MachineGames and Bethseda have worked wonders on a classic first person shooter series Wolfenstein, by giving their latest instalment a much needed revamp, and preserving the retro basics that are inherent in classic shooters. Wolfenstein: The New Order has a story that is captivating, dark, but also a ton of fun.
As William Blazkowicz or 'B.J', you begin the game in 1946, leading a valiant mission into the depths of the Third Reich to save the world. After failing miserably and getting a head injury, you end up in a mental asylum where you reside for 14 years before escaping to single handedly try and destroy the Nazi Empire. You'll find that the Nazis are annoyingly insistent on living, and your health bar will receive many double-slaps. I died so many times in this game that I found myself re-evaluating life. Then, to add insult to injury, each time you die and are faced with a loading screen, you'll see the Nazi commander, eyes brimming with pride, and a written German phrase next to it. I can only guess that the phrase reads 'Das American Man Is No Good'. Yeah. Nice.
This game manages to be absolutely bonkers, but sentimentally human at the same time, an element that I cherished as I played the game. Wolfenstein: The New Order's strength is that that it plays wonderfully as a very modern futuristic styled shooter, but seems to beautifully incorporate the features of all the classic FPS games. For example, there is no shortage of health packs (which we hardly see in FPS games any more), there's a multiple weapons system, and you'll never be too far away from some ammo. The Laser Kraftwork, is the best weapon in the game' hands down. Not only is it virtually unlimited, it is the easiest way to take out the harder robots because of its sheer power. You can recharge this baby at the various charging stations dotted around the map. It's as if you were charging your laptop. Or phone.
But alas! There is a drawback to the weapons system in this game. It lies in its inventory, or as I coined it “the infamous gadget wheel of weapons”. Does it sound like a God send for FPS players? Well it's not. Problems start because you can only assign two guns to quickly change between, and when you need to choose a different one from the selection on the gadget wheel, the left analogue stick is so sensitive that 1) you spend a lifetime browsing through the weapons catalogue thinking “Will this take em out?” and 2) 9 times out of 10 you'll choose the wrong gun. Though I might just add that whilst you are fumbling with the left stick, attempting with all your heart to rid yourself of an empty gun, you are also being attacked by Nazis with a scatter shot and possibly bombs. You'll be forced to get used to it, but if your playing on the harder difficulty they'll be no room for mistakes.
Nonetheless, there is a truly awesome arsenal of weapons which have secondary modes that you unlock as you progress throughout the game and these enable you to alter your attack strategy; something I found very useful when wishing to silence a particularly nasty commander. The aim is to take these guys out without alerting them to your murderous presence because if he even gets a whiff of your body odour, you will find yourself facing a vast array of flying drones, teeth gnashing robot dogs and your regular friendly neighbourhood Nazis. You can attach a silencer to a handgun and this makes life a lot easier for you because you can then progress unharmed as soon as you take him down. Commanders and Nazis aside, there are of course, a heck of a lot of robots in this game and I'm not just talking your archetypal super robot. I'm talking a human brain (your friends brain..perhaps?) being forced into a humongous scrap of metal, which then proceeds to kick your butt. The two most notable robot bosses in this game are The London Monitor, and The Panther Hound. I found victory from one of these battles thanks to a glitch (to the development team: thank you!) and although the other had a perilous laser attack that pretty much depleted all my health, I managed to use my own kraftwork laser to wipe it out.
Wolfenstein: The new Order uses a perks system, which rewards players for playing the game in a particular way, and by completing set basic tasks like killing five commanders with a knife take down. From carrying more weapons, to the commanders being viable on your map the rewards are definitely worth it because BJ just keeps getting stronger and as the player, you have full control over how you approach levels. You can use stealth which is brilliant in this game and works really well to sneak up on enemies, or progress through an area without being seen. If you enjoy a more guns blazing approach to your combat, then that works too especially for encounters with larger enemies.
All in all, there is a lot to love about this game. Wolfenstein:The New Order seems to have revitalised the series very well and have given FPS gamers finally something to get excited about. It's visually stunning, tells an interesting story and is worth picking up. If a second one comes out, I'll be the first in line.
This game was reviewed on Xbox One
Wolfenstein: The New Order is out in stores now on Playstation 3 and 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One as well as PC.