I decided to pick up Wolfenstein: The New Order during the Greenman gaming summer sale. I had heard a lot of good things about the game, so I've played through it and am ready to share my thoughts.
Wolfenstein: The New Order is a re-launch of the classic line of Wolfenstein shooters. The last Wolfenstein game came out in 2009, so its been a few years since we have had a new entry into the popular franchise. Wolfenstein: The New Order looks at what would of happened if the Nazis won the war. This new Wolfenstein separates itself from the pack of recent FPS games by focusing solely on bringing you a well crafted single player campaign. There is no online multiplayer mode which most FPS game focus on these days.
The focus and attention MachineGames put towards crafting a quality single player campaign pays off. If you are a fan of late 90's early 2000's FPS with strong campaigns, you are in for a treat. Wolfenstein: The New Order's campaign is easily the best I've played in quite awhile. Story wise the game is excellent, it features strong characters, great environments, and strong set pieces. The only issue I had with the story, is the explanation of how the Nazis got their super technology. I thought the justification was way too far fetched, and took me out of the game. Other then this misstep, I was hooked. This was a game that made me want to play through the story to see what happens.
While the quality of the story is decent, the overall length of the game is a bit short, I was able to play through the story in about 10 hours. This may seem short, but there isn't much filler included here, so those 10 hours are part of a white knuckle ride. Wolfenstein: The New Order feels a bit like a summer blockbuster, it's a fun short ride that entertains with little commitment.
The Wolfenstein games of the past have been pretty standard FPS shooters. In the previous games, there hasn't been much strategy beyond picking the right weapon to bring to the fight. Wolfenstein: The New Order has introduced some new stealth elements to the mix. As you approach new areas, there will be Nazi commanders, that will call in endless re-enforcements, until killed. Therefore you can either try to sneak in and take them out, or run in guns blazing and take on extra enemies. The stealth system isn't deep by any means, but it adds a nice mix to the game-play. The only downside is for players who don't enjoy stealth, there are a few forced extended stealth sections of the game that you may not enjoy.
Wolfenstein: The New Order, has some scenes that are downright disturbing. I don't often find myself getting squeamish when playing games, but some of the scenes in The New Order are quite upsetting to watch. If you don't like dark games, or find that you get disturbed by violence easily, you may want to avoid this title as it can be quite hash at times. These scenes are not overused in the game and they really help to set the mood, but damn, there is some nasty stuff that happens in this game.
One issue that bothered me with The New Order, is the uneven difficulty throughout the game. I played on the "bring em on" difficulty and found the difficulty to be just about right for 95% of the situations in the game. Unfortunately there where a few areas of the game that where severely challenging compared to the rest of the game. These difficult spots where really frustrating, as I would end up dying over and over again trying to beat them. Some may like this old-school approach, but I found the uneven difficulty slowed the game down and these super challenging sections where draining and not enjoyable.
Earlier I mentioned this game can be downright disturbing, but its use of distributing situations, bleak scenery, and interesting story concepts help build one of the best environments I've seen in a FPS game. On top of this, the look and feel of the world in Wolfenstein: The New Order is top notch. The environments look great, the level design is great, and the graphics are great too.
You can tell the team at MachineGames put a lot of effort into creating a multitude of unique environments, and letting their imaginations run wild at what the world would look like if the Nazi's had won the war. Little things such as readable news clippings, conversions between Nazi soldiers, and classic songs, re-recorded with German themes, are cool little touches that really suck you into the world of Wolfenstein: The New Order.
If you enjoy single player FPS games, you really should pick up Wolfenstein: The New Order. The base price is a little excessive for the amount of content offered, but this game has been out long enough you should be able to snag it for a pretty decent price these days.
If you don't enjoy FPS games, or only like multiplayer FPS games, you may want to spend your gaming dollars elsewhere.