As a youth I grew up after the Wolfenstein franchise really became a big hit. With a few titles behind me and growing up into even playing some of them, I have a general knowledge, but to see Wolfenstein: The New Order in action at PAX Prime this year, I can't say it isn't still incredible. I may not have the grand nostalgia fans of the franchise will have when Wolfenstein: The New Order releases, but I will say that whether you're a longtime fan of the franchise or a new fan, this deserves your attention.
Before jumping into my thoughts on Wolfenstein: The New Order, Richard Cox also wrote his thoughts about it after experiencing the same demo at QuakeCon 2013 which took place last early last month.
The demo began with our hero B.J. Blazkowicz in 1946 walking ever so slowly up a building via a grappling hook. While walking up I had a few weapons at my disposal to take on Nazis popping out of windows trying to shoot me and my accomplices down, literally. I will say my way up this building was a bit too slow, I was able to jump over windows in my way and continue walking. Granted I'm not looking to sprint up a building or climb it like Assassin's Creed.
After slaying several Nazis along the way, I arrived inside the building and was given the chance to sneak through the rest of this fortress or go guns blazing. I figured hey, I've played Dishonored, same publisher, this should be a cake walk. Yeah, no. I managed to knife two Nazis doing their routes until the onslaught of Nazis began filling the room. While playing on the second hardest difficulty I was able to last for a while hiding behind stone walls and pillars, but man did they surround me!
A second run through I got a bit further, but go figure I alerted the horde yet again. It was intense, but as opposed to hiding and waiting for them to come to me, I brought it to them. I'm not a big console gamer so it took me a little bit to adjust and this is certainly when it kicked in. I found myself running from obstacle to obstacle meleeing, shooting, and overall clearing any room in my path. What was fascinating which I didn't quite realize right away, you can dual wield a lot of weapons. Once I realized I found myself wrecking rooms apart, who needs iron sights? A feature I liked that solved something I found iffy in other Bethesda titles was about random food laying around. If you were already at full health, food found on tables that you could eat would overcharge you giving you extra health, but it would slowly drain. You were also able to overcharge your health if you went over to recently killed enemies.
Soon I arrived with my buddies again in an open courtyard with several floors full of stone pillars for my foes to hide behind. Like earlier for me, this wasn't the best strategy, if anything they should've ran the second they saw my gatling gun. Well machine gun turret, I'd call it a gatling gun. Upon jumping on the turret I took advantage of the destructible environment Machine Games created. While I couldn't completely destroy those pillars, I could destroy enough of it that it was a toothpick. Did I mention the gatling gun is detachable?
Being the badass B.J. Blazkowicz is, there's no challenge impossible. Now what I've been waiting for while venturing through this fortress is all the mechanical creatures that we've seen being promoted. Well, the next room I entered was relatively creepy, it had what looked like dissections or experiments gone wrong on humans. Several bodies were hung up over metal tables and before I could examine them my squad mate decided to make a very bright move. Accidentally set off a furnace that would engulf the room in fire any minute. I had to search the room rampantly for a key to get out and after finding the way out the room was beginning to collapse and really burn. Yet while I was searching for a key, my squadmate whom was shot in the last crossfire was laying down across the room from the door helpless. I looked at him and looked at my escape waiting to find out how this situation would end. Would I get pulled into the next room or would I have the opportunity to save this fellow? Lucky for him I ran through the flames grabbing him and barely making it out alive, but we did alright, right into another fire.
Not actually another fire, but it might as well have been. BOOM, a giant mech-like person burst through the ceiling. Doors are overrated these days. This was the mechanical being I was waiting for, but I'm not so sure I was glad to see him or it. It's a good thing I picked up a second assault rifle a ways back, because I must have pumped several hundred bullets into this guy and he would just not go down. It got to the point that I was debating whether I had to do something special to take him out and then he dropped.
I ran over to examine the guy and he wasn't quite a robot, you could see some exposed skin. But it couldn't have just been a guy in huge armor, it was more than that. Especially after seeing the failed experiments in the previous room. My thought process was cut short by General Wilhelm Strasse, whom you may know as Deathshead. Any guy with that as a nickname is trouble. The walls around us began closing in and there was no time for making an escape. The walls kept getting closer and closer, there was no way I could push it back. As I struggled, I faded out and a black screen approached.
I awoke to yet another poor scenario. The mechanical soldiers were back and holding me down with two of my comrades. Deathshead decided to give me a speech and end with, it's up to you which one of your buddies I slash up. All I had to do was look at the guy to my left or the guy to my right, there wasn't a significant factor making me choose one or the other, I don't believe I even spoke to them before this moment. Their hopes that I had a plan to get them out of this were soon diminished. I tried to not look at either of them and wait to see if Deathshead would make the choice for me. He admired my stubbornness but he had an eternity of patience. I even asked one of the developers nearby if anything would happen if I waited. But I had to make a choice and I just went with the left guy and then the camera panned out to face B.J. While I couldn't see anything, Deathshead was preoccupied cutting out my comrade's eyes, it wasn't a pretty sound.
Deathshead left the room his men, leaving one guy behind for myself and my other pal to distract and be rid of. After a clever escape plan was in action, I managed to get an iron pipe to take him out. Next thing you know we were in another room about to go on fire and we had to make our escape. We pried open a window and made our escape as an explosion blew us out the window. My pal wasn't as fortunate as shrapnel carved him apart. I may have made it out, but shrapnel went right across my face as I fell into the ocean.
Yet another black screen as it faded out and you'd think it was the end of the demo but not quite yet. It led to a room in which doctors were examining my body, it had been nine weeks and nobody knew who I was or had came to see me.
Then I found my way into a hospital or what actually was an insane asylum. Each day that had passed another patient was taken by Nazi soldiers for who knows what. All I could do was sit in my wheelchair while a cute nurse named Anya took care of me helpless to it as well. Years passed as patients kept disappearing until the Nazis finally came to shut down the facility. The family running this facility wasn't ready to go down and made an attempt to take them out, but moments later they were worse off than I was and Anya was taken away.
All I could do was grab a knife nearby and wait until the soldier shot me in my wheelchair. How was the rest of this going to go down anyway? Super B.J. Blazkowicz saving the world from Nazis from a wheelchair? Well, let's just say I wasn't so hurt after all and I hopped out of my chair and took that Nazi down.
With the Nazis now in control of everything, I had to make my way through this hospital to save Anya and from what it looks like save the rest of the world. Taking place long after World War II it appears the world isn't quite right and as B.J. Blazkowicz it's up to you to bring it back to what it should be.