Wolfenstein: The Old Blood (PlayStation 4) Review

By Az Elias 19.01.2017

Review for Wolfenstein: The Old Blood on PlayStation 4

MachineGames revitalised the Wolfenstein franchise when it took the reins to bring William Blazkowicz back in Wolfenstein: The New Order, one of the purest and most fun examples of arcade first-person shooters in recent years, and still ranks as one of the best on current home consoles, right alongside 2016's Doom. Following the Wolfenstein revival in 2014, MachineGames followed up with a standalone prequel in the form of The Old Blood, but did it carry on the greatness of The New Order, or succumb to the Nazi invasion?

Wolfenstein: The New Order was a large-scale release with a focused narrative-driven and lengthy campaign. The Old Blood pretty much pedals back on a lot of that. It is a smaller game, acting as a companion piece to the superior predecessor that tells of the events leading up to The New Order, where the Nazis won World War II. This prequel focuses on B.J's attempt to steal documents from Castle Wolfenstein that detail the location of Deathshead, the prime antagonist of the series, and eventually sees him trying to break free from the prison and taking on Nazi henchmen and soldiers, as the mission goes wrong.

The story develops into the supernatural, as Helga von Schabbs, the leader of one of the Nazi divisions and main baddie here, seeks the hidden treasures sealed away by King Otto centuries ago, and unwittingly unleashes a poisonous gas that infects soldiers and civilians alike, causing a zombie pandemic of sorts.

Screenshot for Wolfenstein: The Old Blood on PlayStation 4

It's kind of typical, and eye-rolling inducing, that the zombie card was pulled for The Old Blood, as not only does it limit where the story can go, but it affects the gameplay once the undead enemies enter the situation, where they are more or less simple pickings of slow-moving soldiers, only charging at B.J. once they get a bit closer to him. The change-up is amusing for a brief period, and while regular soldiers and commanders that need to be taken out stealth-style do creep back into the final chapters, The Old Blood falls into the generic trap that it perhaps didn't need to.

It's a shame the characters and story aren't fleshed out more, as The New Order really excelled in this regard. Instead, The Old Blood is quite non-stop in its action, jumping from one chapter to the next, with little room to develop the characters Blazko meets along the way. Although it does what it can in the time it has, some more moments spent with fellow agent and Welshman Wesley and the young woman Annette who is searching for her lover would have been appreciated.

The Old Blood will be a disappointment if expecting the same level of variety and quality of storytelling and gameplay as The New Order, but as a prequel, MachineGames has naturally carried over so much of what made that original title so good. Big chunky guns with a proper arcade feel to them, good stealth gameplay that asks players to go back to clear areas out more efficiently in extra challenges, plenty of collectibles that add a little more to the lore, and a really well-designed world that effectively conveys the oppressive nature and overwhelming power of the Nazis on the brink of winning the war. This is all here in The Old Blood, and whilst about half the size, it's still a great little FPS.

Screenshot for Wolfenstein: The Old Blood on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

The New Order is a far superior game in many ways, but take Wolfenstein: The Old Blood as a companion piece to its predecessor, and there is still the same great arcade FPS and stealth gameplay here that will satisfy fans of MachineGames' previous entry. It isn't as fleshed-out or exciting as the 2014 title, but it holds up well as its own standalone Wolfenstein game.

Developer

MachineGames

Publisher

Bethesda Softworks

Genre

First Person Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

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

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