like the same iteration of zombies that have come from multitude of prior titles. A type of enemy that has been done to death nearly as much as regular zombies. Or maybe that’s just my bias. This iteration of them doesn’t do anything to spice up the interactions either, though I’m easily amused when I set the Nazi Zombies on the regular zombies by “mistake”. I will give MachineGames credit though, they clearly put effort into this game when it easily could have been an asset flip. Even if I don’t think it really does enough to drive my interest, this is still a solid entry to the series.

Final Thoughts
Both entries are worth picking up. Wolfenstein: The New Order is the serious, grounded gritty entry that reboots the series into the modern era with it’s futuristic weaponry, fun combat and effective storytelling. I’m surprised at how well crafted these characters were and how I felt pulled into their conflict. The gun action is very well done with all of the guns feeling like they have a legitimate place. Blasting duel-wielded shotguns or assault rifles is incredibly joyous while cutting through Nazi guards and mechanical creations a like. It’s also a good length and there’s some replayability if you want. The Old Blood on the other hand has bigger hints of supernatural goings on with throwbacks to the series’ history and remains an entertaining jaunt of action. I just found myself less interested in the subject matter, the Nazi Zombies and the less important stakes. It’s not a bad game but I’m not going to say you need to play it after finishing The New Order. Both games are now $20 each and worth the asking price as far as I’m concerned. So, get out there and take down a Nazi regime. Enjoy!

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