Wolfenstein: The New Order is a first-person shooter developed by MachineGames and published by Bethesda Softworks. Set in alternative history 1960s Europe in a world where the Nazis won the Second World War, the single-player story follows William “B.J.” Blazkowicz and his efforts to stop the Nazis rule over the world. Blazkowicz is tasked with launching a counter-offensive against the Nazi forces, subsequently becoming entangled in other dilemmas caused by their victory.
Going into the game, I was expecting a mediocre shooter with your typical war shooter story. I’m glad that wasn’t the case. Wolfenstein: The New Order was a surprisingly spectacular shooter with great level design and a well-written story. The shooting gameplay is fun, and there is variety of stealth elements as well. The game does start off slowly as it takes quite a while to get a gun in your hand, but once that happens, the game is blast from there. The gameplay never felt repetitive. I enjoyed the variety of the levels, at one moment I was tearing through Nazis in Berlin, then another level I was infiltrating a prison. I also enjoyed the levels where you are back at your home base, and you are retrieving items and exploring while preparing for the next objective.
One of my favorite parts about the gameplay is the looting. Most shooters have you automatically pick up ammo, but The New Order has somewhat of an old school feel, where you loot ammo, health, and different weapons. It adds some exploration and there is plenty to loot, so you won’t have to worry about running low on ammo or health. The game’s skill progression system is also nicely done. It isn’t based on leveling up or spending skill points, but rather have you unlock skills by completing tasks like getting a certain ammount of headshots or getting three kills while sliding. Whether you are running and gunning or slitting throats with your knife, the gameplay is fun and one of the strong points of the game. There is also plenty to collect like gold, Enigma codes, and letters. If you are completionist, the game’s collectibles will have you satisfied. There are some negatives though. The AI may be lacking and inconsistent at times, making combat much easier and unchallenging, and dual-wielding is hard to control, making for imprecise shooting, but neither of those really affect the overall game. You’re still going to have a blast in combat, and you aren’t forced to use dual-wielding.
The story of the game is enjoyable and nicely written. You play as protagonist B.J. Blazkowicz who awakens from a 14-year coma to find the world controlled by a Nazi regime. He is a well-spoken and easily relatable character. The narrative is strong and filled with memorable and surprisingly deep characters. You won’t be at the edge of your seat, but the cutscenes are enjoyable, as you’ll find yourself pulling for Blaskowicz in his journey. I found this alternate history story to be interesting and unique and overall thought the story was great.
On a technical side, Wolfenstein: The New Order looks great. Playing on the PlayStation 4, I thought the graphics were visually impressive with great character animations. The enviroments are a joy to look at, and I found myself stopping to look at my surroundings. You’ll encounter occasional texture pop-in and some poor audio that takes away from the superb voice acting, but the game still runs fine, whether in-game or in cutscenes. Overall, the graphics have that new-gen feel and are visually appealing.
There may not be any multiplayer in The New Order, but there is plenty of content for you to sink your teeth in. Most first-person shooters are all about the multiplayer, so it was breath of fresh air to play a shooter that focused on the single-player campaign. When you beat The New Order, you’ll find yourself wanting to replay the campaign to try to collect all the collectibles, and maybe even try to approach the levels differently. I found myself going back to certain levels to play it differently than I did in my first run. Whether you enjoy playing stealth or tearing through your enemies, the combat is really fun. I would even go as far as saying The New Order is one of my favorite shooters in recent years.
Usually, first-person shooters are easy to control and are fairly simple. The New Order is no different. The controls are smooth and responsive and feel great when playing. The game’s soundtrack is also good. Composed by Mick Gordon, the music matches the atmosphere of the game with acoustic guitar tracks. The music is aggressive and always matches the fast-paced gameplay. There are some moments where your adrenaline is pumping and the music is fitting, adding to the overall experience.
Overall, Wolfenstein: The New Order is a strong shooter with a great story. It may have an old-school feel, but it certainly looks the part of a modern day shooter. The game is constantly fun and never feels too repetitive. The dual-wielding is hard to control, but there are plenty of weapons to use, making the combat the strongest point of the game. The graphics are spectacular and visually beautiful and have that new-gen feel. The story is surprisingly good, it may not have you at the end of your seat, but I still enjoyed it and thought it was well written and also had relatable characters. The campaign is a solid 12 hours, with replayability and lots of collectibles. You’re going to find there is plenty to do in this game, even though it doesn’t have any multiplayer. Not many people were excited going into this game, including myself, but I was surprised how good it was. It’s definitely a game that shouldn’t be skipped.