The Nazi’s have won the war and our lives as we know it will forever be changed. Our valiant efforts to thwart the world’s greatest threat according to the history books will not read the names of men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our better tomorrow. It will be written by our enemies with their boots ever at our throats. This is the new reality shooters fans will encounter when embarking on the satisfying and intense power struggle experienced with Wolfenstein: The New Order.
Wolfenstein: The New Order is nothing short of a great time killing Nazi’s. Sure, you’ve certainly been here before, however your time revisiting this linear shooting gallery is richly complimented with an entertaining plot, meaningful character development and varied thrill-ride gameplay.
Developer Machinegames places you in the rugged and capable shoes of the series lead BJ Blazcowicz, who as things start out is doing everything in his power not to give the Nazi’s the upper hand in the war…that was 14 years earlier. After a decent introduction through the eyes of Blazcowicz, the show truly begins in 1960. The war is lost and the Nazi rule has completely overwhelmed all of the earth’s superpowers. Ever perpetuating their new world order influence through their concrete and metal aesthetics adorned with swastikas, flowing red flags and iron crosses, the task ahead seem daunting if not impossible.
Propelling this single player only experience forward is the remarkable narrative alongside the brutal action. Character interaction is met with eye-pleasing clarity during cinematic cut-scenes which are infused with an organic sense of believability. Each character whether held up in the resistance stronghold or suppressed in a prison detention center brings unique identity to the story which you care about.
Unlike the majority of shooter on the market, playing as Blazcowicz Machinegames offers a character with more depth under the surface than a simple yes man taking orders defying impossible odds. While Blazcowicz goes about his work with fearless convictions, our death bringer is expressed wanting more out of life than the satisfaction of only killing Nazi’s. This is portrayed through Blazcowicz’s self-expression during missions as he speaks to himself conveying his thoughts tightening his and the players bond. In addition, Blazcowicz’s co-stars bring this experience all together. Characters like Fergis Reid and his mental turmoil over your live and death decisions, and like-wise with Wyatt depending on the critical choice you are forced to make. As well, love interests like Anya give Blazcowicz’s a compelling measure of hope while Deathshead and his sadistic sidekicks fuel your lust for carnage at the plight of the Nazi scum.
Visually The New Order is well expressed on multiple platforms. During my multiple play-throughs (which is highly recommended for completionist players) the experience maintains a healthy dose of smooth gameplay while continuously impressing with every CG generated bridge pressing the story forward. While The New Order doesn’t aim to win a graphics contest, the world is quite believable depicting the cold militaristic new order of the Nazi regime amidst beautiful backdrops. Throughout the 16 chapters locales become more diverse placing Blazcowicz’s in an assortment of deadly scenarios. Corridors feel tight and deadly while shootouts in the open allow for varied exploration aiding in gaining the advantage on the enemy.
The combat here isn’t new yet once you equip Blazcowicz’s with those duel-wielding semi-auto shotty’s and quickly begin dismantling enemy Nazi’s, relieving them of their extremities never gets old. The gunplay here is pure satisfaction! The weapon selection for The New Order is well suited for the aggressive journey. Players are given the freedom to express themselves by approaching the game from a stealth-like approach or guns blazing. Starting out or 14 years earlier and the weapons used are on par with your typical WW based shooter with the added use of detachable turret weapons. Moving to 1960 and Germany’s technological advances have tipped the scales with formidable weaponry which you make great use of.
It is quite clear The New Order is made to be fun and not necessarily difficult unless you desire bathing in bullets on the more than adequately suffocating settings. Each level is almost littered with health packs, armor, grenades, ammo and documents and harder to find treasures. Yet the enemy is not going to be appreciated due to their superior AI. In fact, the enemy AI is certainly not one of the games strong suits. Regardless, based on the style of play, the lack of superior AI is forgivable based on the sheer level of fun experienced through punishing gunlay.
Not to be outdone by the action leaping off the screen, Machinegames goes the extra mile by adding personal touches while progressing. Anya eventually begins her communication process with you keeping your mind as best she can balanced by reading a more than interesting diary inserts adding depth to affair. You’ve also missed the events that instigated the last 14 years so bringing you up to speed on this new reality, newspaper clippings expressing world conflicts and current events are found on walls and desks throughout.
In The New Order players will face off against challenging mini-boss battles eventually forced to use strategy in order to take out mechanical monstrosities of all sizes. At the heart of your conflict, the brilliant mad scientist Deathshead’s diabolical plot must come to an end.
Machinegames vision of the Nazi war machine alternate reality of supreme rule is a scary one. Wolfenstein: The New Order makes a strong case for being one of the best shooter campaigns in recent years. Again, this is largely supported by the glaring attention to detail express by the games more than interesting narrative and character expression brought to light from both sides of the warring factions.
Wolfenstein: The New Order as mentioned before is more than commonplace for shooter fans with the addition of meaningful and well-portrayed characters giving the ride more of an emotional tug. The bad guys we love to hate for most of the experience are at the top of the food chain and you’re constantly reminded of it every step of the way.