Courtesy of Ign.com

Courtesy of Ign.com

By Andrew Street
The classic first person shooter titled “Wolfenstein”, has seen it’s fair share of iterations over its life, which spans over twenty years. The series focuses on an alternate history where the Nazi party has not only won the war; but taken over the world in the process. The new entry, Wolfenstein: The New Order, follows the 2009 game Wolfenstein, and its predecessor Return to Castle Wolfenstein. The New Order manages to bring a breath of fresh air to the series.

Players are thrust into WWII as American Captain B.J Blazkowicz. As a brooding, heart-warming, master of armswho has enough depth and development, the character  will keep you interested through the game’s entirety. He and his fellow mates attempt to fend off Nazis, who seem to have developed robotic weaponry. After a lengthy introduction, you find Captain Blazkowicz has been in a vegetative state for 14 years. During that time, the Nazis have taken control of the world and brought The Third Reich to absolute power. When Blazkowicz regains control of his body, he is left in awe at what the world has become. The drive to stop the Nazi’s once and for all, and protect the women who cared for him become the driving motives behind the Nazi bashing journey.

The fascist world in The New Order is bleak, scary, and filled with despair. You gain a sense of how horrid things have become for anyone unfit for the standards of the Aryan race. The game takes on realistic topics in regards to what the Nazis have done. Boldly showing death camps, tortures, and even hinting at what occurs to the mentally handicapped, alladd up to the realism of the game. These bits of realistic details blend well with the alternative history. The robots and advanced weapons are interesting, especially considering the Nazis actually attempted to achieve super weapons.

The gameplay is not revolutionary, by any sense. Little is done to make Wolfenstein stand out from the vast number of shooters. The mechanics will be second nature to anyone familiar with modern first-person shooters. It is still extremely enjoyable to dual-wield weapons, and bring brute force to those that oppose you. However, the lack of a wide range of weapons and groundbreaking gun-play left me feeling like something was missing.

Some sections of the game provide the option to go in guns blazing or take the stealth approach. Stealth play made things interesting, allowing something different rather than the constant run and gun action. The mechanics are simple, and even on harder difficulties the game is forgiving with how easily you are spotted by AI. Though I did find emptying a room of Nazi guards undetected, rather enjoyable. This is all combined with a simplistic, yet useful, “skill tree” you unlock as you fight. Though there is one mechanic that becomes quite jarring. Picking up armor, ammo, and health is not done automatically,instead you must press a button to pick up each individual item, which becomes tedious, rather quickly. There is also much to be found in the areas you explore, for example, pieces of gold, secret codexes, and letters are hidden to add exploration.

Perhaps the most surprising element of Wolfenstein: The New Order is the well-written story. Unlike previous Wolfenstein titles, the main plot of The New Order has depth, something I did not expect going in. While over the top, the story remains interesting and easy to follow. Scattered newspaper clippings also adds backstory which provides an insight into what has occurred since the rise of Fascism.

Courtesy of Gameskinny.com

Courtesy of Gameskinny.com

Although the story is well-written, the characters are really what brings the story to life. Blazkowicz is deep and shows different emotions. Instead of receiving a mindless brute, we get someone with emotions and a personality. The love interest, Anya, and the entire resistance crew all add a special touch to the game as well. Each member gains enough development to allow you to know and understand them. Cutscenes bring them to life with stunning detail, including well-written dialogues, and great voice performances. I grew a liking to almost every character, finding that they pulled on my heartstrings more than just once.