Cristofer Hess On June 18, 2014 at 9:40 pm

Wolfenstein New Order_FriendlyHand.jpg_London_burningImagine you’re a hardened soldier, critically injured in World War II. You’re hospitalized, living in a haze, and you finally become lucid many years later. Now imagine you wake up from your stupor, only to discover Nazis won the war and have taken over everything. You’re tasked with ending the Nazis reign and saving the world. You take up arms and set out to accomplish this mission. Now, imagine you’re having fun doing it. This is Wolfenstein: The New Order. .

You play as William “B.J.” Blazkowicz, the long-time hero of the Wolfenstein series. He’s the grandfather of shooter soldiers and has been doing this a long time. The world is in capable hands. Blazkowicz is more than able to do the job that no one else can.

Now, let me start off with a personal note by saying my expectations for Wolfenstein: The New Order were a little low. I expected the game to be a decent shooter, but nothing special. I was wrong. I admit it. I ended up having a lot of fun with this game. I really enjoyed it. Read on to see why.

The story is great. From the moment you begin, until the credits roll, you’re living Blazkowicz’s life. It’s a roller coaster of ups and downs – lots of downs – but mostly it’s a roller coaster of shooting Nazis. You’ll travel far and wide (very, very wide) in varying terrain, accomplishing spectacular feats so death-defying and remarkable that other characters will, well, make remarks about them. Along the way, a group of soldiers, scholars, and mentors will gather around you. You’ll support their cause, and you’ll support theirs. They’ll need muscle to help eradicate the Nazis, and you’re the man who can do it. Each character involved with Blazkowicz stands out, with unique motivation, history, and personality that never feels forced or fake. Each is a hero in their own right. They feel like they have their own lives, and the strength to do what they need to help accomplish the goal of ridding the world of evil. Blazkowicz is an interesting character. You feel for him, want him to succeed. And his under-his-breath comments and observations are entertaining and help create a likable, if exhausted and unamused hero. There are some memorable, touching scenes, and characters you actually grow to care about. I admit, I shed a tear during this game. Just one! Okay it may have been two, but I’m man enough to admit it. Truly the story is like a a good movie, and Wolfenstein: The New Order is also a great game to actually play.

It’s worth noting that this game is a single-player shooter with no online mode, which is a nice change of pace. This is probably partially why the story is so great, since the focus is on a one-player experience.

Of course, first and foremost Wolfenstein: The New Order is a first-person shooter. Load up on guns, ammo – and in this case – plenty of knives, and get right to taking out your enemies… who are pretty much everyone’s enemies. Your weapon stock includes some big guns with crazy ammo that can ricochet around, electronics-frying Tesla grenades, laser-spewing sniper rifles, to name a few. And being the badass he is, Blazkowicz can dual-wield almost any of the weapons, provided he has a couple on him. Most weapons will be upgraded over time, and have a couple of different modes to use. There’s also a laser cutter, which lets you get through fences, and open boxes that can have valuable armor and ammunition inside.

Stealth can also be employed in your Nazi-stomping endeavor. In fact, sometimes it is required. Sneaking up on an enemy soldier who hasn’t yet noticed you is fun, and when you accomplish sneaking through an area and achieving your objective without alerting any guards, it feels pretty amazing.

There are plenty of areas to explore in-game. There were many times where I had a choice of which way to go, and never doubled back to explore the paths I’d passed up. I could easily play through the game again and see a lot of things I missed the first time. Add to this the amount of collectibles available around the landscape, and there is quite a bit of replayability to the game.

Your style of playing brings rewards. Using certain tactic repeatedly or meeting certain criteria, such as administering a specific number of grenade kills or headshots will give you perks, such as faster ammo reload times, or quicker sprinting while dual wielding. This comes in handy because it enhances the way you already play. The list of perks can also be referenced to let you attempt to receive a specific perk you may find useful.

Overall, combat is extremely satisfying. Each time you engage an enemy soldier, it feels unique, and personal, like these are individual adversaries and not just mindless fodder for the hero to take out. Each battle has an outcome different from the last. Each enemy reacts to you depending on how you approach him. Each defeated soldier meets his doom and falls to the ground in his own way. You feel you are on the battlefield, not just in a shooting gallery with enemies lined up before you. Considering battle is the core of the game, the fact that it is entertaining makes the game fun and exciting.

The graphics are pretty top-notch, as well. The world is detailed, and feels lived-in, gritty and realistic. Well, as realistic as an alternate history world where the Nazis rule everything can be. It’s not just realistic looking. Every prop and knickknack feels like it is there for a reason. It is somebody’s thing, or once was. It has or used to have a purpose. Even that discarded piece of electronics in the corner has a story behind it. You may never know why it is there, but you know something happened. Junk looks appropriately junky. Dirt looks appropriately dirty. People look tired and beaten up and sick of everything, because they are. Also I was particularly amused by the way Blazkowicz’s costume changes were apparent when you see that his hands had changed. Since the hands are usually the only thing you see of him during battle, having them change now and then was a nice detail. Obviously a lot of thought was put into the setting in Wolfenstein: The New Order.

This is also the first game I’ve played where light beams actually had an impact on my gameplay. At one point, I was hunkered down, trying to get to my goal in the middle of heavy battle. The sun was shining, and beams fell across the trench in front of me. Suddenly the beams of light were broken by something, and I looked up to find out what was going on and saw a giant robot walking in front of the sun! I actually said “Whoa!” out loud. It was impressive. Well done.

The audio in Wolfenstein: The New Order is good. Voices are appropriate and well-acted. Everything sounds as it should. And you may not see that giant robot, or mechanical dog coming after you, but you will hear it, and fear that it may be just around the corner. Unfortunately the one fault I can really point out in the game isn’t much of a fault at all. At one point I realized I hadn’t really noticed the music. I knew it had some, but it hadn’t stood out to me. But this is just a sign that I was engrossed in the story and gameplay and the music was just enhancing all of that, but not becoming a distraction, like the score of a great movie.

Wolfenstein: The New Order is an enjoyable, satisfying experience with an engaging, interesting story, intense and entertaining gameplay, and replay value, with some branching paths and plenty of collectibles to be discovered. It’s an overall great experience I’d recommend playing if you’re at all interested in shooters, or action in general.


Really fun, satisfying combat. Stealth mechanics that aren’t cumbersome. Variety of weapons is interesting without being overwhelming or redundant.


Visually interesting world that feels lived in and realistic to the setting. Useful sunbeams!


Good voice acting. Accurate sound landscape. Only notable for not being exceptionally notable.


A great, entertaining single-player first-person shooter that tells an entertaining and satisfying story and delivers a lot of action.

One Response

  1. samantha says:

    Got to love blasting nazi’s!