Review: Wolfenstein: The New Order

Review: Wolfenstein: The New Order

Wolfenstein, the grandfather of first-person shooters, gets a modern makeover with fictional Polish American hero William "BJ" Blazkowicz coming back to battle Nazi robots and soldiers.

Wolfenstein 3D was the very first 3-D shooter game and it created a new genre, which led to other big hits, such as Doom and Quake.

The New Order starts with a typical World War II battle scene in which BJ is once again part of the Allied Forces fighting the Nazis.

One memorable scene has your team climbing a building, while dodging enemy fire from soldiers aiming at the team from the building's windows. Surviving the odds to find an unoccupied window, you get into the building.

It turns out to be the fortress of BJ's nemesis, Wilhelm "Deathshead" Strasse, who captures BJ and his gang.

They manage to escape from the arch-villain's laboratory, but BJ suffers a severe head injury, leaving him in a vegetative state. He will spend 14 years in an asylum before he recovers.

When BJ finally regains his mind, it is 1960 and the Nazis have taken over the world after the Allied forces surrendered in 1948.

The only friend BJ has is Anya, a nurse who has been caring for him for years. He seeks her help to find his old comrades, whom he believes are locked up in a high-security prison. He also needs her to help him locate other resistance fighters, so they can join forces.

The New Order stands out for being brave enough to focus on only a single-player campaign, especially when extensive multiplayer gameplay has become de rigueur in shooter games.

I appreciate the effort that the game developer has put into creating a stronger plot, including having plenty of quality video scenes and taking the time to build the story instead of just throwing the gamer into the thick of violent action and bloodshed.

Moving from 1946 to 1960 has an immediate impact on your battle experience as the guns are significantly more powerful. Think assault guns which can be upgraded to rocket launchers, laser rifles and EMP grenades which stun your enemies while you take them out.

The enemies are numerous and tough. They include giant robots which can seriously hurt you with their powerful guns; dogs in heavy armour which will charge at you on sight, hell bent on ripping out your neck; in addition to standard-issue Nazi battle troopers.

Whenever you start a new level, it is best to use stealth to your advantage. Rush into battle and the alarm will sound, and you will soon find yourself outnumbered.

The smarter play is to hide in the shadows and search for the Captains and kill them before they can alert anyone. Creeping up behind an enemy soldier lets you kill him without alerting other enemies.

If you should be unfortunate enough to be spotted by a patrol guard, you can stop him from alerting his comrades by shooting him with a silenced revolver.

After you kill the Captain, you can then destroy the handful of enemies left on the map.

You can also choose to attack while under cover - slipping in and out to eliminate enemies - while protecting yourself from enemy fire.

Another cool feature is the ability to dual-wield guns. This gets the adrenaline flowing as you hear the dizzying sound of your bullets hitting helpless enemy soldiers.

Throw in perk points, which you can earn from your battle prowess, and you have a top-notch shooter which will get Doom and Wolfenstein fans all excited again.

ginlee@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on June 25, 2014.
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