How Wolfenstein: The New Order will change your preconceptions
by Robert Workman, shacknews.com, May 8, 2014 2:00PM PDT
B.J. Blaskowicz will make his return this month in Wolfenstein: The New Order. Although many may have brushed the game off last year as just another mindless shooter, the game has come a long way. The hands-on demo shown at PAX East was impressive enough for doubters to reconsider their position on Wolfenstein.
At its heart, Wolfenstein has always been about straightforward, gory, and fast action. Wolfenstein 3D birthed the first-person shooter genre and put Id Software on the map. Players take the role of B.J. Blaskowicz, who launches a one-man battle against an army of Nazis. There were some efforts to bring the series back into the spotlight, including a supernaturally themed game developed by Raven Software and published by Activision in 2009. However, none managed to make Wolfenstein relevant again.
With so many shooters out now, The New Order has to really shake things up. Here are a few things that might surprise you about the new Wolfenstein…
No Multiplayer Needed
One major component that will be missing from The New Order is multiplayer. The game will revolve around the campaign instead of throwing in arbitrary deathmatch action, which might not add much to the experience.
Although multiplayer is a huge staple in many games, it's not necessary if there's an engrossing single player story. Last year's stunning Bioshock Infinite proved that. With the right amount of focus, The New Order should do just fine without it.
Co-op is out of the question too. This is Blaskowicz's war. He has a huge score to settle with the Nazis, and he doesn't believe in backup. A forced co-op experience would work against the game by muddling up the story. A gritty single-player experience is just what the doctor ordered, and it's a throwback to the original game.
Forget About Downtime
The opening for Wolfenstein could hardly be any more epic. You start out by flying a bomber and blasting a barrage of enemy planes out of the sky. This segment works perfectly, as it combines the
thrill of blasting figher planes sky with a dizzying sense of dread as your plane crumbles to pieces. It's a visceral but short segment that sets up the game's tone.
Soon, you're ripping turrets off their mounts and mowing down enemies. Then you're and scaling the outside of a prison wall while soldiers pop out from windows to shoot at you. It sounds like a lot to take in, but this is still the early part of the game.
Instead of fighting against waves of brainless Nazi zombies, these enemies are unpredictable. Soldiers come at you from all directions, and then you'll also have to contend with robotic terrors. Cyber dogs are out to rip your throat out, while huge, stomping mechs are similarly trying to turn you into a bloody pile of dogfood. Blaskowicz has his work cut out for him.
Although you'll still be trying to find your way around a castle, you won't be spending a lot of time lost inside a maze.
Ammo and Health Conservation
Like the classic Wolfenstein of old, you'll need to keep a watchful eye on your health and armor. You'll need every ounce that you can find, which ups the game's challenge and intensity. Players will have to decide whether stealth, or charging in gung-ho style, is the best approach. A wrong move could result in a swift, bloody, death.
Likewise, bullets shouldn't be wasted either. You'll be getting your hands on some mean firepower, but you'll need to watch how often you use it. Soldiers carry spare ammunition, while turrets and other weapons can be found throughout. But you'll occasionally need to get by with nothing but your wits and a knife.
Wolfenstein: The New Order might not be everyone's cup o' Joe, but it's poised to be much more than a mindless old shooter. This could be the game that brings the Wolfenstein name back as a must-play game.
Players will get a chance to lay waste to the Nazi regime on May 20th on the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PC.