SAN FRANCISCO - Videogame lovers keen on battling evil and embracing storytelling will get to do just that when "Wolfenstein: The New Order" is released Tuesday.
Evil comes in the form of a fierce Nazi regime in an alternate history where Germany won World War II thanks to mysterious advanced technology in its arsenal.
Devotees of the decades-old Wolfenstein franchise will get, for the first time, to see into the life of hero protagonist and US soldier B.J. Blazkowicz.
The game opens with Blazkowicz waking from a coma in the 1960s to find that Allied Forces lost the war and that the world is ruled by iron-fisted Nazi overlords.
"It is a tale of revenge," said Tommy Tordsson Bjork, narrative designer at MachineGames, the Sweden-based studio behind the game.
"The player has to go up against the Nazis, who have taken over everything." The original Wolfenstein title dates back to 1981 and is credited with helping establish the first-person shooter genre.
The instalment crafted by MachineGames merges cherished elements of old-time first-person shooters with modern game sensibilities, according to Bjork.
Players can opt for stealth instead of head-on battles and explore open areas. They must be shrewd about avoiding injury and using health packs.
Meanwhile, there is a broad arsenal and no limit to how many weapons their in-game character can carry.
Action and adventure
"It is this mix between action and adventure," Bjork said. "We wanted to tell a really interesting story; there is a lot of interacting with other characters." He compared "New Order" to reading a captivating book, adamant that stories matter when it comes to compelling and immersive game play.
A person could spend about 20 hours on a complete playthrough of the title in single-player story mode, according to MachineGames.
Ramped-up power of new-generation PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles allow for vivid graphics delivering more realistic looking scenes, right down to emotion expressed on faces.
Versions of the game will also be available for play on previous generation PlayStation and Xbox consoles and on computers powered by Windows software.
"Variety and telling an interesting story, I think that will set it apart from other shooter games," Bjork told AFP, comparing the game to action-adventure games "Last of Us" and "Uncharted," rather than a typical military battle title.
Publisher Bethesda Softworks will release "Wolfenstein: New Order" in Australia, Europe and North America on Tuesday. The game is priced here at US$60.