Wolfenstein: The New Order - PlayStation 4 User Review
'Wolfenstein: The New Order' on the PlayStation 4 is a first-person shooter which was published by Bethesda Softworks and developed by MachineGames for the next gen consoles.
The developers over at MachineGames have been tasked with reviving a franchise that many deem to be almost untouchable. 'Wolfenstein' made its console debut back in 1981 under the name 'Castle Wolfenstein' but most of us probably got or first taste of the bizarre WWII shooter back in 1992 when 'Wolfenstein 3D' dropped for the Super Nintendo. Since then the series has been releasing steady games with our newest entry making it to the PlayStation 4 in the name of: 'Wolfenstein: The New Order'. We got a chance to sit down with 'The New Order' just to see if the sequel lived up to the prior entries. For fans of 'Wolfenstein' in its originality, it might be time to hold your breath. Keep reading to see if you'll be adding this game to your PS4 library!
For those few gamers out there that don't really know what 'Wolfenstein' is about, or why we should love it, let's take a moment to really give it the respect that the series deserves. Before there was 'Doom', which is commonly referred to as the first defining FPS game, there was 'Wolfenstein'. id Software, publishers of the franchise from the very beginning, have been pulling the game along with each new generation of consoles. Mixing the shtick of over the top evil Nazis (if that is even possible) with the grittiness of an awesome first person shooter, 'Wolfenstein' has turned into one of the ultimate gaming experiences. When 'Wolfenstein' made the move to 3D fans were even more amped up to play it. Now, harnessing the power of the PS4, there should be no shortage of fans lining up at the door. And, if we had our way, that is how things would be. Because 'Wolfenstein: The New Order' is one of the defining FPS games available right now.
Machine Games took up the mantle of development for 'The New Order' and their recent track record is as good as it gets. Machine Games developed 'The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay' in 2004 before developing 'The Darkness' in 2007. Both titles were revered for their elaborate storytelling, gritty aura, and absolutely engrossing gameplay experiences.
At its core, 'Wolfenstein' has never been about the storyline. I mean, how could it be? The game goes so over the top in regards to drama that attempting to play it straight would be disastrous. Nazi mega scientists developing futuristic tech during the depths of WWII sounds ridiculous. Don't even let us get started on the zombies. So how well could a company whose primary badges of honor were related to storytelling revitalize this series? It turns out that Machine Games knew what they were doing.
'The New Order' is a direct follow up to the 2009 release 'Wolfenstein' and playing that title before this one would make the most amount of sense. The series is set in an alternate history where World War II did not go quite the way we thought it did. Nazi's have utilized occult powers to unearth ancient technology and the Allied powers are on the brink of destruction.
The game opens up with our action hero BJ Blazkowicz leading a mission into a German castle in 1946. His goal is to kill Wilhelm Strasse, otherwise known as Deathshead. Deathshead is the lead scientist for the occult powered Nazi's and he is one of the most brilliant strategists in the entire world. The last time we saw him, back in the '09 release, he was crawling from the downed wreckage of a zeppelin. Yeah, if you haven't been playing 'Wolfenstein' then probably nothing is making sense here. Anyways, onto the mission.
Yeah, it fails. Our man BJ takes a hit trying to escape the castle and he falls, knocked out and thrown into a coma. For ten years BJ lays there until he comes to inside of an asylum owned by the Polish. While he was out quite a bit happened. Namely: The Nazi's won the war. They won the world. However there are still a few resistance fighters left alive and that is where our story takes us.
So as you can see, already the storyline is pretty darn interesting. We know that Nazis, by now, have become pretty cliche in the mainstream. Yet, 'Wolfenstein' was using them to great appeal before it was cool. Having the Nazis actually WIN WWII and take over the world is a delightful twist and it is only bested by the fact that our hero is put out of commission for the duration. We can only fill in the blanks with our imagination as to what happened.
The developers put a lot of work into creating a dystopian, science fiction based world and it really helps to sell the game to us. When BJ comes to and starts to explore this world, it becomes deeper and deeper with every step. From the robots to the Nazi propaganda adorning everything, we feel completely transformed. While there are moments of absurdist humor here, 'The New Order' mostly plays it straight and that comes with massive appeal to us.
How does it look on the PlayStation 4?
Ignoring the story, 'Wolfenstein' has never looked this good. The textures in the game are just beautiful and they really help to sell this dark new world. We loved the level design because there was so much to see in every single frame. Everywhere you look you can see tinges of what the world could have been had the Nazis not stepped into play. From the music to the posters to the style of dress that the citizens in this world wear, it's all there and tweaked to perfection.
Our last comment is in regards to the actual game play. Fighting in this game is smooth. You'll seamlessly switch between a variety of futuristic projectile weapons, reminding one of steampunk inspired gear, while also going hand to hand on many occasions. Using strategy to clear out rooms really helps make the game feel grounded, and we dig that it still maintains the core functionality of a great shooters.
On the whole we found 'Wolfenstein: The New Order' on the PlayStation 4 to be one of the most enjoyable games we've picked up in a long time. There are some issues here for new gamers: the story is convoluted and references will go over their head, but that's about it. Give the game a shot!