Wolfenstein: The New Order brings back the killin’ Nazi business (review)

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Wolfenstein is one of the video game properties that helped shape first-person shooters today, and it’s been many years since we’ve last seen a Wolfenstein game. With the newly-released Wolfenstein: The New Order being developer MachineGames’ first title, I can’t say I was looking forward to playing the game. (Duke Nukem was another pioneer for FPS games, but it had a mediocre comeback with Duke Nukem Forever.) Does the game live up to the Wolfenstein name, or should gamers toss the game into the furnace?

The premise is pretty simple. You play an American soldier who fought in World War II. The twist is that in this world, the Nazis win. After being a vegetable for decades after a rough encounter with the Nazis, you finally snap out of it as the mental hospital you’re in gets attacked. With vengeance on your mind, you’ll be teaming up with the resistance to help rid the world of the Nazi regime.

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Pro Reactions

Killing Nazis – Remember when the FPS market was flooded with World War II games? Now we get to go back to killing Nazis again. Well, this isn’t a World War II game, but you do get to kill all types of Nazis including Nazi dogs, Nazi soldiers, Nazi scientists, and even Nazi supersoldiers.

Gameplay – The game is very well polished. Movement is fluid and aiming is a piece of cake. Each enemy you mow down has that satisfying feeling of, “Yeah, I just killed that bastard, and I like it.” Although the game doesn’t do much in terms of bringing something new to the table, it does things well while adding some spice into the mix.

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Locations – Unlike a lot of FPS games out there, this one really takes advantage of different locales. You’ll get to travel into space, go underwater, and ride on a train. Some might think the game is going all over the place, but it kept me entertained.

Graphics – This is one of the most impressive new-gen games I’ve seen so far (I played the PS4 version). From the smoke to the lighting, the atmosphere really helps with the mood. The face models also look good, especially the eyes (I don’t think I’ve ever been impressed with the detail of video game eyes before). Add to that a plethora of Nazis soldiers filling up the screen and some interesting Nazi buildings, it’s something you can show off to your gaming buddies.

Romance – The romance between the hero, William “B.J.” Blazkowicz, and Anya is one of the more interesting romances in video game history. There’s also sex involved, and it’s added in a non-ogling way. There’s also a sex scene included that shows you that humanity can still exist in times of darkness.

Stealth – I’m a fan of stealt, so to have a Wolfenstein game feature stealth is a plus for me. If you’ve played the recent Far Cry 3, then you’ll get the idea. Also, the game doesn’t force you to use stealth, so you can shoot at everything like a typical FPS if you want to.

Homage – When you’re at the resistance headquarter, you’ll have an option to sleep. Sleeping will increase your health bar and sometimes advance a subplot. If you explore some more, you’ll find another bed where sleeping will give you a nightmare. This nightmare will suck you into the world of the classic PC game, Wolfenstein 3D, in 1992.

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Con Reactions

Identity – Since the game takes you to many locations, sometimes the identity of the game can go all over the place.

Getting Caught – One of the main things that a stealth game needs is a way to see around corners without getting caught. Other games have solved this problem via tagging enemies or showing enemies on the map. With The New Order, you will have to duck and peek out, hoping that the Nazis aren’t going to see you.

Final Reaction

I was pleasantly surprised by this game and can’t really say a lot of bad things about it. Sure it can go all over the place, but the game still delivers on the action and fun. Wolfenstein: The New Order adds a fresh take on the all-too familiar World War II genre. With a solid gameplay and sweet visuals, this game is definitely worth checking out for fans of Wolfenstein and FPS fans in general.

Rating: 4/5 Atoms

NR 4 Atoms - B

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