Lucien’s Review: Wolfenstein: The New Order

WolfensteinJust one thing – retro-futuristic robo-Nazis.  Just that alone and you have what makes this game so utterly awesome.  It’s not a game that is going to bring you into a deeper understanding with humanity.  Nor is it the kind that will give you some insight into the human condition.  What will give you, however, is big guns that you can use to murder-death-kill as many Nazis are is humanly possible!  This game is so much fun.  Violent, grotesque, ridiculously-stupid fun.  Given my love of games that are filled with complex narratives, this might seem an odd thing to like, but sometimes, you just need to unwind and blow some Nazis to bits.  Let’s talk about it.

The game follows the exploits of BJ Blazkowicz.  The American badass who once brought down Hitler single-handedly.  Though, this game doesn’t acknowledge that one, so I guess it may not be a direct sequel.  Whatever.  In any case, Blazkowicz ends up getting trapped by a German supervillain named Deathshead.  I love the names in this game, by the way.  He blasts them out of a window, which ends with our hero with shrapnel in his head and being in a mental institution for 16 years.  When he gets out, he finds that the war is over, and Nazis rule the world! (of course!)  But that doesn’t stop our now-aging friend from realizing that the only good Nazis are dead ones, so he decides to begin the fight anew, and blow them to bits in every conceivable way.  Doesn’t this sound enjoyable?

Something to know about this game – it has a very strange way about it.  Parts of this game encourage you to tank through damage and go all rage-mode with dual-wielding weapons.  No joke, you can dual-wield the biggest guns in this game.  It’s nuts!  But also kind of cool.  Then you have parts that want you to be all stealthy, and the juxtaposition between these two elements can be a little strange.  But really, we all know the best way to play – blowing shit up with big guns!  Yeah, it’s how you’re gonna play anyway, and thankfully, this game knows that.  Bullets are plentiful.  As is health and armor.  Everything about this game is made for you to let all your inner rage out and kill everything in sight.  Cathartic carnage, perhaps?

But that’s not to say that this game is all death and blowing shit up.  No joke, this game has a lot of really good quiet time, where you actually do get to take time to get to know your fellow bandits.  There are real relationships that change over the course of the narrative.  And you can do little side-activities in your hideout which can change them even more.  It’s actually kind of nice.  Like when you help the brain-damaged muscle of the group, named Max, find his lost toys.  If you are the kind of person who likes that sort of thing, the quiet time has some real value.  Plus, there are some great comedic moments with the characters.  Though, some of the moments are not so great.  Like when you save your former CO, and he resents you for it.  But that’s just the world this game takes place in, and it feels good to be a part of.  There is also a relationship in this game that is strangely believable, due to how strange the world they put it in.  That and they actually treat it like there is something there to fight for.  Kind of sweet, in a weird sort of way.

Also, despite the fact that you are blasting Nazis with big guns, nowhere in this game do they shy away from the fact that living under Nazi rule sucks, and the villains are all REALLY despicable people.  There is something kind of post-apocalyptic about the world of this game, and it works.  It helps that all the voice acting here is done considerably better than it has any right to be.  For example, instead of all the Germans speaking English, most of them speak German almost all the time.  Subtitles are a must to be able to enjoy this game’s dedication to world-building.  They also have people who speak Polish, and genuine British people for British roles.  It’s very nice.

This game is VERY early PS4, so the visuals are not the greatest.  Up close, some of the textures look pretty bad.  But the visuals can be quite something, from time to time.  Like the character designs.  There’s one villain who gets horribly mutilated, and comes after you.  The look of her messed-up face when she’s talking to you is scary as shit.  But it does the part, and when the action wants to look slick, it really does.

There’s not much more to say, honestly.  This is a dark and gritty game, yet gives you the tools to go as nuts as you like, and kill the shit out of Nazis.  Honestly, what more could you ask for?  There is an engaging story here as well, and a campaign that goes on a good deal longer than most games in this genre.  Take that for what it’s worth.  Is it a masterpiece?  No.  But for those who can turn their brains off for five minutes, there’s a lot to like here.  Such as killing Nazis.

Final Verdict
8 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

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