Wolfenstein: The New Order
Wolfenstein: The New Order marks the return of one of the oldest first-person shooter franchises, Wolfenstein 3D, and once again puts player in the role of Polish-American soldier William “B.J.” Blazkowicz. The game begins in 1946 with Blazkowicz chasing down his arch-enemy General Wilhelm “Deathshead” Strasse knowing that if he can kill Deathshead the Nazi war machine will be crippled. His plans backfire however and Blazkowicz is mortally wounded and put into a partial coma. He is rescued by a Polish fishing vessel and taken to an asylum in Poland where 14 years pass as he is cared for by a nurse named Anya. When he finally awakens and saves Anya from the Nazi purge of the asylum, he soon learns that the war has ended and the Nazis won, thus placing the entire world under their rule. Deathshead was instrumental to this victory as he designed vicious bio-mechanical beasts and massive robots to gain superiority in the battlefield while also bombarding the United States with atomic bombs until their eventual surrender. Blazkowicz arms up once again and sets out to reignite the flames of rebellion by freeing his friends from the Kreisau Circle and toppling the Nazi regime!
As with previous entries in the series the game is a fast-paced and violent first-person shooter with some minor stealth and exploration elements. Players can hold several weapons at a time and said weapons can even be dual wielded. The weapons range from traditional weapons such as knives, pistols, and shotguns but later in game there is more exotic gear such as electricity spewing grenades, lasers, bladed weapons etc. You are also given a useful tool called the Laser Cutter, which allows you to cut through chains, fences, etc. to access alternate paths and secret items and areas.
Players fight plenty of Nazi soldiers of varying strength, some wearing power armour and some are even bio-mechanical and blend flesh with technology. There are also bio-mechanical German Shepherds that act as guard dogs and can sneak up on the player to attempt to tear out his throat. In addition there are bigger fully robotic dogs that are extremely fast, lithe, and dangerous. Players have the option of taking a stealthy route and killing enemies silently with silenced weapons and knives that can be used for brutal backstabbing takedowns or can be thrown at enemies in the distance.
At times you will be notified of a Nazi officer in the area. Hunting him down and killing him quietly will reveal areas on the player’s map. The game features a perk tree, which will level up based on certain challenges in the game such as killing 10 enemies silently with throwing knives to earn extra knife slots or killing several enemies while your health is overcharged (above 100%) to gain a perk where killing enemies grants small health boosts. These perks come in different categories (assault, demolition, stealth and tactical) and are based around the player’s chosen play style.
Also in line with previous games in the series, there are secrets to be collected. These include items that can give you a full map of the area, notes and letters that provide backstory, Enigma Codes which unlock special game modes, and Nazi gold and treasure.
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is a standalone expansion to 2014’s Wolfenstein: The New Order. Players once again step into the shoes of Polish-American OSA Operative William “B.J.” Blazkowicz, this time in a prequel to the events that kick off the original games plot. The year is 1946 and the Allies are losing the war to the Nazis due to the technological superiority afforded to the Nazis by one General Wilhelm Strasse. He is more commonly known by his alias “Deathshead”, a scientific genius who is developing great and terrible technology that could cripple the Allies once and for all. In order to have any chance of defeating Deathshead, the allies must first find the location of Deathshead’s hidden compound to strike at the source. However the location of Deathshead’s compound is known by only one other member of the Reich: SS Paranormal division leader Helga Von Schabbs, a mad woman who has sequestered herself in the massive and notorious Castle Wolfenstein. Thus B.J. is sent in to infiltrate Castle Wolfenstein and find the location of Deathshead’s base, as well as learn of the dark secrets surrounding the castle itself while also coming face to face with the ferocious thug Rudi Jäger.
The game plays almost identically to The New Order, meaning that the game features a blend of stealth action as well as fast-paced and brutal first-person combat. Players can switch freely between play styles to suit how they wish to play through the game. There is a traditional health and armour meter, with only 20 points of health regenerating at a time rather than regaining a full bar of health. Health can also be overcharged by consuming medkits when at full health, however this overcharge is only temporary and should be used smartly and sparingly. Armour can be scavenged from the corpses of foes as well as found in the many hidden nooks and crannies in the game which also hides treasures and other goodies throughout the levels. Combat is carried out with numerous modified takes on historical weapons, as well as some experimental. Most of them can also be dual wielded by the player for extra power but decreased accuracy. New to the game are the pipes, which replace the knives and allow B.J. to tamper with more electrical devices as well as climbing certain walls. The game includes a simple, context sensitive cover system which simply allows a player to hide behind cover automatically when crouching or taking spot behind a sufficient piece of cover and leaning in and out to fire.
New to this game are the challenges, small portions of the game that are unlocked as you play through the campaign which allow you to take on specific mini-challenges and survive numerous foes in order to obtain a high score.