Tech News on G4
‘New Order’, a bloody, better ‘Wolfenstein’
May 21, 2014
By John Powell - G4 Canada
Agent William Blazkowicz is having a very bad day. He has awoken from a vegetative state to find himself a patient in a Polish insane asylum. If that wasn’t bad enough, he learns that despite his best efforts, the Nazis won the Second World War, the United States surrendered and the majority of resistance fighters have been killed or captured. The world he once knew is no more. Rattled but not defeated, Blazkowicz picks up the gauntlet once more; vowing to put things right.
‘Wolfenstein: The New Order’ and the intense journey of Agent Blazkowicz treads some familiar territory but does so in a very new and inventive way making it one of the best games, stories told this year.
So, how did the Nazis get a leg up over the Allies? It seems as if all those experiments in 2009’s ‘Wolfenstein’ paid off. They have gigantic war machines belching fire, relentless robot hounds, robots with human brains implanted inside of them as well as laser rifles at their disposal. But, all of that and more isn’t a match for Blazkowicz’s grit and determination as he savagely takes the fight to the evil General Deathshead through heavily guarded military bases, harried city streets and even into outer space as he throws a wrench into the Nazis’ space program.
This is a far more hardened Blazkowicz than we have seen before. He is older, wiser and his actions are therefore far more deliberate and calculating; which makes him all the more dangerous.
To get the job done, Blazkowicz has your standard issue FPS weapons but can dual-wield many of them. This can be mighty helpful when the numbers are stacked against you; although you will be surely hurting for ammo after the smoke has cleared and all the bodies have hit the floor. Those irritating commanders do have a way of spotting you and calling for reinforcements, if you elect to go in with guns blazing. The game does provide the tools for a more stealthy approach though (sniper rifles, silencers and silent takedowns); leaving the choice up to you as to how you want to play.
No matter which approach you take, instead of an experience points system, you are rewarded with new skills by completing special in-game challenges or achievements like accumulating a certain number of head-shots, knife kills or grenade casualties. These secondary challenges add another layer to every mission you partake in and are a welcome break from the grind of the usual experience points, reward system.
Good thinking, developer Machinegames.
The elaborately detailed cut-scenes tell Blazkowicz’s story with such care and attention that we cannot help but to be drawn into his plight and the nightmare world he has found himself in. Even though they are quite grim and disturbing, what make the happenings even more powerful are the references to many real-life Nazi atrocities by Machinegames. It was a risky decision to be sure but in my mind, they should be commended for not compromising their story-telling and not ignoring history as it happened; even if it is truly repugnant to behold or ponder.
By rooting ‘Wolfenstein: The New Order’ in reality, Machinegames has not only faithfully brought the beloved FPS series into the next-gen age with a bold narrative that’s far more sober and reflective than most carefree shoot ‘em ups but has also assembled the best ‘Wolfenstein’ game to date.
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Rating: 9 / 10
About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.