Wolfenstein: The New Order – Review
“HEADED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION”
Wolfenstein, a cherished childhood memory, as a franchise has failed my expectations over the years. Countless remakes and sequels could never satisfy my longing for a game to give me the enjoyment and satisfaction as the original did and to this day still does (through the use of my handy DOSBOX) like the original Wolfenstein 3D. “So why should I bother,” I asked myself. Despite the disappointment throughout the years, I have had the itch to have this desire to fulfilled and I had to at least give it a chance. Here’s my thoughts:
Hands down , the story is the strongest part of Wolfenstein. You play the popular buffed up veteran of the series BJ Blazcowicz. After a brutal capture during World War 2 by the sadistic Deadhead, you find yourself waking up in a German mental institute 14 years after the war has ended. Only things aren’t quite what you expected of the world. Germany has won the war, and now control the World. The only thing left for Blazcowicz to do is escape and find the Resistance. Throughout the game you start to get attached to the other members of the resistance. Each character has his/her own story you can’t help but fall in love with. One of the best things about the story is how it didn’t give itself away at all, and although the whole game I was itching to have that final battle once again with the famous Hitler of 3D, Deadhead seemed to fill the role enough to keep me happy.
Despite so much stuff going so well for Wolfenstein, the real drawback of the game is how it plays. Unfitting stealth scenarios, and poor dual wielding with weapons really put a damper on how Wolfenstein controls. Certain points in the game worked well, like the prison escape where you take control of an AI titan like machine, play well but kept you wanting more. Another gripe about the game is how easy it is. My first play through on UBER difficulty was expected to be much more of a challenge, but due to the excessive amount of ammo, health, and shield pickups, it seemed more like a breeze. Thankfully, through the Enigma codes you find you can unlock even more challenging modes, that is if you have a desire to replay the game.
On another note, Wolfenstein: The New Order struggles to separate itself from other franchises. I felt at times I had several different games going on at once. In the beginning, it felt like an old school Call of Duty game. Once you find the resistance, it looked and had the feel of Resistance 3‘s look and feel. Later, you go to the moon and it seems a lot like Quake 4. Then once you get to the end you get this glimpse of Castle Wolfenstien (which is one of the best looking scenes in the game) and hope fills your heart, that is until you run into Nazi soldiers that look like a total rip off from the design of the Helghast in Killzone. The only thing in this game that has true originality is the mechanical dogs, which are too few to separate itself as being called an unique experience.
Despite the capabilities of the new Xbox One and PS4, Wolfenstein was held back graphically due to last-gen console support. Even the PC version wasn’t up to par with what I would expect from a 2014 game. Although the overall graphics weren’t up to par with expectations, minor details in guns, and facial shots were enough to keep you happy.
Sound quality was definitely one of the other strong suites in Wolfenstein: The new order. If your running a 5.1 or 7.1 Surround sound system you wont be disappointed. From the muttering of your comrades behind you, to the explosions in front of you, you feel immersed in the sound experience there is to be offered. Voice overs also are very strong, and because of it, you get a strong sense of immersion with the story.
Wolfenstein: The New Order isn’t a bad game by far and is definitely a promising start to a great comeback for the series, but the gameplay really holds this game back. Although my itch for a great Wolfenstein game was only partially filled, MachineGames really did a good job and are headed in the right direction.
Style – Single-player, FPS
Publisher – Bethesda Softworks
Developer – MachineGames
Release – May 2014
2.5 – Gameplay
3.5 – Graphics
4.0 – Sound
4.0 – Entertainment
3.5 – Replay Value