Wolfenstein: The New Order was developed with a clear link to its roots as a rampaging, id-engine game. Just like Wolfenstein 3D and Doom, the game is played in first person- all you need to see is your gun and who you’re shooting at. The HUD is minimal, with the same familiar health and armor counters are in the middle, and the ammo counter for your current gun off to the right, or on both sides when you dual-wield. The controls were, for the most part, easy to pick up. I personally encountered some issues with learning the correct crouching combinations to execute running slides, but the number of control issues or difficulties were few. Some controls were poorly thought out, like the prone mechanic, which is almost completely useless as crouch can do everything prone can do but in less button presses. One aspect that was really a let down was the talent system. After using a certain type of weapon such as grenades or knives, the player receives a point in the talent tree pertaining to that weapon. Throughout the entire game, I looked at the talent screen only once, near the beginning. The talents were just unimportant as it’s as easy to kill an enemy with them as it is without them The gameplay absolutely conveys the sense that you’re one man against countless enemies- there’s always more nazis to mow down. This game is bloody, and one of the most adrenaline-filled games I’ve ever played due to this. Truly, Bethesda hit the nail on the head with the gameplay because it absolutely pays homage to its roots as a bloody adrenaline-fueled revenge shooter.
The story in Wolfenstein: The New Order is well-written, especially for a game which has a heavy dose of fantasy woven in. Before you play this game, it’s important to suspend reality- obviously, because this is an alternate version of the future where Nazis have insanely advanced technology. The source of their tech is explained, and that requires some suspension of disbelief as well. The levels range from semi-realistic in the beginning to futuristic closer to the end. To be honest though, nobody is going to pick up Wolfenstein with the intent of playing a realistic game. So, for what it is in terms of genre, it’s a good, decently explained story that serves its purpose well: to give some substance to the game, because although the focus is on killing Nazis, it’s always nice to know why or where.
When the graphics worked well (there’s some issues with texture popping mentioned in this PC Gamer article ) they’re good, not great. If you get too close to some walls, and in some darker parts of the game, there’s some muddiness in the textures. Despite some issues with the textures inherent to the id 5 engine, I frequently found myself admiring the scenery, especially on the moon base level. There’s a lot of attention to detail in this game with the graphics, and I feel that it helps overcome the shortcomings of the id 5 engine, including texture pop-in. The guns all look beautiful, and deadly but one issue with them is that bullets don’t look realistic as they’ll frequently look like they go through cover despite being stopped. Despite some issues, overall the game is indisputably beautiful. The many varieties of Nazi you encounter are all extremely well designed, and look every bit as badass as they are futuristic.
The sound in Wolfenstein is great. There are a lot of cut scenes, and the dialogue that accompanies is very well done. The accents are great, especially on Klaus and Fergus. Blazkowicz sounds great- gruff, and short, the dialogue and voice acting help add to his character as you’d expect. Gunshots sound good, and the executions you can perform play some satisfyingly gruesome knife sounds
I’d say this game is exactly what the Wolfenstein franchise needed. It was a lot of fun, especially due to the well-orchestrated merging of old-school and modern. The game was hard to put down, as the story was well enough written to entice players to keep playing. The gameplay was very good, and could be moderately challenging. This game was loads of fun to play the first time through, but to be honest, I don’t think it has much replay value. Without something like an online feature, I’d question getting it at its current retail price. My recommendation is to wait until you can get it discounted, and then jump on it, because without a doubt this is a Wolfenstein experience you won’t want to miss.