It has been years since we have had a new Wolfenstein game. The question was, how well did the game age, and of course, was it any good. Rest assure, MachineGames developed an amazing game. Unfortunately there are some things that I was not very impressed with or found annoying. Let’s take a look at what Wolfenstein: The New Order has to offer us.
The premise of the story is that it set in 1960 and the Nazi have won World War II. Everything has been turned upside down. You play as B.J. Blazkowicz, a burly American who is set to go against the Nazi army and deliver a counter attack. The fight takes you through the land, water, air and even on the moon.
The game starts you off in frantic pace and never really lets you go from there on out. Yes, there are some slower spots but it quickly speeds back up and throws you in the action. There isn’t much time for a breather in here. A few quick breaths to calm your nerves and you are right back into the fight. The pace of the game as you can imagine is quick. It starts out really easy, even on Uber difficulty, but at about half way through, the difficulty starts to ramp up and gets much tougher towards the end of the game.
The game play, as quickly noted above, is fantastic. It’s fluid and precise. Not once on my two playthroughs did I feel like I was fighting the controls or constantly trying to get my character to do something. Everything was well polished and with pin point control. The graphics where very well done. The character models where polished and look great even up close. The environments where done excellent with no popins or draw distance. There was a few things I didn’t like about the graphics and the game play. Those will be gone over a little later on.
There are a few things this game does extremely well. The FPS mechanics are some of the best I have played in quite some time. The pure accuracy of when your sights turn red and actually hitting that target is satisfying. I have many times used this to my advantage while in combat. You will miss that mark once in a while but the majority of the time your bullet will find its mark. Another thing that it did well was ammo supply. There are no “stores” or “vending machines” that you can buy ammo from. In fact, there is no money system at all in this game. Your ammo comes from the enemies that you killed. Even on Uber difficulty I didn’t feel pressured to save my ammo as the fear of running out. There are so many Nazis to kill you can just fire at will, just don’t go guns a blazing and you’ll be fine. Another thing the game does really well is how you take cover. You can squat down behind a chunk of concrete and learn out from the side to get a clear view of the area in front of you. Not only can you lean out but you can do it from about any angle. With some slight movement of the joystick you can peek up and over the wall, around the side or even lay on the ground and shoot under a door. There is also a form of stealth built in the gameplay. In some instances you can sneak up behind an unassuming enemy and take them out by throwing a knife or by slitting their throat.
Each gun in the game has the normal abilities as well as an add-on ability. For an example, the Pistol add-on ability is a silencer for stealth kills, the Machine Gun has a rocket launcher and the Sniper Rifle uses an energy ability that has to be charged after so many uses. There are other types of guns in the game that you can use as well. One of the main ones I used in close combat is the Shotgun. Later on in the story you get the ability to have it turn into an automatic Shotgun which can take out multiple enemies in rapid secession. One of the unique guns in the game is called the Laserkraftwerk. This serves two purposes in the game. One you absolutely need and the other is a great addition to your arsenal. What this gun does is fire energy blasts at your enemy to help quickly get through their armour and when even used enough will disintegrate them. The one feature that you will need is the laser cutting ability. This allows you to cut through fencing and thin metal walls. This is essential to open some boxes for ammo, armour and health. Plus it is used to help to find your way through some levels.
While the game does a lot of great things, there are a few things that I didn’t like about it. The one that annoyed me the most was the weapon wheel. When you pulled it up you had to use the joystick to move the marker around to select which weapon you want. For example, on many times I would have it on the Sniper Rifle only to let go and the marker would jump to the Shotgun. This became quite annoying especially when you are in the middle of combat. When you pull up the weapon wheel the action doesn’t pause like it does in a lot of other games. You are still being shot at and can die at the same time. So selecting the weapon that you want quickly got very frustrating. Another one was some of the graphical images laid out in the map. This is a little nitpicking on my part. There was a few items on the ground, such as pens, cans and some small rocks there were flat in design. Maybe the purpose of this was so your character wouldn’t get caught on them from the very accurate hit detection as you sneak around corners and so forth. It just seemed like a lazy way to do things. One other thing that I found was some of the muddy looking textures in the environments. It seemed that if MachineGames was given a little bit more time to polish things up everything would have been great. This game was on many different platforms and generation of consoles. I’m just going to chalk it up to them porting it over so many times they didn’t have time to look at every little bit of detail.
There was one section of the game that just didn’t seem to fit in the entire atmosphere around you. That was the Moon level. It felt like it was thrown in there to add some game play length to the experience. This isn’t saying it was a bad level, not at all. It just didn’t feel right going there, especially since there is so much that could have happened back in your world. Every other level blended together just fine. This section just stuck out at me and could have been used for some DLC to expand the story. Not being a part of it.
Over all, Wolfenstein: The New Order, is an amazing experience to be had. The gun mechanics alone are worth the time to invest in this game. The story, especially for being an FPS, is quite good. The dialog is great as each character plays off the other, or the surrounding supporting characters. There are some great memorable scenes in here as well. If given the chance to pick this game up I would highly suggest it. Even at the full price it is well worth the trip. This game comes highly recommended.