It’s not every day you hear that a historical genre-defining game gets another chance to wow the masses. It has happened before, with disastrous and series-ending results, such as Duke Nukem’s Duke Nukem Forever or the Perfect Dark series’ lackluster followup Perfect Dark Zero. Sometimes reboots hit the target, such as developer Crystal Dynamics’ 2013 Lara Croft, which helps catapult a good game into an unforgettable franchise.
The key pieces of a great game seem to be all there for Wolfenstein: The New Order, however what remains to be seen is if developer MachineGames can put them together correctly. If they succeed, they can immortalize the Wolfenstein franchise even more than it already is, cementing it as the father of all first person shooters. If it fails, Wolfenstein is no more, and people will likely only remember a game that looks almost unforgivingly similar to DOOM. (Yes, DOOM was released after Wolfenstein 3D)
The story seems reasonable. You’re still playing as our old hero, B.J. Blazkowicz, and you’re still killing Nazis. The trailer indicates that you begin the story rehabilitating from an injury, unable to interact with the outside world- that is, until you save yourself in the nick of time from being executed by a Nazi. For all intents and purposes, it seems as though the story will appeal to newcomers and die-hard Wolfenstein fans alike.
In terms of graphics, the recommended minimum specs for the PC version of the game hint at some powerful visuals. Bethesda recommends an Intel i7 processor or AMD equivalent in order to achieve the 60 frames per second gameplay that current-gen consoles like the Xbox One and PS4 will produce. Hopefully these beefy requirements will translate into impressive visuals, but if the game looks like the trailer, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Gameplay is a mixture of 2014 and 1992. That is, it’s a combination of the run-and-gun, sparse dialogue and story that is reminiscent of Wolfenstein 3D and the newer, more refined and thought-out shooters of today. Gamespot notes that all guns can be dual-wielded, and that firing from the hip doesn’t affect accuracy, despite there being sights on many weapons. These kinds of details seem to allow Wolfenstein: The New Order to maintain the old 1992 style, but with refined animations, sounds, and the inclusion of stealth kills which places it in the realm of 2014 shooters.
Here’s to MachineGames and Bethesda hitting it out of the park on this one; there’s a lot at stake, and even newer fans will acknowledge that the Wolfenstein franchise needs a more fitting send-off than the 2009 Wolfenstein was. I’m looking forward to reviewing this latest iteration in our favorite Nazi-slaying series, and crossing my fingers that MachineGames and Bethesda have fit all the pieces of the puzzle together to make the pièce de résistance of an era of gaming.More About This Game