4 people found this review helpful
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 10.3 hrs on record
Posted: Aug 31, 2016 @ 7:35am
Updated: Aug 31, 2016 @ 7:47am

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 Old Blood 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.

Gameplay Examination
You are B.J. Blazkowicz, (oh dear lord, typing that name out every time I mention it is going to give me a headache) a soldier fighting the Nazi problem with a wide range of weaponry (many of them can being dual-wielded) in a linear shooter that mixes cover shooting, health packs and stealth action gameplay together. In The New Order, you have access to the usual handguns, SMGs, Assault Rifles, Sniper Rifles and Shotguns. What sets this apart from other shooters are the most pseudo-futuristic weapons that get unlocked pretty early on in the game. The LaserKraftWerk being the most notable new weapon. This laser-cutting weapon used for both offense and utility as it can cut through robotic creations and steel grates/boxes with ease. Allowing the player to explore boxes and new areas. It’s a very cool weapon in my opinion. There’s also the double-barreled shotgun, machine guns and Tesla grenades to fill out the rest of the lineup. If that’s still not enough firepower for you, the MG-60 Machine gun that can either be in turret form or picked up should be more than enough. A lot of the futuristic weapons can be recharged from energy stations while the traditional weapons rely on ammo to be located. I can’t remember having a single complaint with any of the weapons Wolfenstein has, except maybe the MG-60 whose bullet count never seemed to be enough. But that’s a minor complaint. Stealth in Wolfenstein is basically not getting caught in line of sight or shooting a loud weapon, allowing players to approach a situation from different angles. It’s not a deep system but it works well enough for a shooter focused experience like The New Order. I had plenty of fun moments where I tried to sneak by enemies and usually succeeded. But even if I didn’t, it wasn’t game over and I could blast what few enemies remained.

The upgrade system is pretty simplistic. A lot of it is unlocked by achieving certain feats in the game such as killing five enemies in one shotgun blast or other complicated maneuvers. It’s ok, but it’s not something I really paid a lot of attention to when I was playing it.

Narrative Discussion
The game starts with Captain B.J. Blazkowicz accompanied by Fergus Reid and Private Probst Wyatt III in a WWII bomber. They are part of a massive Allied task force to kill General Wilhelm “Deathshead” Strasse and destroy the laboratory that has been creating the advanced technology that the Axis powers have been using to win the war. Despite some success at infiltrating the facility, they are captured by Deathshead. One of the companions is executed by player choice and, after being left for dead, they escape the facility. However, Blazkowicz takes a blow to the head from a metallic object and spends the next 14 years in a mental facility in Poland, unable to do anything at all. B.J. eventually wakes up in the Mental Ward he’s been living in when the Nazis are about to execute all of the patients and he rescues the daughter of the family that was working there. After deciding to join up with the resistance that has been captured by the Nazis, they smuggle themselves into Berlin and begin work at overthrowing the regime.

The story largely takes place at the resistance’s HQ and on missions. The HQ is underneath Berlin in the every twisting and winding ways of sewer systems and allows them to work underneath the regime without them noticing. In-game, it serves as a place to let the player talk to the other characters, take a breath, explore and move the plot along. As they situate themselves, they work on stealing stealth helicopters, saving people from Nazi camps and generally working their way towards killing Deathshead. They figure putting him down will give them a lot of breathing room. It’s a very well paced campaign and there are some genuinely hard scenes to watch. For a story that could have easily been garbage, MachineGames does a really good job at making it intriguing to experience. There’s also plenty of homages to the original Wolfenstein games strewn throughout the game, so keep an eye out for them.

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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