The first time I managed to get my grubby little mitts on Wolfenstein was at Eurogamer 2013. I’ll be honest with you, I wasn’t really that impressed. Yes it did look pretty, yes there were loads of Nazis’ to shoot, and yes, some of the destructible environments were very impressive, but it just didn’t stand out as one of those ‘must have’ games. Months later, and with the way my Boomerang Games Rental release dates dropped, I ended up getting the game on release day, which turned out to be an absolute blast.
Having played all the other Wolfenstein games (yes, I’m that old), I kind of knew what to expect, Nazis’, with advanced tech, and working my way through level after level of simple minded enemies until I reached the final boss, which would be challenge….the game didn’t disappoint. The game plays very like an old school shooter, in the way that the enemy AI isn’t really that intelligent, and if you get to the right vantage point, you can take most of the enemies out with number of head shots, and it didn’t take too much brain power to outwit them.
With the majority of the levels, you could either attempt to get from A to B by using stealth, or go in all guns blazing. I would attempt to take out all the guards in a stealthy manner, get caught and go in all guns blazing. The fact that you could dual wield most of your weapons made this extremely enjoyable.
This is probably a good point to discuss the weapons, again keeping the old school style, you’re not limited to a few weapons as you are in a lot of the recent first person shooters out, simply in you can pick it up, you can switch to it. The weapons are pretty standard to start, a knife, a pistol, a shotgun etc, however as you advance, and if you can be bothered looking in every nook and cranny, you will find upgrades to specific weapons. These will be initially things like a silencer for your pistol, allowing you to stealth your way through the level, or special bullets from your shotgun that will ricochet the rounds of the walls. I guess my most used weapons Laser Kraftwerk. This “weapon” starts as a a simple cutting tool allowing you to cut through specific metal materials, however as you upgrade it, it becomes a very powerful weapon.
Another way to upgrade your skill set is via perks, which will be rewarded to you by doing ‘stuff’. For example the stealth perk tree kicks of by stealth killing a commander, then getting five silent take downs, and so and so on. This allows you to naturally level up the specific skills you use, and not worry about the ones that you don’t.
There were a couple of great game mechanics thrown in, the wire hacking for example had you virtually holding two pieces of wire together, and moving the thumb sticks around until you managed to “jump” the piece of equipment. Another was the use of the Laser Kraftwerk. As you advance through the game, the laser get more powerful, allowing you to cut through more object. If you take the time to look around, you can find some fun Easter eggs in the game.
The story (without giving spoilers) was great, a very linear story, with believable characters, and with a single morality choice (a simple who dies, which apparently has quite an impact on the story). The game design was great, never did I get bored of the level design as they were always different enough, yet similar enough not to cause confusion, and always looked stunning. There were a few fetch quests in the game, however these were normally side missions, and it was up to you if you did them or not. There was a particular side mission about half way through the game called “Nightmare”, which I had the full three attempts at and failed. This was basically the original Wolfenstein game…..I guess my muscle memory isn’t as good as it used to be.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning the 2nd Screen side of things on the Playstation app on the iPad. You had two screen options, an overview map which would show you where the collectibles were, and the guards that could set off alarms, or your HUD. The HUD for me was the most interesting as it kept the head from the first games, that slowly got me pummeled as you ran out of health, and had your ammo on the screen to. There was even the option to switch off the HUD on the screen and exclusively use the app for this.
All in all, Wolfenstein : The New Order took me by surprise, I wasn’t expecting such a solid first person shooter, and with all the puzzles, the rechargeable weapons, the smashing of crates to get ammo from them, strangely made me feel like I was playing a Half-Life game, which….is never a bad thing.
Approx Time taken to beat – 15 hours
Difficulty setting – Bring ’em on!
Score – [Rating:5/5]
Games TrailerTags: Approx Time, Games Trailer