"Shootin', stabbin'... stranglin' Nazis."
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
PLAYED ON XBOX ONE
ALSO AVAILABLE ON PS4, PC, PS3 AND XBOX 360
I've always liked to stop and think about what would have happened if the Nazis won World War II; it's a peculiar thought. To save me from frying my brain, though, MachineGames have effectively put down a "what if?" scenario that sees William "B.J." Blazkowicz waking up from a coma after 14 years, where the Nazis reign over the world in 1960. It's gruesome, fast-paced, unadulterated fun.
I'm sure you'll be used to WWII shooters that particularly manifested themselves towards the end of the sixth console generation, with the likes of Red Orchestra, Call of Duty and Medal of Honor, but the industry has recently been lacking in shooters that revolve around that era. Whilst Wolfenstein: The New Order does have these strong vibes of a slightly more visceral vision of war, it also shows off its alternate vision of a post-war Germany and London where men and machine evolve together. And in terms of conveying this across to the players, it succeeds greatly. Every line of dialogue felt meaningful and progressed the plot in some way, even if it was a section of playful banter by two characters. The sense of tension during cutscenes was actually exhilirating, even if the ones that felt slightly forced (the sex scenes) sometimes interrupted this. I don't want to dismiss the sense of humour in it at all, but all of it seemed a bit quick in showing off the relationship between Blazkowicz and former carer, Anya.
I found myself enjoying (almost) every second of the ammo-draining combat system that sometimes infuriates, but mostly entertains. I say "mostly" because of the impairing and archaic ammo pickup system which finds you hovering your crosshair about the battlefield in search of a few rounds of assault rifle ammo or pistol shots. Even with upgrades, the chargeable weapons are constantly in need of docking and re-charging. While this may be to keep the over-powered weapons to an absolute minimum, it felt extremely laborious and unnecessary. The dual-wielding made for some great moments of badassery, too, and whilst it felt a bit encumbering the whole time (with many button presses needed for prefered setup) it brought about the chaos and slightly maniacal means of dispatching your enemies.
The standout points for me in the game, however, is the impeccable fan service and incredibly sinister villain(s). From a point onwards, you are able to travel back to Castle Wolfenstein in a loving throwback to Wolfenstein 3D. Using the brand new id Tech 5 engine, it allows you to travel back to those early days whilst keeping true to the game you're really playing. Back in 1960s Nazi-occupied Earth, General Wilhelm "Deathshead" Strasse aspires to create a new order amongst us by pioneering the next advancements in technology, slightly mimicking (but also mirroring) events of the true swinging sixties. Little documented paper articles you can discover throughout the game put this into perspective, one involving a certain "Lars Armstarck" landing on the moon in 1960. It doesn't take a fully-functioning game to see what the devs were going for here, but it almost gives off a haunting vision of what could have been. This is only brought about further by Deathshead's brutal tendencies to explore the human body in its entirety and puts the player into some extremely difficult situations. The game is about the right length for an action title, able to tell a story without dragging you on for too long. Including collectible hunting, you may be playing for about 20 hours, add to this slightly altered timelines triggered by an early action from the player. Vehicular combat and navigation is certainly solid enough with added instances of unstoppable slaughter and fun.
To say The New Order is a generic action game would be entirely misleading. It's anything but, primarily because of the gripping storyline that accompanies the non-stop action. Give it a go and you'll be hooked.
Me Love Cars - Founder of Gameopedia Wiki 01:01, May 29, 2014 (UTC)
Incredibly fun gunplay
Surprisingly well-done vehicular combat
Laborious ammo collecting
Slightly (just slightly) unwanted dual-wielding complications
Insanely fun Nazi-blasting and a gripping story make this shooter largely entertaining.