Wolfenstein: The New Order takes place in an alternate timeline in the 1960s. After a failed mission to kill General Deathshead, B.J. Blazkowicz goes into a coma due to trauma and shrapnel damage. He is rescued by a mental facility, where, upon Nazi invasion, regains his memory as well as his will to fight off the now Nazi ruled world. The story is an interesting take on revisionist history and while good, the game doesn’t know if it wants to be classic, goofy Wolfenstein, or more serious. It meets somewhere in the middle which is overall entertaining.
Gameplay follows standard first-person shooter rules: aim at stuff, shoot. There’s no real gimmick here other than everything is freaking nuts. Nazis, armored Nazis, mechs, mutants, robo dogs, and all other means are out to kill Blazkowicz, but thankfully he is armed to the teeth. He can literally dual wield anything from shotguns to sniper rifles. Yes, sniper rifles. There’s a progression system that boosts certain traits upon completing tasks. For example, killing enemies while in stealth mode with a pistol can increase effectiveness. It may not be innovative, but it’s bloody, outrageous fun.
The design in Wolfenstein is its shining beacon. A lot of care went into making this alternate timeline seem real. There are propaganda posters, newspaper clippings, audio dairies, and even alternate versions of songs sung in German like House of the Rising Sun. It goes without saying then that there are a ton of secrets to uncover. It’s also worth mentioning that there are two paths in the game set from the first stage, splitting the timeline in half. While either choice ultimately plays out the same, it was a neat concept if not fully realized. And while this writer can’t attest to the PS4, or Xbox One versions of the game, the PS3 copy looks pretty good, if not a bit glitchy and messy at times.
Wolfenstein: The New Order was a fine step forward for the franchise. After the ending credits it’s hard to know where the series can go from here. Again, it may not have changed the FPS landscape like the original, but it sure is a hell of a lot of fun to play. In the infamous words of Brad Pitt, “Let’s go kill us some Nazis!”
Score: 3/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on May 26, 2014 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.