Wolfenstein – a video gaming dynasty that rivals even a certain plumber who wears red now has a new branch in the family tree, Wolfenstein: The New Order. TNO has a very old school feel to it, but does have some modern elements to keep it relevant.
Firstly, the environment, level design, and graphics are just stellar, and I mean that quite literally, considering there is a mission ON THE MOON. The levels take you from terrible Nazi camps to the bottom of the ocean, and even to space which his pretty awesome when you think about it. Not to mention, the addition of turrets, tunnels, and robots never let you get bored in terms of gameplay. You can sneak up behind someone and knife them, then detach a turret and go Tarantino on the rest of the camp if you so choose so it leaves you with a lot of choices which is always nice. You can also use cover very well due to its smooth design. You can just approach a wall, slightly aim toward the bad guys and then just pop out for a second with only your head and it will snap right back as soon as you let go, but not just straight on, but from the side at an angle, which can be real fun.
One part that fell short was the weapons system. It does have some near if not traditional weapons (shotguns, assault rifles, etc.) but only one really futuristic weapon, which is the laser gun. Future add-ons to the traditional guns do make them cooler, but considering we are taking about hyper advanced Nazi science, I really did expect more than one sweet ray gun. That said, the ability to dual wield in this game really makes up for the lack of cool guns, since is more is always better. Auto shotgun is cool, but dual wielding auto shotguns? Please and thank you.
Another fault of the weapon system is the terrible way in which you have to switch them. Using a controller, you have to hold right shoulder button and then use the right thumb stick to point then let go on the right weapon. It’s reminiscent of powers from Mass Effect, but with one key difference: the pointing is far too sensitive, and when I let go, it would often jump to the next gun, there was no way to lock in to a choice, or a have smoother way to scroll to another. By the way, I’m trying to do this pseudo-science all while giant cyborg Nazi’s are finding new ways to ruin my day. The switching controls were literally killing me.
As for story, it was a solid tale of oppression, rebellion, and love, and a whole lot of dead Nazis. It is set in the future of the 1960s and the Nazis have won, and your trying to turn the tide, so it’s a new angle on the whole Wolfenstein genre. There’s even a love interest throughout the game, and you do get to know the NPCs pretty well, so there’s some nice character development. The odd thing is, the only one that doesn’t seem to change is the main character himself. This slightly sadistic B.J. Blascowicz seems to go from joker to utter psychopath to monologue philosopher from moment to moment, and that took away from me getting to like him. Its fine to just have a Nazi nightmare machine of a man be the protagonist, but then just stick to that throughout the game, don’t make him that only some of the time.
Overall, I really like this game and would definitely recommend it. It may not be the most inventive game, or blow anyone’s mind with its new features, but what it does, it does really well.
Review written by: Adam