Wolfenstein: The New Order

[E3 2013] F#(k The Moon!

Blazkowicz is back in Wolfenstein: The New Order
Author: Aram Lecis
Published: June 16, 2013
I'm going to go out on a limb and say the the Castle Wolfenstein is the longest running franchise in gaming history. The original Apple II game was released all the way back in 1981. In the ensuing 31 years 8 "sequels" have been released culminating in the upcoming Wolfenstein: A New Order from MachineGames and Bethesda Softworks. Ultima and Wizardry can claim as ancient a history, but any current versions of those games have strayed much further from their original concept than Wolfenstein has.

We were a little down when we missed our appointment to see the presentation at the Bethesda booth at E3 (and it was so booked that getting into a later one wasn't even possible) but they graciously let us into the hand-on section to give The New Order a run through.

The latest game in the series takes place in an alternate universe 1960 where the Nazi's did much better than they did in our reality and are still in power. Because of that they've apparently retained most of their top scientists and now they are heavily into spaceflight and exploring the moon. Damn moon zombies!

They jumped us right into the middle of a level and it was a bit disorienting at first as we were in a narrow cavern that just seemed to circle endlessly. Eventually we dispatched a couple stray Nazis and entered some sort of complex, where we were greeted by a Wolfenstein staple, the primitive Nazi mech.

From that moment on, there were near constant waves of enemies, dozens up on dozens of them. Ammo, armor, health all flew as the bodies piled up and if you'd just dropped a status bar with a picture of BJ in the middle you could imagine yourself playing an alternate-reality Wolfenstein 3D.

Much like the original, we also got a bit confused a couple times by the level design. It's obviously an early build so this doesn't mean too much but finding switches to doors and even where the exit might be located seemed much more difficult than it should be. Unlike the original, BJ has a lot to say. He cracked wise at every opportunity, often with anachronistic little quips that were reminiscent of stuff Duke Nukem would say years later.

Speaking with one of the developers after finishing up our time with the demo, we were assured that the full game is MUCH more of an "action adventure" and there was plenty of story development and "adventuring". It was left up to us to determine what that might mean, but it definitely seems like when the action comes it can come fast and it can come furious. It's nice to see a return to a game with old-school design philosophy and action.

Wolfenstein: The New Order is set to come to both the PS3 and the PS4 this winter.

A simpler time...