I’m not usually one to play first person shooter titles but there was something about this one that really appealed to me.
So, let’s lay down the first thing this title does well- brutality. It can be quite an unsettling experience depending on your tolerance to blood, gore, psychological horror, and generally watching people getting sliced and diced while still breathing. It’s dark. It’s haunting. It’s pretty sickening in places. But that’s not a drawback by any stretch of the imagination, in fact, for the story and atmosphere, it’s quite a solid strength. It’s just whether you want to play a title that has those kind of things in it.
Of course the nature of a title like this is that there will be some element of gore, as you’re essentially a one man army and things are going to have more holes in them than a five year old pair of socks.
But, as mentioned above, it is one of the solid strengths for Wolfenstein: The New Order. It creates an atmosphere of unease, in cases of disgust, and it’s a motivated by revenge kind of story which really helps you to feel like you actually want to go out and shoot some oppressors. The story is excellent. It is probably one of the best stories I’ve ever played in a video game. It’s got a great deal of background if you look around, collect things, find the secrets, and generally talk to the people who are available for a chat in any of the sixteen chapters. That said, you never feel like you’re being sent on a wild goose chase and while the world is burning you’re looking for the last perfect turnip specimen to appease someone for minor reward.
There isn’t much in the way of character development. You start with a maximum amount of health and armour and depending on which timeline you follow (and whether you collect the specific upgrades) you’re going to pretty much end with a slightly increased amount. It’s part of the challenge as you’re left wide open without many ways to make yourself invulnerable to damage. However, you can unlock Perks which allow you to do various things or carry more of certain items and these are really your character development options.
Most are unlocked by meeting a certain criteria and they can be unlocked early on or late in the game. There are some that do require a specific weapon, upgrade, or a combination of the two that mean they are unavailable until the pre-requisites are met.
The weapons you acquire are mostly standard firearms to begin with but can be upgraded in different ways at points in the game. The assault rifle you pick up at the very beginning can be upgraded to fire rockets, which, when dual-wielded, is pretty devastating but costly as rockets are quite rare. Also, yes, you did read that right- dual-wielding guns. Each fires independently, each can use a different mode or ammunition type, and each shares your overall pool of ammunition and resources. It gets better though! Dual wielding shotguns. Carnage. Brutality. Upgraded with the shrapnel shells and it’s like Christmas came early every single level. It’s one of the highlights of the title and it’s a way to differentiate the stealth and assault options.
Don’t worry, if sneaking around with a silenced pistol and a trusty trench knife is more your thing- there are options for that. I can’t really vouch for how well they will work in heavy fire situations but for clearing the opening of levels or new rooms it’s a pretty cool feature.
The main story is split into two different timelines and you’re free to switch back and forth between them from the chapter selection screen. The differences are there and there are different characters available in each but they are essentially working towards the same end, which, on the one hand, is great as the collectibles and secrets are covered for both once collected in one. However, if you’re looking for a new experience then you’re sadly not going to get an entirely new story. There is enough to it to make you want to complete both, though. So it’s a personal preference sort of thing.
As it goes I wasn’t really expecting much from Wolfenstein: The New Order, mostly out of personal preferences, and the fact that it didn’t really seem to have a lot to it, but after forty hours I’m still able to come back and do more than I’ve done before. It’s deeper than expected. The story is fantastic, the combat is engaging, the weapons are fun, the lack of character development besides Perks is actually quite refreshing, and I hope they’re going to expand on it with DLC as there’s so much scope to do so. It’s a great title. It’s one of those rare titles like Shadow Warrior that you find and play and as you play further you just fall in love with the whole experience. It’s really good- go buy it.
Have a nice week, all!