Reviewed by Tronic
Welcome all to my first review for Game Streaming Central. Grab a seat (or stand if you’re KDogg), kick up your feet, relax and get comfortable, because this ride is about to start.
For my first assignment here at GSC, I was given the ultimate freedom of choosing ANY game I wanted to review. This is quite the daunting task. I mean that’s a lot of choices. Decisions, decisions. I wanted the review to have a fresh feel to it, so I felt like it should be a game I hadn’t played yet. Then, like an epiphany, it dawned on me. I had gone crazy in the summer Steam sale this year, and to date had yet to play any of my purchases. I went into my library and ended up selecting the most enticing title from that shopping spree. So, without further ado, I’m excited to announce that this, my first review, will be on Wolfenstein: The New Order.
Anyone familiar with the Wolfenstein series will understand my excitement at this project. These games were some of my favorites. Who doesn’t remember the joy of Wolfenstein 3-D way back in the days of Windows 3.1? These games have always played out much like a comic book in my mind. Basically as if Frank Miller was given the job of creating a Captain America story arc. This game comes to fruition EXACTLY as you would envision that collaboration in your head: a shitload of badass mutant Nazi’s and a classic super soldier hell bent on annihilating them all.
The FM stands for Frank Miller, in case you were wondering.
The game also includes a pretty dope self-narration by the protagonist, not unlike a Max Payne vibe, just minus the bullet-time. You now know the vein of The New Order. Now lets get into some details.
Your adventure starts by immediately throwing you into some fast-paced action. You are introduced as protagonist William “BJ” Blazkowicz, en route to a battle to take down his nemesis General Deathshead once and for all and put an end to the Nazi regime.
William “BJ” Blazkowicz
Obviously, we know that things didn’t go according to plan. At this point it should be mentioned that since I was playing on steam, it really would’ve been much easier if had just plugged my xbox controller in to play, because it took me a solid hour before I was even semi-used to all the controls. I highly recommend a controller to play this game.
The hardest maneuver with the keyboard is a running slide. It’s like trying to play an F Chord on a guitar with little stubby fingers (not that I would know anything about that). You have to get your fingers to bend and do things they just aren’t normally used to doing. Holding (W) to move forward while holding down (SHIFT) to sprint (which normally your pinky would do), and then also having to hit (CTRL) to slide. Now you see the dilemma. Your ring finger normally tied to the (A) key for strafing, now has to replace your pinky on (SHIFT) and your pinky has to slide down to (CTRL). You get the idea, its complicated, and you have to do it often enough for it to be a nuisance. So again, I recommend using a controller right off the bat, problem solved.
The Bad Guy, Deathshead
Now back to gameplay, the game’s story is nothing short of downright freaking amazing. Like I said before, straight out of a storyboard from Frank Miller. The writers should be given a round of applause also for the captivating and amazingly strange and highly immersive story they created here. Character development is at the forefront in this game, unlike other iterations, and it’s done so well. During the intro, which is about 30 minutes of battling Nazi’s and mutant dogs, our team is finally captured. Immediately, you are asked to make a choice which determines the storyline for the rest of the game. You have to choose who you want to save from your team. A young fledgling all-American Private, or your old weathered Scottish comrade-in-arms Fergus. This choice here in the very beginning of the game basically splits the story arc into 2 separate parts. (Full Disclosure—as of the writing of this review I have only played through one of those story arcs, I chose to save my friend Fergus).
Is Fergus on the left or right? Play the game to find out!
What can’t be said enough for this game is how captivating and fluent it truly is. The 30 minute intro, before you even get to the opening credits feels as if only 5 minutes has passed. It sucks you right into the world, and you can think of nothing else but continuing to play.
Graphics are also of top quality, background music, sounds, and the voice acting are all of the highest caliber. Its just simply enthralling.
I played this game straight through to finish. In all, I’d estimate it took me 15 hours. It is a Wolfenstein game so there is A LOT of scouring for ammo, health, armor, loot, hidden dossiers, and other collectibles etc. I ended up, finishing the game with only 50% total completion. So the game, if you’re extremely thorough could be doubly as long. Not to mention that if you were to go back through and play the other story arc, obviously, the game could be twice as long.
The development team chose to make this game single-player only. So there is no Online Multiplayer. However, I think this choice was brilliant. It has been a very long time since I played a single player only FPS, and this one certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Level design was also done incredibly well. Each new area was well designed, and the maps never felt boring or dull. The variety was a pleasant surprise as well. Going from a military compound, to an asylum, to a safehouse in Berlin, a forced labor prison, Nazi London, underwater missions, and even to the FREAKING MOON!!!
I don’t have a single complaint about any of the maps/levels, kudos to the game designers here as well, because in a 15+ hour game this is not an easy task to accomplish. There was also, a hidden area in one of the maps where you could play a level from Wolfenstein 3-D as a dream sequence. I definitely felt some serious nostalgia there, fantastic easter egg! Hell Freaking Yes!!!!
The FREAKING MOON!!!, man.
Next I want to bring up character design. Again the developers did an amazing job here. They took a generally bland character set and made them all very interesting and surprisingly deep. I actually wanted to get to know Blazkowicz better, along with all of his comrades. Another A+ effort in my estimation.
Weapons were typical for a Wolfenstein game, all the same things you’ve come to expect. However, a nice twist was that you could dual wield ALL weapons. Nothing felt as satisfying as dual wielding 2 automatic shotguns and just alternately pulling the left and right triggers raining mayhem on a swarm of jerkoff Nazi mutants!
All in all, the whole team did an amazing job on this game. Characters, maps, weapons, story, all done so well that I never wanted to put the game down to take a break. That’s a rare feat nowadays.
The game can be crazy hard at times, sometimes even infuriating. I played on normal difficulty and still found myself repeatedly stuck in some areas. At times it left me wanting to smash my keyboard to pieces. However, I remained calm and eventually triumphed, and it felt awesome. I can’t even imagine this game on difficult, just WOW!
Overall, I honestly have nothing but praise for this game. It truly kept me captivated from beginning to the end credits, and ultimately left me feeling very satisfied with my accomplishments. I don’t want to give too much away, but I think with the quality of this game and its moderate success, that they left it open ended enough for a new iteration down the line. Quite frankly, I can’t freaking wait! I’ll be in on Day One…
Concept: Awesome new twist on an old favorite series, highly recommended
Gameplay: Level design fantastic/Character development top notch/2 story arc’s and plenty of hidden items to keep you coming back for more.
Graphics/Sound: Best quality in both regards, game looks amazing and sound effects and voice acting are great.
Overall: I couldn’t give this game much higher of a recommendation. I played the shit for 15+ hours straight! Enough said.
TronTron’s Rating: 9/10