Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Format: PS4 / PS3 / Xbox One / Xbox 360 / PC
Being a First-person shooter (FPS) Wolfenstein: the New Order doesn’t have an admirable position. Be standardised enough for the fans of the genre, but also have your own twist, or else you will fall into “generic” territory. Luckily protagonist B.J. Blazkowicz kicks ass in both counts.
The story however starts off generic and even badly, giving a first bad taste of the game. Fortunately after the first level things open up with an interesting plot twist: Nazis won World War II and they have used their new winner status highly for developing new arsenal and enslaving the rest of the world. Now Blazkowicz must join the resistance to stop the tyranny and save (?) the world. Though, in the grand scale of things, how much can a small resistance really hurt the Nazis, who are all over the world?
The plot has many holes, that for the sake of the crazy journey, should be ignored. Yet, surprisingly the game gives you some explorative and even emotional segments that slow down the usual fast pace of the game… just before going even faster again. The opposite natures of seriousness and splatter was an humorous mix for me personally. Also, the story’s attempt on moral choices remains weak. It didn’t have no real meaning other than influencing some cutscenes and what upgrades you could and couldn’t get.
The aiming and overall feel of the guns is great. Your arsenal consists of the basic pistols, shotguns and assault rifles as well as some high-tech Nazi developed weapons. The catch here is that every gun can be dual-wielded. It’s a crazy, yet satisfying choice of going rambo with two sniper rifles, while not recommended, is still fun because you CAN. How the weapons look and feel while shooting and the massive sounds they make after hitting enemies is also very satisfying, even though this might sound sadistic.
The New Order has its own standard perk system. It doesn’t require a certain level or credit investments though, but rather more skill and actual use. By getting eg. enough headshots or X amount of kills you can unlock more ammunition, better reload speed or more endurance for sprinting. The perk system is divided into four categories ranging from stealth to demolition, thus encouraging to try different playstyles.
And the upgrades do come in handy in the largely open levels where you can decide your approach. Kill everybody and deal with reinforcements or decide for the stealth alternative. Stealth is not just an recommended but also an highly rewarding option. And for an FPS, stealthing is done very well: peeking around corners, using throwing knifes and learning enemy routes for minimal chance of getting caught.
Being one of the more top tier shooters, it doesn’t remove the annoying parts of its genre. Towards the end more enemies are present and just as you think you’re safe to advance further, a new wave comes from behind and kills you. In conjunction with the large enemy count, the feel of frustration came to mind when seeing robot mini bosses from previous levels becoming foot soldiers towards the end. Then again, the arsenal with its above mentioned double wielding makes it enjoyable enough to shoot again and again and again…until you eventually make it.
Another gripe that I had was its looting mechanic. Going old school Wolfenstein doesn’t have regenerating health. You actually need to find health packs, which is fine by me. But you have to manually pick them up, as well as all the ammo. Every. Single. Thing. Basically, you’re running through levels spamming the “pick up” -button. It’s just annoying.
The New Order has an interesting take on storytelling and with its fun, responsive controls, it is a joy to play. Even with its late game annoyance, it knows what it is, and does a great job of making the most of it.