The new Wolfenstein stays true to its single player roots and marks a glorious return for a 30+ year old franchise. We played the PS4 version of the game – read on to find out why this is a must-have if you’re a fan of first person shooters.
The original Wolfenstein wasn’t the early 90s version that many regard as the first 3D shooter, it was 2D game that actually favored stealth over run and gun gameplay. This all changed with 1992’s Wolfenstein 3D, which was all about a lone soldier taking on hordes and hordes of Nazi soldiers. Unlike the Doom franchise, Wolfenstein’s early success was largely based around its single player mode, and Wolfenstein: The New Order goes back to that formula in a big way. As Call of Duty and Battlefield both emphasise multiplayer modes more and more (making the single player campaign a relatively short experience), Wolfenstein is a breath of fresh air for fans of solo gameplay.
Wolfenstein: The New Order takes place in an alternative version of history where hero B.J. Blazkowicz finds himself awoken from a coma after 14 years to find that the Nazi reich is in control of the world in the early sixties. Not letting the effects of a 14 year coma keep him back, Blazkowicz sets out to restore order and take on the Nazi powers once more. The fact that quite a bit of time has passed results in an interesting gameplay world in which technological advanced have brought not only new weaponry and robotics, it has also extended the Nazi reach to places like the moon.
Over the course of the game’s 10 hour campaign (not including side quests and collectibles), you’ll find many interesting little bits and pieces, ranging from Germanified pop classics playing from your speakers to choices in the gameplay path you’ll be able take. This adds to the game’s replay value, but this type of game typically doesn’t justify jumping right back in for a second playthrough. Wolfenstein is no exception to that rule, but we’ll gladly go back in a few months – perhaps if and when developer Machine Games releases additional DLC content.
The production values for The New Order are extremely high throughout, with extraordinary amounts of detail that can be seen in the scenery, scripting, voice acting and animation. It’s all powered by the id Tech 5 engine that we previously saw in Rage and which we’ll hopefully see again quite soon if Doom 4 emerges from the dark. It may have been criticized for technical issues, but it can do wonderful things while in the right hands. The real star of the show, however, is Wolfenstein’s gameplay. Machine Games has taken the familiar Wolfenstein setting, tweaked it into an alternate history version of what we’re familiar with, and has refined the core gameplay in ways we haven’t seen before in a Wolfenstein title.
Sure, there are plenty of guns, lots of explosive action and a good amount of dual wielding, but there are subtle changes that make all the difference and add new depth to the experience. You can still go head-first into battle and shoot everything that moves, but the game offers you countless chances to take a more stealthy approach – essentially blending 30 years of Wolfenstein games into one. You’ll move from suspense to adrenaline in a matter of seconds when you’re discovered – only stopping for a breath after the next firefight is over. Wolfenstein manages to keep this up during the entire length of the campaign, which had us hoping for more as soon as it ended.
This is a game that deserves to do very well. As fans of single player shooters we can’t do anything but fully recommend Wolfenstein: The New Order. If online multiplayer is your thing then you may want to look elsewhere, but fans of single player shooter campaigns shouldn’t hesitate in picking this up.