When I was a wee young lad at school, one of my favourite subjects to study was history, and in particular studying World War 2. I’m not sure what it was that captured my interest; the power crazy anti-Semitic Austrian, the fact millions died needlessly in such horrific ways or the fact that the world had changed so drastically during that time. One thing was for certain though; I like pretty much the rest of the world wasn’t a fan of the Nazis, which is why I probably enjoy Wolfenstein so much because I get to kill an awful lot of them. I still remember having Wolfenstein 3D on my PC, and my God it has come so far. But what I especially like about the game series apart from how it has improved over the years is The New Order tries to paint a picture of what the world would’ve been like if everything had not gone the way it did. I mean it paints quite a farfetched picture of the world with giant robotic dogs and bases on the moon but it gives us an idea of what would have happened if the allies hadn’t stopped Hitler from world domination. It’s something I’ve always wondered myself; would we all be speaking German, would the Jewish population be extinct and would there be a resistance to it all. Luckily we don’t have to worry about it though because we won the war, and now you have the chance to stop the Nazi threat with this latest game from Bethesda.
Many of you will recognise the hero of the game, the highly decorated Captain William “BJ” Blazkowicz, a US Soldier of Polish origin. Your mission starts with a massive allied assault on the compound of General Deathshead, a twisted individual in charge of weapons development for the Nazis. With success you’d land a massive blow to the Nazis by decapitating the head of their war machine. Unfortunately despite breaching the impressively protected fortress accompanied by your pilot Fergus Reid and Private Probst Wyatt III, you end up on the incapacitated on the floor staring up at General Deathshead as he forces you to choose which of your friends you’ll sacrifice for his sadistic plans. Now you can refuse to choose either, but you’ll die so inevitably you’ll have to pick one of your friends. Each decision will affect the time line and change the story slightly, however both roads taken end in the same way. Following your choice Deathshead leaves you cuffed on the floor of a furnace room being watched by a big guard, but with team work you escape and managed to jump from a window into the crashing waves below.
You then awake over a decade after the assault having been rescued from the sea and placed in an institution for the disabled and mentally ill, suffering from what seems like full body paralysis. For years one particular nurse has taken care of you, placing you in the corner of a room next to a window allowing you to see all that goes on, but it just meant you sat there helplessly for years as Nazis came and took patients away for General Deathshead’s schemes. That is until one day when soldiers arrive to cleanse the place when the institutions uses have been fulfilled and are no longer needed. The soldiers start killing patients without even a glimpse of remorse, and soon turn on staff. Miraculously you begin to gain control over your body again grabbing a knife off a nearby table. Then as the last Nazi in the room approaches you, you reach out to grab him and thrust the knife into the soldier’s throat, killing the Nazi scum where he stands. From here your journey begins to find the nurse who had cared for you for so long, and then on to locating what remains of the resistance to the Nazi menace, in order to launch one last brutal counter attack and end the Nazi regime that has engulfed the world.
With the new story also comes much improved gameplay as well; were as before you were pretty much forced into an all-out bloodbath running in with all guns blazing, developers have given you multiple avenues to walk down in New Order to help appeal to more gamers. Don’t get me wrong we all love a bit of carnage and destruction, so running into the midst of a firefight and unleashing hell with a barrage of bullets and explosions is fun, but can sometimes get repetitive. That’s why it was nice to see the mechanics behind the game being improved so that if you like you can think about things more tactically and play a little more stealthily if you wish. Not like your normal hide behind walls avoiding enemies’ kind of thing either, but crawling through vents and throwing knives for stealth kills or walking up behind an unsuspecting enemy and stabbing them in the heart. It was just nice to have the choice and variety to go about completing levels differently.
What’s best about the multiple ways of being able to play the game as well is the unlockable perks you can get as you play through your journey. These perks are all suited to the way you play the game and vary from carrying extra knives, faster reloading times and being able to throwback grenades at the enemy. To unlock them you’ll have to achieve certain targets in game such as performing so many stealth kills with a knife or unloading the bullets from your magazine without missing a single enemy. Perks aren’t the only unlockable content in the game however; you’ll also be able to collect Enigma codes throughout each level which can then be later accessed in the extras section on the main menu screen. Once the Enigma codes are gathered you’ll have to decipher the numbers and will be rewarded with things such as special Uber Hard difficulty settings, Infinite ammo and more making replaying the game all the more fun and challenging.
Other collectible items include Nazi gold, concept art and Records; if you look carefully at one of the records you collect as well you’ll notice that even though the Nazis won WWII, the destiny of some people never changed, as one of the songs are by a band originally made up of four young men from Liverpool, who to become a big hit had to obviously begin singing in German and praising the Führer. For those who never guessed I am of course talking about the Beatles. The other collectibles won’t really be of any benefit to you though in game other than unlocking achievements and giving you a sense of pride that only comes when you have completed a game 100%. There is also a little bonus hidden in the game, located on the top floor of the resistance HQ. You’ll find a mattress on the floor and if you stare at it, it’ll ask if you wish to play Wolfenstein’s Nightmare, giving you the option of playing the first level from Wolfenstein 3D.
The detail that has gone into the game is remarkable as well; sit behind a wall hiding from enemy fire and you’ll slowly see bits of concrete being chipped away, forcing you to fight back or flee in the hope you don’t get gunned down. You’ll also notice your bullets breaking through boards and crates, tearing into enemy’s skulls and torsos leaving blood splattering across the ground where they once stood. As well as the small details though you’ll also see great cities like Berlin and London as you’ve never seen them before, in this new dark world where Nazis have erected huge buildings built with super concrete, and where massive robots roam to keep citizens in order and quell any sniff of a resistance. It truly does create a sense of what obscure future may have been if the German armies hadn’t been stopped in 1945.
Along with the improved gameplay and graphics though we also have improved weapons some of which is thanks to the ultra-advanced Nazi-tech. I mean it’s instantly noticeable within the first two missions how the guns have changed as you go from having and old fashioned German pistol to a much upgraded model that looks advanced even on some of today’s arsenal you see the armed forces and police using. But besides your standard fire arms you’ll have new tesla grenades which come in handy when fighting robots as it can temporarily disable them. You’ll also have laser weapons at your disposable which don’t take ammo as such but do have to constantly be recharged by charge points dotted throughout each level. These laser guns come in the form of a mounted machine gun, what is essentially an assault rifle and a laser cutter. Now the laser cutter starts off very basic but upgrades as you make your way through the game becoming so strong it can blow an enemy to smithereens, but it comes in really useful when you need to access vents or can see collectible items behind wire fences, as you can cut a small access hole to let yourself in.
So far this is the best game I have played this year; it has a great story, better gameplay and some amazing graphics. I’d go as far as saying it’s even better than Watch Dogs, which I think suffered the same fate as Thief in a way because it was hyped up so much by the media that it actually raised people’s expectations too much. Whereas Wolfenstein kept pretty quiet and let the game do the talking rather than an employing an expensive advertising campaign which seemed to last forever. In doing this it allowed developers to just do what they do best and create a game that is enjoyable for all to play. I did find it interesting though that they actually released the game in Germany, complying with German law by censoring any evidence the Nazis existed and replacing them with The Regime, an evil organisation, which is slightly strange since the entire franchise is a game based on killing Nazis and I’m sure people in Germany will be able to import the real game anyway. That said for anyone who enjoys a first person shooter with a great story this is a definite must buy.
PC Version: We have had some major issues with the PC version from FPS to screen tearing and we hope that the developers will fix these issues asap as there are a load of customers/gamers with the same issue in many forums.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.