E3 – Wolfenstein: The New Order: Hands-On Preview

We had the opportunity to watch a demo of Wolfenstein: The New Order and get some hands-on time with it as well. This is the newest upcoming title from MachineGames, which is made up of former members of Starbreeze Studios (Chronicles of Riddick, The Darkness).

Wolfenstein: The New Order picks up in an alternate history 1960 in which Germany won World War II and have dominated the planet for nearly two decades. Series Protagonist B.J. Blazkowicz awakens from a coma and begins his attempt to take them down, one bullet at a time. The demo we saw showed two sequences; the first was a scene where you encounter villain Frau Engel and her right-hand man Bubi. Here, she forces you to play a mini-game with the possible consequence of being killed if you choose wrong. It’s an incredibly tense scene, and Engel and Bubi are a couple of really, really creepy characters. In the case of the latter, at first I thought what creeped me out about him was some kind of uncanny valley effect, but actually it’s the look of hedonistic glee in his eyes that set me on edge. The second demo was gameplay, in which you make your way across  a ruined bridge using a variety of weapons such as a plasma rifle, auto shotgun, and welding gun.

The playable demo begins with you being driven to a facility by an ally, who drops you off at the front gate and then promptly drives into the building and sets off a car bomb. Your job is to navigate the ruined lot and get to the top of the facility, avoiding soldiers and mechs along the way. Wolfenstein: The New Order runs on ID Tech 5, and it is a shiny and crisp looking game. There are a bunch of weapons to choose from and the game makes a welcome old-school choice to let you carry them all if you want. While the weapons themselves are high-tech and unique looking, the mechanics of this game are as old as the franchise which basically invented this genre. This is a meat-and-potatoes shooter with some surprisingly effective character and plot moments beyond the fray.

Wolfenstein: The New Order is scheduled for release on PS3/4, XBox 360/One, and PC in December 2013. Also, check out our interview with Narrative Designer Tommy Björk.


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