The first computer I ever bought was a 386. It cost me $400, which was all the money I had saved from birthdays, and odd jobs. The store I bought it from loaded it up with Wolfenstein 3D. I spent hours running around mazes shooting Nazis. It was the first, first-person shooter game I had ever played, and it made me a lifetime lover of the genre.
In its newest release, "Wolfenstein: New Order," you play as B.J. Blazkowicz. You are part of a huge allied assault against the Nazis' war machine in 1946. Wait, James, you said 1946? Didn’t we win World War II in 1945? Historically, yes, the Allies did, but in "Wolfenstein: The New Order" there is a "What If" storyline involved in the game. Instead of recreating historical battles from the war, Machinegames has created a world where the Nazis won, and we are left to try and overthrow them.
The allied assault fails, and B.J. and two of his friends are captured by Gen. Wilhelm "Deathshead" Strasse. You are forced to choose which one of your companions is killed horribly in front of you. There is no right decision here, but your decision has two consequences. The first being the person you save will later in the game give you access to different abilities, either lock picking or hotwiring cars. Second, your choice will affect the plot of the game, and changes who you will interact with later in the game. While you escape the fortress, you suffer a massive head injury that takes you 14 years to recover from.
I am being especially vague with the plot description here because it’s the best part of the game. The story is not only a fun ride in an alternative universe, but it also, for the first time, turns B.J. from an emotionless killing machine into an actual human being. You explore his patriotism, and you see him fall in love and what he will do to protect the person that he loves. This is really brought home with some solid voice acting and a great storyline.
Wolfenstein lets you play the way you want, and rewards you for doing so. The perk system is different from other games, as you don’t have to level up or spend points to unlock new abilities. Each perk is unlocked by completing certain actions: Stealth, Demolition, Assault and Tactical. Each perk will unlock as soon as you complete its objective and will be available for the rest of the game.
This is all not to say that everything is perfect in the game. To pick up anything in the game you have to press a button. This doesn’t seem like a big idea until you realize that there is stuff to pick up everywhere. Want more ammo? Press a button. Need to pick up a weapon, heal yourself, put on some armor, find some gold, or anything else? You must push a button.
It gets so repetitive, and you will find yourself just pressing the button as you walk through areas so you will be able to pick stuff up well before you see what it is. This is unfortunate because the game is beautiful and you would be more likely to look around and admire all the work that went into the graphics of the game without the stupid button pushing.
The other feature that the game could have done without is dual-wielding. While everyone who has ever watched a John Woo movie loves the idea of firing a gun in each hand, in Wolfenstein it’s far from helpful. You can’t aim all that well, and, unless you’re playing on the very easy settings, your guns will jump off targets as you shoot. I found that I used dual wield only on huge bosses that I couldn’t miss or in tight quarters. Other than that, I'd just ignore that the feature even exists.
Wolfenstein is a mature (M) game, as there are some implied sexual acts in the game. You will see characters grind on each other, both standing up and in bed, though you never see any nudity and the camera never focuses directly on the characters involved. There is cursing with both the F- and S-word being used in the game. Also the Nazis were not the nicest people in history, so expect to see mutilated bodies, giant robots squishing people and guns that will turn people into bloody chunks.
"Wolfenstein: The New Order" is a solid game, with a great story. The voice acting is great and helps pull you into the world around you, making you care about B.J. and his friends. While not perfect, it has a great story that will take you about 12 hours to complete.
Well worth the money: 3.5 stars out of 5
Check out its trailer here:
James Treacy is the sales director for Treacy Media Holdings, L.L.C., the owners and operators of The Alternative Press of Lower Providence and The Alternative Press of North Penn. He has been a lifelong gamer across all platforms of the gaming community. His opinion is in no way the opinion of Tap Into L.L.C., Treacy Media Holdings, nor The Alternative Press sites, and is instead offered to give its readers more information on games and trends available in today's market. To contact him with any questions about the gaming world, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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