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Review | Wolfenstein: The New Order (PS4)

Review | Wolfenstein: The New Order (PS4)

by September 4, 2014 0 comments

The patriarchal first person shooter makes a blitzkrieg into the next-gen. Wolfenstein: The New Order fits in the Wolfenstein  cannon in a strange way. It is a follow-up to Wolfenstein 3D for sure, but it also features characters from Wolfenstein 2009. While this may seem innocuous at first, it raises questions since Wolfenstein 2009 was a game that focused on paranormal and occult concepts. Wolfenstein: The New Order abandons the creepy occult angle in exchange for science-fiction that has the feeling of Inglorious Basterds meets the Captain America movies.
B.J. Blazkowics, the all-American hero comes in with his dick swinging low in Wolfenstein: The New Order from Machinehead Games.






There are many science fiction stories written about what the world would be like if the Nazis had won the war. Fact of the matter is what many people don’t realize is that the Nazis were anti-intellectuals and really did not care much for science, particularly physics: which was dismissed as “Jewish”, and may as well have been considered heretical by their standards. The Nazi’s inability to make an atomic weapon was pretty much a symbol of just how inept and dysfunctional Nazi science actually was. Wolfenstein: The New Order is such a story of when a supposed “Nazi super science” exists and it makes for one hell of a game. Whether the boys at Machinehead Games knew about Nazi anti-intellectualism is beside the point, if you’ve got a kick-ass game with giant Nazi mechas and creepy cyborgs then you have my attention.

Towards the end of the first level of Wolfenstein: The New Order, the player has to make a choice between which character gets to live- a wet behind the ears rookie or an older British soldier with war experience. This choice will determine how some of the later levels are played in minor ways and is a welcomed means to replay the game. The story will be slightly different because of this event and will feature different resistance members as a result, but the plot will be mostly the same. Wolfenstein: The New Order is a very beautifully realized game with a very textured and nuanced world that is rich with detail. When B.J. Blazkowics comes out of his coma shortly after the first level, it can feel pretty surreal at times exploring some of the environments that are representations of England but have become taken over by the Third Reich. Newspaper clippings that make mention of how New York has become a nuclear wasteland and hearing a German cover of a Beatles song in the distance really does make an effective impact.

While the story isn’t anything special, it does serve the gameplay well enough to not feel forced or trite. There was one story element that is perplexing however which involves some kind of ancient artifact that serves as some kind of goofy weapon, but overall it could have been anything and it wouldn’t have made a difference. Contextually the ancient artifact just feels like it is from a different game. As the story moves along, B.J. gets to go to all kinds of exotic locales such as an advanced Nazi submarine, a death camp, catacombs and the fucking moon! As far as most modern first person shooters go, it is a pretty long game, with a surprising amount of character depth. Totally surprising was just how well the characters are written and how great the performances are compounded by excellent animation, which easily makes up for any of the plots shortcomings.





Machinehead Games is made up of what used to be Starbreeze, the same teams that made the incredible and highly underrated game The Darkness. Their penchant for detailed and varied level design stays true to the Wolfenstein legacy with each level dense with secrets and hidden pick-ups. It is this attention to detail that makes Wolfenstein: The New Order stand out from other first-person shooters. Putting Wolfenstein: The New Order next to the likes of Half-Life 2 feels right as both games have similar pacing and do a great job of driving the player forward without shunting them or dragging them by the nose via a waypoint marker. Like Half-Life 2, Wolfenstein: The New Order also does have health packs. While B.J. can regenerate health, he cannot do it so all the way. Instead, Machinehead games have managed a sweet spot in between where health regenerates at divisions of 20.





The variety in Wolfenstein: The New Order extends beyond just the level design but within its core mechanics too. B.J. can level up certain attributes and gain perks based on the play style that the player approaches each situation. Some will be more challenging to master depending on your natural play style but thankfully, the game controls very fluidly and smooth. Consistently at 60 frames per second and running at 1080p on the PS4, Wolfenstein: The New Order looks as good as it plays. Options to be able to dual wield sniper rifles or any gun for that matter makes for a laugh riot as you gun down Nazi after Nazi in an ecstasy of gore and hot lead. Aiming is nice and snappy, and each weapon is carefully nuanced to have its own unique feel. One weapon in particular is a laser weapon that has multi uses; sometimes B.J. gets the opportunity to cut through fences, other times it can be used to make Nazis erupt into a flurry of bone and sinew. Head-shots are especially satisfying as they have a great crunch to them and bodies of the fallen Nazi troops accurately spasm and slump over or flail into a pool of their own guts. If you have a lust for violence and a thirst for Nazi blood, Wolfenstein: The New Order is an all-you-can-eat buffet.

If having B.J. act like the ultimate badass isn’t your style, playing the game like a ninja is totally possible. Wolfenstein: The New Order has a very robust stealth system with some great AI. If detected, get ready for every Nazi in the immediate area to close in on you from multiple angles or to call in for reinforcements. Not once during the multiple playthroughs was there an AI hiccup. While this is no Metal Gear Solid in terms of its complexity, but what Wolfenstein: The New Order does have works well just so long as you just stay out of the enemy line of sight.




Check out the Score


  The next game in the Wolfenstein franchise lives up to its legacy as being one of the pioneers of first person shooters. While not bringing anything new or groundbreaking to the genre, it does everything right without throwing up all over itself even when it attempts other aspects, like stealth. The game runs at a liquid-fluid 60 frames per second, on the PS4. Wolfenstein: The New Order has very responsive movement and snappy aiming mechanics and highly polished gunplay. Perk system encourages players to play differently and mixes up the action for different playthroughs. While it does have more going on than most military shooters, in the end it is still a military shooter.


Machinehead makes great use of the Idtech on the PS4. Load times are brief and textures are never caught loading which was a problem seen on PS3 and Xbox 360 versions. Very natural looking character expressions and animations and detailed character models- in particular B.J. Blazkowics who looks very much like his original counterpart from Wolfenstein 3D but expertly reimagined as a realistic looking human character. Wolfenstein: The New Order has beautiful Verhovenesque gore that will make you hard.


Wolfenstein: The New Order has very strong character performances all around. In particular the lead character B.J. Blazkowics who feels like he is truly stricken with PTSD. Sadly the musical score wasn’t very memorable, but the sound is very gritty and visceral. Squishy gore sounds punctuated by the distinct click of a gun reload is enamoring and fuels the intensity.


Wolfenstein: The New Order a lengthy game as far as modern first person shooters go. It offers a plethora of ways to play the game with some detailed levels and two branching story paths that will determine some minor gameplay changes and different characters to meet. Though it has no multiplayer to speak of, it makes up for it with a very engaging single player game, creative weapons and likeable characters.

Final Score


Wolfenstein: The New Order is a worthy game and comes recommended. A wealth of combat options unseen in most first-person military shooters, Wolfenstein: The New Order is a blitzkrieg of action and excitement. A violent tour-de-force of an alternate history where the Nazis won and the world is at peace- it is the player who becomes the terrorist. The greatest showcase of what the Idtech can do and a tribute to the granddaddy of first person shooters- Wolfenstein: The New Order is a celebration of death and murder of history’s most hated enemy.Cyber Leaf Version smaller


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