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Wolfenstein: The New Order
Wolfenstein: The New Order

PC | PlayStation 3 | PlayStation 4 | Xbox 360 | Xbox One
Genre: First Person Shooter Players: 1 to 0
Developer: MachineGames Official Site: http://www.wolfenstein.com/
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date:
20th May 2014
Wolfenstein: The New Order Review
Review By @ 01:51pm 20/05/14
PS4

No matter what happens with the first-person-shooter genre, the patriarchs of the popular gaming category -- Wolfenstein (grandfather) and Doom (father) -- refuse to retire. But while titles such as Duke Nukem Forever attempted a fusion between old-school shooters and contemporary mechanics, the granddaddy and daddy of the genre still seem to straddle the thin line of respecting what they created while simultaneously modernising the features shooter fans accept as normal nowadays.

One of the most impressive accomplishments of Wolfenstein: The New Order is it’s a genuine sequel. Despite shifting developers and publishers, The New Order still continues the larger-than-life on-the-fly autobiography of William “B.J.” Blazkowicz, with antagonist Wilhelm “Deathshead” Strasse returning after making his first appearance in Return to Castle Wolfenstein.



The game kicks off with a 1946 prologue, as the Allied forces fight a desperate battle to defeat the Nazis who now have access to advanced technologies that are turning the war in their favour. This is where The New Order first starts pushing the contemporary relevance of old-school shooter trends: namely, the arsenal, most of which is based on a 1960s approach to fictional weapons the Nazis could have created had they won the war.

B.J. isn’t limited to carrying two weapons, and there certainly aren’t any weight restrictions on the death-dealers he can lug around. Hell, he can carry basically two of every gun that you find in the game and still has unlimited sprinting stamina. The sprinting is important for more than just uninhibited level navigation as it also allows players to perform classy sliding kills.

More than just ticking the right box in the ‘cool features’ checklist, slide-shooting is one of many gameplay features that organically unlocks permanent perks across four categories: Assault, Demolition, Stealth and Tactical. Generally speaking, these areas relate to the gameplay approaches players naturally take. If you love cover shooting, you’ll organically unlock perks in the Tactical tree. If sneaking is your thing, you’ll score Stealth perks such as additional throwing knives and increased damage from silenced pistols. Demolition enhances and protects against explosive devices, while Assault is the tree that will bear the most fruit for run-and-gun players.

Traditionally, my FPS preferences err on the side of run-and-gun, but more games of late have tempted me with at least attempting a stealthier approach, thanks in full to the removal of hard-fail scenarios. The New Order has no hard-fail situations if you are spotted, which lends itself to encouraging players to naturally chip away at the perk requirements of the four skill trees. For instance, if you’re spotted while sneaking, use automatic lean -- or manually control it, which is a very cool addition -- to pop off some shots before Fritz can raise the alarm.



When things get loud, get louder. Guns akimbo is a keystroke away, while grenades are very effective at sending enemies scattering for cover or their limbs flying from their torsos. Suffice it to say, this Wolfenstein entry earns its R18+ rating, and not just for the gore factor. The Nazi experiments you stumble upon are particularly brutal, characters aren’t afraid to drop f-bombs and there’s even a bit of sex in there to round things out.

Tonally, The New Order has a bit of everything. MachineGames deserves kudos for shifting between comedy, ultra-violence, character pathos and inhumaneness. It’s not always effortless, but it works for the most part, meaning you’re likely to be laughing one minute and caught in bug-eyed shock the next. In one particularly brutal instance that I won’t ruin by detailing, I had my hand over my mouth; and I’ve honestly never done that in a game before. Kudos, MachineGames, for kicking things up a notch.

The mixture of old-school mechanics and contemporary expectations continues in the level design. At face value, The New Order is a corridor shooter, but it soon reveals itself to be deeper in terms of its combat options. The aforementioned perk trees offer additional tactical considerations as you start to unlock them. Throwing knives kill instantly (regardless of where they hit a goose-stepping goon) and are obvious additions in terms of enhancing your Stealth approach, but you can also unlock the location of enemy commanders on the map.

This is of particular importance because commanders are capable of calling in enemy reinforcements. Considering Wolfenstein can, at times, kick your arse on Normal difficulty, it’s worth taking these guys out as quickly and quietly as possible. When the AI is firing on all Krupp steel cylinders, they work together to take you down without cheating. If you’re spotted while sneaking, they’ll only flank and attack your last-known position, which means you can lure them into chokepoints or bunch them together for an easy grenade multi-kill. Unfortunately, there are times when the AI fails completely, and patrolling Nazis won’t notice you crouched right in front of them, or will breeze past dead comrades without blinking.



The other major component that stops The New Order from feeling like your average corridor shooter is the multiple incursion options to your average combat space. Running in with dual-guns blazing is always an option, but the most obvious approach is rarely the only one. Later in the game, you get access to the multipurpose Laserkraftwerk (LKW) which, outside of being extremely apt at killing Nazis, also can cut through specific metal cover. When it’s fully upgraded, the LKW is a worthy BFG replacement.

In laser-cutter mode, though, it can slice through specific fences and walls, affording the chance to quietly flank enemies, but it also to can get behind foes… and then run in guns blazing. Or maybe you could jump on a nearby turret and mow them all down. Turrets can be detached and used as a mobile weapon. While that’s been seen before, returning the detached weapon to its turret position means you’ll instantly replenish ammunition, allowing you to conserve precious ammunition while hosing down Nazis.

Ammunition is plentiful for the most part, which tends to cue an impending boss battle or upcoming room filled with more Nazis than a Nuremberg Rally. In these instances, the full-frontal assault is rarely advised; unless, of course, you’ve been hunting down the little toy medic soldiers that permanently upgrade your health 10 points at a time. You can also collect health to boost your vigour as high as 200 hitpoints, which will drain to its highest normal state. Health will reset up to its nearest 20-point denominator, which affords cheeky lean-and-shoot tactics for taking out that last armoured mini-boss in a room you’ve just attempted five times. Oh, you can also eat dog food, which is one of many cool nods to Wolfenstein 3D.

Dying isn’t that much of an issue, though, thanks to fast loading times and a generous checkpoint system, while id Tech 5 certainly looks and scales better on PS4 than it did with last-gen Rage. Characters in particular are beautifully designed, with faces that you’ll love or hate, depending on which side they’re fighting. There are some nice lazy additions for the player that only wants a single play-through, such as the menu option to highlight important items on your map if you don’t feel like exploring.



Interestingly, there’s a choice very early on in the game that opens up an additional timeline, which adds more second play-through motivation than simply encouraging players to collect all the gold scattered around specific levels. There isn’t any multiplayer on offer, but my review speed-run took around 11 hours to complete, with a reported 20 hours if you explore everywhere and collect everything.

While part of me is disappointed at the lack of multiplayer (more Enemy Territory anyone?), the lengthy (by shooter standards) and cinematic campaign was an absolute riot from start to finish, tainted only by the strange inclusion of back-at-base missions that included jarring fetch quests. Wolfenstein: The New Order is a fantastic blend of old-school tropes and contemporary improvements that warrants a second play-through.



Nathan Lawrence can be found fragging n00bs in a variety of digital battlefields, but most commonly the ones from the franchise with a capital ‘B’. He loves games with a strong narrative component, and believes in a gaming world where cutscenes are no longer necessary. In his lack of spare time, Nathan can be found working on a variety of wacky script ideas, and dreams of freeing cinemagoers from unnecessary sequels and pointless remakes by writing films with never-before-seen twists and turns. But mostly he’s all about the fragging of n00bs.

Recent articles by Nathan:
Find him on Twitter - @nachosjustic PSN - SaintRasputin XBL – NachosJustice and Steam - uber_chimera
.
What we liked
  • Clever merging of old and new
  • Solid campaign length
  • Genuine replay value
  • Branching combat options
  • Impressive arsenal
  • A game that deserves its R18+ rating
What we didn't like
  • Pre-CS1.1 AWP of throwing knives
  • The uglier sides of id Tech 5
  • Can’t relocate bodies when playing stealthy
  • Fetch-quest base missions
  • Sporadic AI fails
More
We gave it:
8.7
OUT OF 10
Latest Comments
reso
Posted 02:04pm 20/5/14
Ur best post yet Steve, HehEhEhEHehehuehue

Aw, updated from an empty post. Now I just look rude.
bepatient
Posted 02:09pm 20/5/14
Awesome, I'm really looking forward to playing this though I'm having a hard time stepping away from Diablo atm. :/
TiT
Posted 03:17pm 20/5/14
anyone started playing it yet??
ravn0s
Posted 04:22pm 20/5/14
looks like it's averaging an 8. i guess it's worth buying.
Jeffro
Posted 04:48pm 20/5/14
8.7 huh? Been tossing up if I should download this today. Might do it now. Just about vr10 in ESO so looking for something else to beat.
Pablitos Way
Posted 05:58pm 20/5/14
I reckon the new Doom and this Wolfenstein should of brought back the old school health bar Ui, showing the face deteriate and get all bloody..
TicMan
Posted 06:04pm 20/5/14
Reviewed on a PS4.. will there be a PC master race view of the game that will be meaningful instead of consolol gaming.
ravn0s
Posted 06:55pm 20/5/14
bought from GMG for $48. downloading now.

edit: this downloading is going to take forever. it's almost 41GB in size.

last edited by ravn0s at 18:55:40 20/May/14
ctd
Posted 07:02pm 20/5/14
http://youtu.be/AduQvX4nU0k

apparently the only PC review because there was no PC review copy but TB has a good relationship with bethesda (or some s***)
BladeRunner
Posted 08:19pm 20/5/14
Its out today?

41Gb?

I might wait a while.
trillion
Posted 09:33pm 20/5/14
i wonder if bisky would recommend dropping another gpu in sli for smashing out 4k to a 1080p 100hz panel
Eorl
Posted 10:58pm 20/5/14
Reviewed on a PS4.. will there be a PC master race view of the game that will be meaningful instead of consolol gaming.

Here's my review: You blow s*** up and kill Nazi's, the PC version looks gorgeous and guns shoot people. Also lots of gore. Fun corridor-ish shooter, has a bit of tactic to it and you can stealth if you want to (even rewards you through perk upgrades).
Reverend Evil
Posted 07:38am 21/5/14
Sorry about that post I put up yesterday. I came in this morning to delete it but you guys did it anyway. Apologies.
grazer
Posted 07:29pm 23/5/14
Yo Eorl. I'm looking at it on Steam. Should I hit the button and buy this thing?!
(Say yes. Though I'll prob have bought it by the time you respond :p)
TicMan
Posted 07:46pm 23/5/14

Here's my review: You blow s*** up and kill Nazi's, the PC version looks gorgeous and guns shoot people. Also lots of gore. Fun corridor-ish shooter, has a bit of tactic to it and you can stealth if you want to (even rewards you through perk upgrades).


And out of 10?
ravn0s
Posted 10:58pm 23/5/14
absolutely loving this game.
sLaps_Forehead
Posted 10:16am 24/5/14
Frankie review




Looks good, but the gameplay and AI looks pathetic. Won't be buying.
Eorl
Posted 10:55am 24/5/14
Yo Eorl. I'm looking at it on Steam. Should I hit the button and buy this thing?!
(Say yes. Though I'll prob have bought it by the time you respond :p)

Do it Grazer, heap of mindless fun!
And out of 10?

11/10
Roonee
Posted 10:16pm 24/5/14
tis pretty good. definitely reminded of the rtcw campaign quite a bit, but it's not completely obvious.... yeah that makes sense.
ravn0s
Posted 11:22pm 24/5/14
i'm enjoying this a lot more than bioshock infinite which was the last fps i played.
grazer
Posted 07:53am 26/5/14
Thanks Eorl! Tho I put my preorder in for Watch_Dogs instead :D
Fats
Posted 08:08am 26/5/14
Seems like fun
Protius
Posted 08:54am 26/5/14
Just finished the campaign yesterday. Many hours were sunk into it over the weekend. Fantastic game. I haven't had a single player game interest me this much in quite a while so for me to actually sit down and finish over a weekend is saying something. I'm also not much of a replayer but think I will be with this one.

I also really enjoyed the cut scenes and story telling in it.

last edited by Protius at 08:54:42 26/May/14
AnimeGodz
Posted 09:50am 26/5/14
Such amazing fun! i couldnt stop playing
groganus
Posted 09:56am 26/5/14
A mental block regarding what I think a Wolfenstein game should be and what this game is, is preventing me from enjoying it much as I'd like to.

In saying that its a great SP shooter that's tons of fun. It's best feature is it's ability to allow the player to switch between fast pace shooting action to slow stealth and allowing that switch to be completely optional. The AI is dumb as dog s*** and it's the games greatest weakness.
evıs
Posted 09:58am 26/5/14
Finished it. 7/10.
ravn0s
Posted 11:55am 26/5/14
teska's talk about consciousness was interesting. no wonder she doesn't sleep.
Roonee
Posted 04:03pm 26/5/14
whipping out the venom brought back a few memories... great addition!
max
Posted 12:47am 27/5/14
Duke Nukem Forever can learn a lot for Wolfenstein The New Order this is a great FPS with old school mix in with next Gen!!!
ravn0s
Posted 10:33am 27/5/14
i was just thinking this morning that they should give the next duke game to machinegames.
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