An interesting alternate history bent, Wolfenstein: The New Order seems to be a good game but perhaps a bit too similar to the other comparable FPS’s on the market.
In the world of Wolfenstein, General Deathshead is a scientist who provides the Nazis with remarkable advanced technology. Advanced weaponry, cybernetic soldiers, giant mechanical dogs and even bigger robots rain fire and death on the allied forces. Playing as Captain B.J. Blazkowicz, your goal is to eliminate General Deathshead in order to halt the advance of the Nazi war machine.
Press demos usually entail a developer or PR representative sitting down with you and making sure that you do exactly what they intended. But at the Bethesda booth, the representative showed me to a room full of PS4’s and promptly left me to play on my own. With the game so close to release, less than a month away, this was more than likely the final build. The demo included the first full two hours of the game chronicling how Captain Blaskowicz fought against the Nazi forces, escaped capture by General Deathshead, suffered amnesia, was institutionalized in an asylum for 14 years, and was chosen to lead the new resistance force. I was told the demo covers approximately 20% of the game so expect the final game to run for roughly 10 hours.
The gameplay of Wolfenstein plays very much like the campaign of other big-name shooters: Call of Duty, Battlefield, Killzone, etc. As someone who actually plays those campaigns, Wolfenstein was enjoyable enough but it didn’t do anything to stand out from the rest. The few moments from the story that stood out were the ones that embraced the Nazi history or sci-fi bent. One scene had you rappelling up the side of a building while shooting enemies in the windows and avoiding falling debris. Most of the actual gameplay is standard fare corridor-shooter that you’ve likely played before. One gameplay aspect that was different from modern shooters is the lack of regenerating health, instead you have a health and armor meter that you can increase by picking up items. Nothing revolutionary, but one difference stands out in a game of similarities.
In a FPS that solely focuses on single-player, the quality of the story becomes paramount. While the demo at PAX East didn’t seal it’s fate as a bland corridor-shooter, Wolfenstein definitely still needs to prove itself as a game that stands out from the rest. There is hope that the final story will be well-written, but that’s just something we’ll have to wait and see until it hits stands.
Wolfenstein: The New Order releases on May 20th for Xbox One. Xbox 360, PS4, PS3, and PC.