Gaming Reviews

Published on June 23rd, 2014 | by gareth


Wolfenstein: The New Order

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Although I’m undoubtedly dating myself by admitting this, I can finally remember playing Castle Wolfenstein and Return to Castle Wolfenstein in the 80s on an Apple IIe computer. Highly innovative for its time the game helped spawn the rise of the first-person shooter when it reemerged in the 90s and has had successful returns approximately every few years since. Machine Games working with the Id Tech 5 engine via Bethesda/Zenimax has given gamers a very graphically impressive new entry into the series called Wolfenstein: The New Order.
Once again playing as BJ Blazkowicz, players will take on the darkest forces that the Nazi’s can unleash and in a very interesting new twist, the game starts in World War II and then ventures to 1960 where BJ is recovering from an injury and awakens from a coma to a world where the Nazis have unleashed atomic weapons on the United States and have won the war.
BJ must gather up his strength and locate the few remaining resistance fighters left alive to mount a counter attack to save the day. While this sounds simple enough, it is anything but as the legions of adversaries in your way are daunting and challenging.

Not only are there the standard Nazi goons, but there are mechanized units that are clad in armor and do huge amounts of damage with their weapons as well as plenty of nasty characters along the way for you to deal with.

Thankfully to go with your hate of the Nazis you have an impressive arsenal including knives, pistols, shotguns, machine guns, energy weapons, Tesla grenades, and a sniper rifle, many of which can be dual wielded to get that extra ounce of carnage.

There are also gun emplacements which can be manned to mow down the hordes or can be detached to serve as a heavy hitter even though your mobility is greatly reduced.
The game is very hardcore in its content as sex, language, and graphic violence are the norm but when you consider locales ranging from concentration camps to battlefield strongholds are the norm, this is not a tea and cookies type of game.

There is plenty to like about the game from the great looking graphics to the characters and storyline and I really enjoyed the moon level of the game complete with my space suit and walk in reduced gravity with muffled sound.

That being said, there are a few things that became frustrating to me from time to time. First off, the game does have a few timed jumps and puzzles including one early in the game. Playing on a PC, it was a pain to set the keys the way that was best to do said jumps yet maintain the settings I wanted for the rest of the game.

If I wanted timed jumps to and from platforms, I would fire up the Wii U and load up something in the Donkey Kong or Mario line, as in a game of this type, want the action to flow without having to make a leap in order to advance the story.

I could also see the influence of Call of Duty on games of this type as there were the levels of wave after wave coming at you as well as the stealth missions and checkpoint save system. All of which have become all too standard in this era of consoles. I miss the day when I could save my progress at any point in a game.

This would have been nice as the game does have some very tough challenges but thankfully players can adjust their skill level as they go so if they become overly frustrated they can lower the difficulty and play on.

The game has a great energy weapon with a dual use cutting tool which allowed me to cut through vents and chains, and the use of metal scraps to increase your armor was a nice throwback to the earlier games in the series.

I really admired how the designers took the best parts of the series yet improved the graphics and told a story that was darker and more engaging than ever before.

The game does not have a multiplay feature which is a disappointment as I had hoped to get online with the amazing maps and weapons of the game, but who knows what the future will hold.
With over 20 hours of gameplay, there is much that I liked about the game and upon completion I was able to overlook many of the frustrations I had in game.

The ending is open to interpretations so who knows what the future of the series will be, but I think that we have not seen the last of the series, and I look forward to more in a few years.
4 stars out of 5.

About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”.He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show.He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.

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