Jens Matthias, of MachineGames, the team behind the new title, was recently quizzed in an interview by computerandvideogames.com. When asked about the comparisons that have been drawn between Wolfenstein: The New Order, and Activision blockbuster, Call of Duty, he said “We honour the original Wolfenstein a lot more. You have a lot of freedom in how you can attack. What type of tactics you use. And I think we have a really rich variety of gameplay. And it’s also different from a storytelling point of view. I think modern shooters are certainly something we’re influenced by, but we’re equally influenced by classic game design.”
“In most of our gameplay scenarios you can go in full guns blazing… you can also have a more tactical approach, and use iron sights and be a lot more cautious in your advancement. Or you can use a stealthy approach and just sneak past them, and all those approaches are supported in our game.”
At a top level, Wolfenstien: the New Order stays true to its origin by bringing back old favorite B.J. Blazkowicz to spread terror on the Nazi overlords once more. What we have always loved about Wolfenstein is its tongue in cheek approach and ignorance to the historic facts of WW2. Wolfenstein: The New Order, whilst being true to its roots with its arcade style gameplay, which brings a whole lot more depth to the individual characters in the game. It was really inevitable that this would be required in a world where film and games are becoming so intertwined, but some may argue that this has moved Wolfenstein away from its original roots of continual Nazi blasting action. That, said the script is well written and make the experience of playing the game, a much more engaging one.
The story is an interesting one, ex Wolfenstein hero, B.J. Blazkowicz awakens from a 14 year coma in the 1960s. Turns out the Germans have won World War 2 by using some kind of new magical technology. The story follows B.J. as he slowly begins to make sense of what has happened. Creative director Jens Matthias claims that he wanted to create drama in the story and give us a reason to care about the characters.
In one of the games initial cut scenes we see B.J. on a train grabbing a coffee for his female acquaintance. He bumps into Frau Engel, a German officer, who makes him sit down to play a game. She shows him a set of pictures, determining his reactions to check how Aryan he really is. The scene is interactive and allows the player to the image that appears the most emotional.
The scene ends randomly with a request from B.J.’s female companion to share the single bed with her in their room. It is all very dramatic and engaging to see the story twist and turn. It is clear by this point that the story is a big part of the game.
But just when we thought The New Order was going all soft on us, the scene ends and we are back in the action. B.J. is suddenly preparing for an infiltration of a German research facility in London and we are welcomed with a return to the good old days of shooting our way through a level of enraged Nazi enemies, battling to stay alive.
The game keeps its tongue in cheek attitude alive with an array of Duke Nukem style one liners. There is also an array of crazy unrealistic weapons, such as the lightning gun or the powerful energy cannon. With one weapon in each hand B.J. is able to blast the living daylights out of all sorts of strange robotic enemies in a style that is true to Wolfenstein’s roots. Also staying true to its arcade upbringing, B.J. can take a whole host of damage, this allows for a wonderfully over the top experience when battling the endless waves of enemies, it certainly seems a far cry from any Call of Duty comparisons made previously.
The apple never falls far from the tree and Wolfenstein: The New Order’s tree seems pretty nearby as far as its tribute to endless to Nazi massacre mayhem goes. The emotional storyline can feel a little confusing when teamed with the insane arcade action and for this reason, it may not be popular amongst some of the old school Wolfenstein fans. But do not let that hide the fact that Wolfenstein: The New Order is an incredibly fun game that will keep you entertained for hours on end. As far as WW2 games go, this almost certainly worth a look.
So, is it really similar to Call of Duty? Not unless Call of Duty has started taking acid at some hipster 80’s rave.
After being delayed for a final polish up, Wolfenstein: The New Order will hit PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 sometime in the first half of 2014.