Wolfenstein: The New Order Review – Fast and Führerious


By Darryn Bonthuys on Tuesday, May 27, 2014
"The game has plenty of the Reich stuff"

It’s 1960, and after a failed attempt to end World War 2 saw Wolfenstein series regular William “B.J” Blazcowicz down, defeated and stuck with some coma-inducing shrapnel in his skull, the world has changed. And not for the better.

Thanks to a Nazi war machine that utilised technology light years ahead of anything that the Allies could throw back at them, the Second World War is now over and bearing the familiar Swastika of the Uber-Race.

Wolfenstein (7)

Waking up from his coma, Blazcowicz is once again called upon to kill some Nazis. Fortunately, there’s plenty of the jack-booted soldiers around to satisfy that bloodlust. Following on from the lukewarm 2009 reboot, Wolfenstein: The New Order is an old school sequel shooter with a touch of modern age trappings. And by dipping into the past for inspiration, what’s old is new again.

There’s no regenerative health ala Call of Duty, with BJ’s life presented to you in the standard 100 health points range from previous games. What has changed in this version of Wolenstein however, is the manner in which health is chipped away and regenerated. Working in increments of 20, whatever health is remaining in that multiplication table is topped up automatically after a fight.

Wolfenstein (6)

For instance, take enough damage to drop down to 81 points of health, and it’ll shoot back up to a Hofftastic 100. Receive enough lead injections to drop your health to 78 points of vitality, and it’ll go back up to 80. It’s not a new system by any means, having been around in the Resistance games, but combined with old-school scavenging for health, armour and food on a frequent basis, results in a flow of combat that is unnecessarily broken.

It’s annoying, but hardly game-breaking. And when it comes to shooting, the game has plenty of the Reich stuff. Wolfenstein: The New Order is at its best when it tasks players with killing anyone in a snazzy Hugo Boss uniform that happens to be right in front of them.

Wolfenstein (5)

When the odds aren’t in your favour and you’ve got an automatic shotgun in each hand, this is when the game truly shines. As a shooter, it’s remarkably polished and ready for action. Guns feel chunky and fire off various rounds with a satisfying force that rips through the Axis forces, spraying blood everywhere and increasing sales of wheelchairs by 300%.

There’s just the right amount of weapons available as well, while BJ brings back another classic staple of the FPS genre, in the form of invisible pockets that house an arsenal fit for a small platoon of howling commandos. Machine guns, pistols, sniper rifles and shotguns are tools of the trade, with all of those weapons also featuring a dual wield mode for an akimbo assault, driving home the one-man army power fantasy even further.

Wolfenstein (4)

It’s a wonderfully fulfilling experience when you’re not on the dangerous side of twin automatic shotguns, and gunning your way through hordes of soldiers, cyborg dogs and robotic death machines never gets old.

On the other side of the Kraut control coin though, the game also features other options for play. You can take a stealth approach and take full advantage of a Nazi War Machine that was not trained to hear strange noises behind them, play the game like a cover shooter thanks to some solid lean mechanics and send a grenade back to Jerry with extreme love in the explosives category.

Wolfenstein (2)

Each of those gameplay pillars come with their own perks, a system of buffs that are based on how you kill your way through the game. It’s a nice touch, and it could have been an even better feature if Machine Games had implemented a more dynamic method of keeping track of your progress in these gameplay pillars.

On the visual front of the game, it runs fantastically. There’s some sneaky texturing on the part of the ID Tech 5 engine on display here, with a surface here or there creating a muddier impression in order to maintain a decent frame-rate, but it works a treat.

Wolfenstein (1)

Playing the game on PlayStation 4, pre-patch, not once did it drop a single frame. Wolfenstein: The New Order ran at a consistently smooth 60 frames per second, even in the more intense firefights that easily featured a dozen Nazis bearing down on me while war raged on outside. Characters looked great, clothing was detailed and although this game won’t be breaching the uncanny valley effect, it’s also a great example of what the upcoming Doom could be like when it eventually releases.

As for story, Wolfenstein: The New Order has your standard plot once BJ awakens, giving players a reason to administer bullets in enemies from point A to point B. It’s at times clichéd, and at other times ludicrous when you find yourself on the moon killing space-nazis.

Wolfenstein (3)

But thanks to a talented cast of voice actors who carry their role with just the right amount of bravado and gravitas, the story manages to get you invested on an emotional level. BJ himself is now a more introspective chap, but the inner monologue serves him well, making him more than just your typical jarhead in a sea of Aryan derivatives.

When it comes to the running length, don’t expect a thousand year game. Wolfenstein: The New Order can easily be completed within ten hours, with a second playthrough available based on a choice that players need to make early on in the opening mission.

This decision doesn’t truly provide much of a difference, offering a new mini-game and a new face by your side at best. But for fans of distractions, the game offers plenty for you to hunt around and discover. Enigma codes, collectibles and a rich new world history told through various newspaper clippings keep the action rolling.

Wolfenstein (8)

Stages themselves have a touch of linear design, but they’re designed in an open enough manner that makes it worthwhile replaying them and trying out new avenues of assault. Enemies come in your usual variants, such as grunts, elite soldiers and officers who can radio in for reinforcements, while the heavy class of cyborg and robot units serve the game well as metal-plated bullet sponges who have various laser rounds with your name on it.

Wolfenstein: The New Order is a game from an older age, and it’s not going to apologise for that back to basics approach. Despite having a few inconsistencies that prove why the genre has moved on in certain design departments, the good far outweighs the bad as this return to form for the franchise that started a genre is still immensely enjoyable.

Heil honey, I’m home.

Wolfenstein: The New Order was reviewed using a publisher-supplied copy of the game. Game played to completion on normal difficulty over both optional timelines.

Wolfenstein: The New Order was reviewed by on the 27th of May , 2014 at 12:30 PM on PlayStation 4

GAMEPLAY
8.0
Grab some guns, double up on the carnage and prepare to stomp some Nazi ass. Wolfenstein: The New Order is at its best when it comes to pure action, leaving the stealth and tactical options as viable alternatives that gather dust in the aftermath of a shotgun frenzy.
DESIGN
8.5
A solid visual performance, with a tepid story that is saved by a voice acting that actually has you caring about the cast for the game. The frame-rate is consistently smooth, painting a gritty but pretty picture of the new world order.
VALUE
7.0
It's not the longest game by far, and barring the hunt for collectibles, you'll be able to finish your first playthrough in around ten hours. A second playthrough is encouraged, but not truly necessary, as the various levels present enough of an option to try varying methods of attack.
TOTAL
8.0
It may have a few inconsistencies that can otherwise hamper the fine action in front of you, but this is the Wolfenstein return that for the most part, manages to mix deliciously old-school violence with a new generation of visuals and storytelling.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

[rpuplugin]

Author:Darryn Bonthuys

Because he's the writer that Lazygamer deserves, but not the one it actually needs right now. So we'll hunt him. Because he can't take it. Because he's not a hero. He's a loud-mouthed journalist, a watchful procrastinator. A dork knight.
  • Admiral Chief in Space

    Vow, dat title, I dit Nazi dat koming

    • HvR – THE Average GAmer

      Game sounds SSational

      • Ultimo_Cleric N7

        Heil give it a try.

    • FR0ZEN FLAMES

      Great game, can’t wait for DOOM !! Great review. Heil to the chief, baby !!

  • Admiral Chief in Space

    “spraying blood everywhere and increasing sales of wheelchairs by 300%”

    Hahaha, I know I shouldn’t laugh, but, HAHAHAHA well done Darryn

    • Kromas

      When you maim them they still shoot back so screw putting them in wheelchairs!

  • Admiral Chief in Space

    Good review Darryn, very nice!

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    Sweet, I’ll add this & Watch_Dogs to my “get in about a year” list.

    • Admiral Chief in Space

      Aye, this I agree with. Looks pretty schweet though eh?

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        Yeah it does. I’ll have my new PC by the time I get this so I’ll be able to play it with all ze bells und vissels.

        • Admiral Chief in Space

          Aye, I’m due for a CPU upgradezors, so that has to happen first (still kicking after 5/6 years!!!)

          • FoxOneZA

            AMD’s go for a decade. I got some chipz from each gen lying on my desk but pity the mobo’s don’t last as long.

  • CAE9872

    Hmmm definitely want this! But my backlog…sheesh!

  • Hammersteyn

    Hammersteyn can’t wait to Wolfenstein.

    • RinceofFuturePast

      You’ve been waiting an awfully long time to say that haven’t you? :P

      • Hammersteyn

        Had to retype it four times because of spelling errors.

        • RinceofFuturePast

          Too excited? :)

          • Hammersteyn

            Hehehe

      • Hammersteyn

        Had to retype it four times because of spelling errors.

    • Jonah Cash

      When will you get this, I didn’t get this as I waited for the Dogs!! I am sitting next to my copy of Watch Dogs and it is staring at me. It is days like this that I really hate working from home!! I have a ton of work….. but games man games!!

      • Hammersteyn

        Picking up Watch Dogs after work ;)

      • Hammersteyn

        Picking up Watch Dogs after work ;)

        • Jonah Cash

          Man I watched a lot of Dogs yesterday and I don’t get why everyone hates Aiden’s personality…. He reminds me a hell of a lot of myself….

          • Hammersteyn

            LOL I saved so much on trade ins I bought Wolfenstein as well. So I played Wolf last night. When I play Dogs I will probably keep you or remove you from my profile depending on Aidens personality :P

          • Jonah Cash

            I have what is called a very selective personality…. You will either like me or hate me…. It seems Aiden is afflicted by the same personality trait of we don’t really give a f*ck, so come along or stay behind either way works for us!! But don’t you dare remove me, I will find you…. Hahahaha

          • Hammersteyn

            ;)

  • FoxOneZA

    Solid 8/10 this time ;)

    This review have the finest pics of next-gen eye-candy.

  • RinceofFuturePast

    Nice review as always Darryn. Still though, 10 hours is a bit lacking in the R600 plus area. I mean it looks stunning, but not sure I can blow that much money on such a quick run through.

    • Hammersteyn

      PS4 will be even more expensive I think

  • Lourens Jordaan

    The 10 hour duration means that I’ll actually be able to complete it before getting bored!!!

  • MakeItLegal

    I woulnt be able to play this ( even if I got a free copy ) not picking up 15 diffrnt things to get ” armor” call me new school , or time constrained , but spending 5 mins after every encounter to stock up ( and this is not a rpg )

    Anyways my useless 2 cents

  • Jonah Cash

    I am so buying this when it gets it’s first drop in price! This feels like a good game to get for Under R600….

    • Hammersteyn

      Agreed

  • Dragula Dirt

    XBox360 version comes on 4 discs – first one an install disc and takes about 20-30 minutes to load.
    I’ve played about 10 hours and have just switched to disc 3.
    Cool game but that PS4 version looks a whole lot better (graphically)

    • Hammersteyn

      0_O four discs???

      • HvR – THE Average GAmer

        1999 called it wants its discs back.

        • oVgeeeeee Comet Drop

          Bwahahahaha

        • Hammersteyn

          LOL, X-Files the game. Seven disks

        • RinceofFuturePast

          HAHAHAHA

      • HvR – THE Average GAmer

        1999 called it wants its discs back.

      • Dragula Dirt

        Yes, sadly this makes me realise how much I need a new-gen console now – got a feeling all the good games are going to start coming out on multiple discs now. Especially Xbox360 with it’s DVD discs.

  • geelslang

    There are consequences for getting shot, you cant just hide behind a wall for 10 seconds, you now have to run accross a room of bullets to get that health back. I think It works well in this game. Im about half way and so far its been good.

    • Dragula Dirt

      The other thing I haven’t seen mentioned is that you can actually overload your health – so you can go to 120% or 140% and in that case it slowly goes back down to 100% – but it gives you some extra time to kick the real meanies ass.

  • Johan du Preez

    I am loving the game so far

  • Mossel

    8/10 is good.
    9/10 is “best game in a long time” material.
    10/10 is reserved for Half-Life 2 and Bioshock.

  • Rags

    Does it have strafe jumping?

  • Stefan

    Oh my word so much of bad puns :)

    Nice review by the way,. Picked it up on Take-a-lot last week and installed it but I have yet to give it a proper spin

  • Stefan

    Oh my word so much of bad puns :)

    Nice review by the way,. Picked it up on Take-a-lot last week and installed it but I have yet to give it a proper spin

  • Stefan

    Oh my word so much of bad puns :)

    Nice review by the way,. Picked it up on Take-a-lot last week and installed it but I have yet to give it a proper spin

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    Another game that’s on my list, I wasn’t keen on Wolfenstein before but after watching a few vids, it really has piqued my interest.

  • Jans

    wow,that’s cool.

  • nick

    Having to click to pick up things really sucks. Why can’t we just run over them

  • Tulipdame

    Man I am loving this game to bits!

  • Pingback: Wolfenstein: The New Order devs have some ideas for a sequel | Lazygamer .:: The Worlds Best Video Game News ::.

Must Read

Razer Kraken headset review: Release the sounds

Razer's budget version of a pro-gaming headset is exactly that - pro ...

Logitech Powershell Review – Yes but why?

We review the add on controller for mobile gaming, the Logitech Powershell

Samsung Galaxy S5 Review

The Samsung Galaxy S5 gets put through the ringer as we review ...

Crimsonland review – Retro shooting

Crimsonland is coming to PS4 and its gore will remind you of ...

Tomodachi Life Review – An Aleutian of life

Tomodachi Life is by far the weirdest game that I’ve ever been ...

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 review: Barely scratching the surface

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 offers 10.1" of portable experiences, but is ...