By Jesse Henney
I have fond memories of the earlier Wolfenstein video games, as I am sure many of you would too. It would be hard to argue that the Wolfenstein franchise, especially the 3D version released in 1992, didn’t help popularise the first-person shooter genre. In fact, I would say that Wolfenstein is the granddaddy of the first-person shooter. Let’s be honest though; a narrative-focused, single-player-only, first-person shooter is a bit of a rarity these days. Particularly due to the fact that multiplayer games tend to dominate this genre.
Wolfenstein: The New Order proves that you can teach an old dog a new trick, and I can without hesitation testify to the fact that Machine Games, the developer, has truly done a fantastic job in combining both old and new shooter mechanics to bring it into the current world of gaming. In my opinion, it boils down to a great story line, competent mechanics and good old-fashioned gameplay that is both challenging and fun.
The “what if” storyline puts you in the shoes of protagonist BJ Blazkowicz who in a post-World War 2 era, where the Nazis have defeated the allies and now run the world, is required to take revenge and kill as many of the enemy as possible. Sounds pretty basic right? Not quite. The truth is that the story clashes in tone with the rest of the game. On one hand you have a violent shooter with more brawn than brains, and on the other you have a narrative focused on the real atrocities of war and how people are affected by it. It feels a bit like I am partaking in a war re-enactment of sorts, which I would imagine is both great fun and sobering at the same time. If you are looking for a well-balanced game with human characters, great gameplay and excellent story telling then look no further.
Available platforms: Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PC
Watch the Wolfenstein: The New Order gameplay trailer: