Wolfenstein, an historic franchise for gaming, first arriving on the Apple II in 1981 likely before most of you, myself included, were born. It was a 2D adventure game where the focus was largely on stealth and resource management, bullets were scarce and nonviolent options were the preferred path. Then in 1992 Wolfenstein 3D set the FPS standard and established many of tropes we still see today.
After playing a two hour demo of the game it looks like Wolfenstein: The New Order is going to set a new standard again. It’s hard to really place what is so appealing about Wolfenstein. The game looks fantastic, the controls are easy and intuitive and the story is well acted. There’s something else though, the way you run around a corner, throw a knife at a Nazi’s head, pick up two assault rifles and mow down a bunch of Nazi robots that makes Wolfenstein feel so fresh.
While that is all fun and exciting, the real draw of Wolfenstein: The New Order is the engaging story and the way it draws you in. Protagonist William “B.J.” Blazkowicz has to face down some cringe-worthy decisions, which look to have consequence on both how the game progresses and which skills you can use.
Wolfenstein: The New Order is a deep game, but what I appreciated most about it was that it wasn’t overly involved. It seems most games these days like to throw random RPG elements at every game, skill trees etc. Wolfenstein has found a great balance, skills level up based on how you play, if you dual wield a lot, that gets better, it’s not in your face, but it lets you know that your character is growing.
The level design is outstanding too. There are lots of choices in terms of how to approach a level. You can go guns blazing, tearing through everybody, though in a proper nod to Wolfenstein’s origins, ammo isn’t exactly everywhere and you will get shot the F up. You can sneak around, stealthily gutting any Nazi you come across, which proves to be a ton of fun, but your skill will be tested.
Long story short Wolfenstein: The New Order is a fun, perfectly balanced, exciting, and brutal FPS that is sure to be a standard for years to come.
Wolfenstein comes out May 20th, on the PlayStation 4 and 3, Xbox One and 360, and PC. Let us know what you think in the comments.