Wolfenstein: The New Order (PlayStation 4) Review

By Az Elias 07.06.2014 2

Review for Wolfenstein: The New Order on PlayStation 4

World War II could have been so different. There could have been super soldiers, mechanical dogs, giant earthshattering robots…and the Nazis could have won. In Wolfenstein: The New Order's alternative take on those events, that's exactly what happened. The latest in the long-running Wolfenstein series sees Swedish developer MachineGames take a crack at reviving it, with Cubed3 blasting through the PlayStation 4 version.

Despite the prologue giving off a rather generic feeling to begin with, Wolfenstein: The New Order shows signs of something quite different to other first-person shooters set in the World War II era, as William Blazkowicz takes on Nazis aided by enhanced killer mechanical dogs, and a towering robot capable of firing off lasers that can wipe out buildings left, right and centre. The further along the prologue gets, however, the sooner it becomes clear that this really isn't like any other typical shooter on the market at all.

After forcing the player to make a trying decision on which comrade to save, fourteen years pass, and it comes to light that the Germans won the war. In this alternative 1960s future, the Nazis rule the world - their supremely advanced technology pushing the human race's achievements forward by decades, controlling the population through powerful means of robotics, and quite literally toppling landmarks to the ground to build their own daunting structures in their place. The older time period mixed in with a futuristic nature that comes with the Nazi technology makes for a very distinctive and refreshing setting.

Screenshot for Wolfenstein: The New Order on PlayStation 4

Especially pleasing is just how well the story is handled. As part of a small resistance that rises to take down the Nazi mad case Deathshead, Blazkowicz meets new and old allies that keep the plot engaging and moving forward. Some really solid performances from the actors and graphics team to portray the realistic mannerisms push the story into believable territory, where there are many laughs to help lighten the mood of the doom and gloom outside (most of which come from Fergus' strong Scots dialect), but also some stark realisations that life under Nazi rule is gruesome. In particular, Blazkowicz's relationship with Anya is told really well, re-emphasising the importance of making the most of now, for tomorrow might never come.

Stealth plays a big part in the game on many occasions, with the idea being to take out Commanders in the area without being noticed, to stop them calling for reinforcements. For as long as Commanders stay alive and see Blazkowicz, they will continue to radio in for backup. Of course, the choice to go in all guns blazing is there, but at least taking a few soldiers out by sneaking first will make life easier. Stealth sections are great when it all comes together to clear out entire areas successfully, but to be completely honest, blasting Nazis with the range of weaponry on offer is so much more satisfying.

Screenshot for Wolfenstein: The New Order on PlayStation 4

With the advanced tech the Germans have at their disposal, come guns that most definitely wouldn't normally have been around in 1960, but the game plays all the better for it. Especially awesome are the dual wields for shotguns and assault rifles, detachable mounted turrets, and even laser sniper rifles. Firing off streams of bullets gives off a sweet arcade feel, and the ragdoll physics and dismemberments of the enemies make the blasting all the more fulfilling. That classic 90s feeling of Wolfenstein 3D and Doom is very much present here.

Whilst multiplayer has been overlooked for this FPS, it's pleasing to see all of the focus go into the solo campaign, and it really does show. Each chapter offers well-designed variety in levels, topped off with proper arcade run-and-gun gratification. Hidden objects offer some incentive to fully explore each stage as well, with rewards of health upgrades. The perks system applied presents many optional objectives based around the gameplay and handling of weapons. For example, putting the sneak mechanics to use by taking out Commanders silently, or throwing knives to put enemies down from afar, will reward with a bigger knives capacity and quieter movement. Performing headshots, taking out a certain number of enemies and killing whilst sliding on the floor will unlock other extras, like faster reloading speed, and the sort. This perks system helps to make the most out of all available weaponry and gameplay options, and is a welcome addition, for it rewards players for doing so.

Screenshot for Wolfenstein: The New Order on PlayStation 4

The enemy AI can, at times, be a little dumb, and that in part comes down to the fact that there is a stealth system in place. It provides some leniency with regards to not being spotted easier, but when a Nazi's head explodes from a headshot, one would expect his comrade a few steps in front to take notice, back turned or not. These are rare moments that can't be complained about too much, however. Bosses are a slightly different matter, though, because there aren't really enough of them and of the ones that are there, it isn't always clear how to take them down. Trial and error creeps into play until the solution is found, but they are generally quite repetitive.

Barring these moments, Wolfenstein: The New Order is a fantastic revival of the series, bringing back a quality arcade experience, with solid level design and great characters. Anyone that has a penchant for the early Wolfenstein games will be pleased to know this comeback is a success, and should certainly be checked out.

Screenshot for Wolfenstein: The New Order on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Set in a fascinating alternative Nazi-ruled era, a meaningful story and great individual characters make Wolfenstein: The New Order one of the best first-person shooter campaigns of recent years, and certainly is the one to pick up on the PS4 right now, if looking for fun gameplay, awesome guns and great levels. It brings an old-school arcade experience to the 3D world, nailing the themes and settings, mechanics and choice of weaponry. There are some irritations relating to bosses, odd glitches and questionable AI at times, but this is a quality start for MachineGames, who should definitely be given a chance to work on a sequel built specifically for the newest set of home consoles.

Developer

MachineGames

Publisher

Bethesda

Genre

First Person Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (2 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

A far cry from the ropey SNES game I vaguely recall then! Sounds good, in a Bioshock-not-standard-FPS kind of way.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Personally, I consider it one of the best plot based FPS out there in a long while.

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