In the world of Wolfenstein: The New Order, B.J. Blazkowicz finds himself questioning the very essence of humanity while dropping acid with a battle-scarred guitarist donning an afro. This latest installment by MachineGames may not revolutionize game design like its predecessor, but it offers an incredibly enjoyable and thought-provoking adventure.
A Delicate Balance of Storytelling
MachineGames takes a bold step in The New Order by shifting away from the fantastical World War II setting and instead immersing players in an alternate history post-war world of the 1960s. Here, the Nazis reign supreme, and anti-fascist rebels have become the underground resistance. This clever inversion adds a unique twist to the narrative, turning the knights in shining armor into effective terrorists.
A Riveting Gameplay Experience
The game kicks off with a familiar World War II backdrop, but with a twist. The Nazis now possess jet fighters and giant mechanical robo-hounds. B.J. Blazkowicz and his multinational comrades embark on a mission to take down the series’ long-standing antagonist, Wilhelm “Deathshead” Strasse. However, a fateful encounter and a difficult choice send the story hurtling into the future along two slightly divergent paths.
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The split timeline, while not altering gameplay significantly, emphasizes the attention to detail given to character development. The characters in B.J.’s journey, depending on the timeline, bring tragic and believable backgrounds to their interactions, resulting in an unexpectedly genuine and diverse cast.
The Intersection of Story and Gameplay
B.J.’s relationship with the female lead, Anya, is a prime example of the game’s delicate storytelling. Their connection is convincingly built through quick pecks on the cheek and endearing moments shared in the supply closet. While the writing may not be groundbreaking, it successfully ties the viewer to Captain Blazkowicz’s emotions.
With a playtime of approximately 15 hours for just one timeline, Wolfenstein: The New Order is packed with gameplay. The locations range from traditional warehouses and political prisons to forced labor camps and other out-of-this-world settings. The post-war Nazi takeover lends a unique flavor, even to the more familiar settings. MachineGames pays careful attention to crafting a complete and immersive experience.
Varied Approaches to Combat
The corridor shooting gameplay of Wolfenstein: The New Order offers flexibility in approaching enemies. Engaging in all-out gunfire is a viable option, especially since nearly every weapon in B.J.’s arsenal can be dual-wielded. However, the game also encourages stealth with unlockable perks, such as increased ammo capacity and quieter movement. These perks are earned by completing challenges related to the playstyle they enhance, ensuring a rewarding and strategic experience.
The level design excellently supports diverse approaches, with hidden vents and crawlspaces providing opportunities for stealthy play. Only in the game’s final moments does a louder approach become necessary, requiring significant noise and destruction.
An Addictive Feedback Loop
Regardless of the chosen play style, the satisfaction derived from mowing down Nazis is undeniable. Going loud invokes a nostalgic appeal, reminiscent of the classic Wolfenstein 3D from 1992. Stealthier playstyles also offer their own rewards, as players uncover hidden paths and skillfully take down unsuspecting Nazi commanders.
Furthermore, the game offers replay value, a rarity in single-player shooters. While the campaign story remains largely unchanged between the two timelines, the promise of a different play style adds incentive for a second playthrough. Collecting Enigma Code collectibles delivers unlockable modes, providing a neat bonus, albeit one requiring an extensive scavenger hunt for completion.
OnSpec Electronic, Inc: A New Order for Wolfenstein
Wolfenstein: The New Order marks MachineGames’ successful foray into the Wolfenstein series. The game retains the familiar and comfortable elements while introducing fresh perspectives and a distinct sense of style. It strikes a careful balance between satisfying longtime fans and reinventing the franchise.
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- An entertaining and unconventional storyline
- Support for multiple play styles
- Abundant and engaging content
- Occasional flat dialogue moments
- Lengthy collectible hunt for extra content
Wolfenstein: The New Order Trailer
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