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PAX East 2014 | Hands-On With Wolfenstein: The New Order

By
Posted on April 12, 2014 AT 03:02pm

For many of today’s gamers, Castle Wolfenstein was the first game they played on the PC. For me, it was the only good reason to turn on my PC when I was a kid. (Though, I played Beyond to Castle Wolfenstein less than the original, and for some reason Wolfenstein 3D more than both of them) And while other games in the franchise left a less than stellar impression on me, my hands-on time with Machine Games and Bethesda’s Wolfenstein: The New Order did not disappoint.

Once again, the player assumes control of B.J. Blazkowicz – US Army member and hater of Nazi’s – working with a dedicated bomber unit to take out the Nazi menace during World War II by storming the compound of Dr. Deathshead. Unfortunately, the Nazi’s seem to be in possession of incredibly powerful technology and advanced weaponry that overpower the resistance forces, and ultimately down Blazkowicz for 14 years.

It’s at this point where New Order differs from every other Wolfenstein game I’ve ever played, because it’s here that the story kicks into high gear. You read that correctly, Wolfenstein: The New Order has a story behind it. Sure, 2009′s Wolfenstein had a plot, but it lacked some of the emotional punch that New Order works to deliver from the first moment of gameplay. From the father-son like relationship between unit commander Fergus Reid and green private Wyatt Probst III (to which Blazkowicz offers advice after a harrowing in-air rescue), to the internal monologue he has while trapped in his own head at the mental asylum for 14 years and the fondness he seems to develop for his caretaker turned partner Anya Oliwa, the first few levels of the game do a great job of setting up the quick pace of this FPS with a solid and engaging story.

Gameplay here is a balance of stealth and quick-paced gunfights, with stealth leading to more controlled enemy engagements than the “guns blazing” approach. (Though the latter is sometimes more emotionally rewarding.) The game features a perk system which the player earns after achieving certain objectives like learning to throw a knife after a executing a certain number of stealth takedowns.

As you progress through these intro levels, you want to know how the Nazi’s came to have the power they currently possess. You want to get revenge for your country which surrendered under the might of said technology. And after what you witnessed Dr. Deathshead do to some of your men, you want his head by any means necessary.

Wolfenstein: The New Order will be available in North America on May 20th, for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC, Xbox One and Playstation 4 and in Europe on May 23rd.

Rochelle has been writing about, talking about, and arguing with anyone who will listen to her about video games –professionally – for more six years. Co-Founder, Designer, and Podcast Co-Host at ElectricSistaHood, Rochelle fancies herself rather geeky. Follow her on twitter @NinJaSistah


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