Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Wolfenstein: The New Order (PS3 Review)

It's been 5 years since the last Wolfenstein game, and time has been very kind to it. Wolfenstein succeeds in the fact that is an absolute blast to play from beginning to end.  It falters in the sense that unless you really like doing the same thing over and over just on a slightly harder difficulty, there isn't much there once the credits roll. But, for that first play through, it can only be described as pure unadulterated fun. Which to it's credit is something that has been lacking in the ultra realistic Military shooter genre.

Set in an alternate-reality, where the Nazi's win the war and subsequently take over the world, you play as B.J. Blazkowicz, who during a raid on a Nazi stronghold leave you in a vegetable like state for 14 years. Once you regain your ability to walk and talk again you then become a Nazi killing machine once again, set on a conquest to rid the world of hold that the Nazi's have on it. The story is pretty paper thin, and uses the usual conventions, these are the bad guys, this is why they are bad, these are freedom fighters, they need you to help them, save the world. But, to be honest if you are playing Wolfenstein: The New Order are you really looking for a deep and engaging story arc? But, the characters that you meet are well written and well voice acted. I actually really liked the majority of the characters I encountered. Especially one such instance on a train, Wolfenstein manages to make the Nazi's really despicable almost inhuman people.

The gunplay is the strongest part of Wolfenstein, it is an absolute dream to shoot anything and everything in your path. Don't mistake that for meaning the the gun mechanics are ultra realistic and weighted like they would be in a Battlefield or Call of Duty game, this game makes no apology for being ultra unrealistic. You can carry Pistols, Assault Rifles, LMG's, SMG's, Shotguns, Sniper Rifles, Rocket Launchers, and you can detach any turret and lay waste to all around you. You can also Dual-Wield every gun in the game outside of the turret's. It is truly an awesome feeling to have a Shotgun in each hand, watching the body parts of your Nazi enemies go flying in every which direction. You can even Dual-Wield Sniper Rifles, I don't really know why anyone would want to, but I did, and it was suprsingly fun.

Enemies are quite varied at first, but quickly become repetitive after awhile, the game does like to throw many of them at you at one time, more than likely to nerf the fact that you can Dual-Wield extremely powerful weapons allowing you to dispatch a group quickly. On the Harder difficulties such as the wonderfully titled "I AM DEATH INCARNATE!!!" and "Uber", even with two Shotguns you will begin to feel that you are underpowered. But, it can be made easier through completing simple tasks like "Perform X amount of headshots." or "Kill X amount with grenades." you will unlock a healthy amount of upgrades to level the playing field.

There are a multitude of collectibles to be found in Wolfenstein, most of which are incredibly easy to find, and will be stumbled upon simply by doing natural exploration. In one particular place you can actually access Wolfenstein 3D, which to be honest was pretty amazing. Your Health and Armor are handled as they always have been simply walking over armor or a health pack will automatically pick it up, with your available health and armor display on the bottom of the screen. You can actually have more than 100% health and armor, which was also a nice throwback. To be honest the lack of things crowding my HUD was wonderful, having nothing but my Health and Armor displayed and the text for those is mostly transparent allowed for a full appreciation of the many details of game. The graphics even on PS3 are excellent, ID did a great job making the game look downright gorgeous.

In the end however, for all the good ID did, the game is really, really short. I once again Redboxed this and yet again had a Platinum trophy the very next day. The game should be played, and you should take any chance you can to experience the bloody fun that is Wolfenstein. But, should you drop $60 on a game that you will probably play once, twice if you do a legit Uber run, then the answer is no. There simply isn't enough there to make you revisit it once it is over. Inclusion of arena style multiplayer, or more Easter eggs like the Wolfenstein 3D one, probably would have added a ton of replayability but since all of that is missing, there really is no reason to purchase the game over renting it. 7 out of 10.