Wolfenstein is one of those classic franchises that brings to mind, certainly for the slightly older gamer, our youth. For the developers, as we were told in a private press screening at E3, it was the reason many of them went into video game development.
Wolfenstein: The New Order harkens back to Wolfenstein 3D, assuming the role of protagonist BJ Blazkowicz, in an alternate history where the Nazi’s won World War 2 using a mysterious technology. BJ is still the action hero originally envisioned by the first Wolfenstein game, but he is recontextualised in a whole new way this time around.
The game is set in Europe, and you and a new character, Anja, must go undercover to infiltrate the Nazi strongholds. While the game is as always, filled with action as you blast your way through Nazi’s left, right and centre, there are also some atypical emotional and romantic moments, making the protagonist just slightly more human at the same time.
The first level we’re shown in this private screening has us engaging a rather psycho (to use the developer’s words!) Frauline and her boy toy Bubi. You’re subjected to a series of racial tests in order to detect if you have “impure” blood, and the tension of this encounter is counteracted only by the emotional response and engagement with Anja following it.
As always this is an FPS game, and the fun, typically aggressive nature of the Wolfenstein series is summed up by the character referring to the “Nazi F****n’ Spacemen”. The humorous narration is balanced by some excellent first person gunplay, with seamless switching between a variety of quite awesome looking and powerful weapons. Visually it also impresses, with gorgeous high resolution textures and suitably cool explosions.
You can also get your gangsta on by looking out from behind the weapons from multiple directions, giving the distinct impression of badassness.
Maybe it’s just me, but my only criticism would be that the AI didn’t seem particularly bright, however having seen such a limited amount of gameplay, I can’t attest to whether or not this is just a first impression or an actual flaw in the gameplay itself.
On the whole Wolfenstein: The New Order looks pretty darn awesome. It’s out on PS4, PS3, PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One by the end of 2013.