Wolfenstein: The New Order positions you in the action as B.J. Blazkowicz, an American war hero who wakes in 1960, after a 14-year coma, realising that the Nazis have taken over the world, since World War II didn’t go to plan at all. In addition to that, their technology is far more advanced than you’d expect, so early on, they’ve even got drones hunting after you… unless the governments of the world had that already at the time and just didn’t tell us.
Somehow – and violently, you’ve got to sort the Nazis out, and ultimately take down General Deathshead.
Preceeding the Doom series, Wolfenstein 3D was the first first-person-shooter I played and it transformed the way I thought about gaming. Doom followed the next year, and soon after, Doom II, which required me to upgrade my measly 386sx16 PC to a whopping 486dx66! Wow! They don’t build ’em like that nowadays! Naturally, Quake followed and the graphics got better while the monsters got bigger.
Wolfenstein: The New Order – Example gameplay footage No.1 (1080p HD)
Like Lt. Aldo Raine, in Inglorious Basterds, you’re in the Nazi-killin’ business and, cousin, business is a boomin’!
It’s not particularly easy to get into, as initially it’s not a straight forward first person shooter. You have to press this and do that, as instructed, and then go on to shoot robot dogs from a plane turret…. WTF?! Why can’t I just get my rifle and start killin’ Nazis?
When it comes to the spoils from a kill, it’d be a lot easier if I could just collect items on the floor by walking over them. I’m using a keyboard and mouse, and I have to take my hand off the arrow keys to press ‘E’ to pick up… although before too long I added ‘delete’ as an option, so I could keep walking as I go. Since I’m not massively used to using a keyboard for games, I get in a bit of a kerfuffle when selecting a different weapon, for example.
Also, there was a moment when I had to shoot some Nazi’s feet through a low slit in a door. However, this required me to hold down the left ALT and the down arrow while firing. It basically needs three hands. Well, until I hit upon the idea of putting my weighty phone down on the left ALT key. It just about worked, but it’s still madness.
Wolfenstein: The New Order is a fairly linear title, but that’s not a particular issue, since first-person shooters like this are primarily about getting from A to B without any confusion.
Go to page 2 for more thoughts on the game.
Wolfenstein: The New Order – Example gameplay footage No.2 (1080p HD)
There are glorious, and smooth, graphics running fast in id Software’s id Tech 5 engine, and in 1920×1080 on my PC (although when I captured the footage, the game was accidentally set to 1650xsomething, hence the border), while the sound explodes nicely – although I was on a PC so only got Dolby Pro Logic surround sound.
The weird thing about this game is that while it’s not terrible, it’s also not brilliant, and thus it falls right down the middle. It’s just very… meh. It’s the kind of game I lapped up, up until the release of Quake II (no.3 didn’t work for me as it was multiplayer only), and just couldn’t get enough off, but now, while it’s okay, it just feels a bit dated.
In addition, it’s extremely difficult. Just to give myself a decent chance of getting through the levels to see what there is to see, I had to put it on the easiest setting. I started off on the middle one and kept getting wiped out, to the point where it was just becoming annoying.
Wolfenstein is exactly what we would’ve demanded back in the day. Maybe tastes have changed over the years, as we demand more from games, especially with the scope of some titles like Grand Theft Auto V and The Last Of Us.
And given the time period, it’s a bit like Harrison Ford returning to the Indiana Jones series. You’re intrigued to see what the end result will be, but overall, you’re left feeling quite disatisfied.
In this review, you’ll see some example gaming footage from the first level. I would’ve tried to record whole levels, but the experience was quite bitty and I kept dying all the time.
Wolfenstein: The New Order – E3 trailer
- Publisher: Ubisoft
- Players: single player: 1; multiplayer: n/a
- HDTV options: various resolutions up to 1920×1080
- Dolby Digital 5.1 sound: No
- Subtitles in English
Directors: Jerk Gustafsson and Jens Matthies
Writers: Jerk Gustafsson, Tom Keegan, Jens Matthies, Tommy Tordsson and Andreas Öjerfors
Music: Mick Gordon and Fredrik Thordendal
William ‘B. J.’ Blazkowicz: Brian Bloom
J: Leith M Burke
Bobby Bram: Ian Paul Cassidy
Bitzy: Liza de Weerd
Krzysytof Oliwa: Jack Dimich
Wilhelm ‘Deathshead’ Strasse: Kaspar Eichel
Fergus Reid: Gideon Emery
Frau Engel: Nina Franoszek
Caroline Becker: Bonita Friedericy
Bombate: Eric LaRay Harvey
Set Roth: Mark Ivanir
Blondie: Chris Jarvis
Roza Oliwa: Aleksandra Kaniak
Klaus Kreutz: Ken Lally
Hans Winkle / Bubi: Thomas Mikusz
Keller: Heiko Obermöller
Olenka Targonski: Nina Polan
Gates: Carlos Pratts
Captain Krieger: Thure Riefenstein
Roman Targonski: Paul Savior
Wilhelm ‘Deathshead’ Strasse: Dwight Schultz
Demonic Voice: André Sogliuzzo
Max Hass: Alex Solowitz
Tekla: Carla Tassara
Probst Wyatt III: AJ Trauth
Private Prendergast: Nicholas Tucci
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.
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