By Gemma ~ @Juicy Game Reviews
It is fair to say that I was truly hyped for Wolfenstein: The Old Blood which we know is the prequel to Wolfenstein: The New Order. I enjoy nothing more than roaming around the first person shooter gaming world armed with a full arsenal of deadly weapons. Wolfenstein, as a series, has long been a key part of the first person shooter back bone until now. That very same back bone paved the way for the Doom franchise to explode on to shareware in 1993 and later storming millions of consoles around the world. So why am I writing this? Why have do I feel that Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is my hugest let down of the year to date?
William Blazkowicz is the hero and it's 1946 and we are about to storm Castle Wolfenstein. Yes, this is it. I felt that Machine Games did a poor job at threading the story together to create the cohesive flow I expected. Character's in The Old Blood felt flat and mechanical. Literally mechanical! The lack of human NPC's led me to feel that the story had been sacrificed at the expense of action (and not the fast paced kind of action I wanted). Compare this to Wolfenstein: The New Order. I wrote a short review on The New Order and commented at how good the storytelling was:
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood launched today on Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC. The physical edition will be available on May 15th 2015 in Europe. Wolfenstein was always a big hit on the PC back in my day although I can say that I was never that passionate about it back in the early 90's. In fact, I have no idea why? The Wolfenstein franchise as a whole is a remarkable feat that started with Castle Wolfenstein back in 1981 released on the Apple II, MS-DOS, Commodore 64 and Atari. Fast forward to 2015 and we are ten games in to the series with Wolfenstein: The Old Blood being the latest shooter to the series.
It been a long battling journey since Wolfenstein 3D shot on to our PC's back in 1992. William Blazkowicz was just as much of 'our hero' back then as he seems to be in the latest installment in the Wolfenstein franchise, Wolfenstein: The New Order. Yes, Congratulations to the developers, Machine Games. We are enthralled, yet again, from deep within the walls, trenches, stone and steel structures that you wrap around our main man. The Nazi's won the war and we need to fight as part of the resistance. Here are my initial impressions of this game.
When I first popped Wolfenstein in to my Playstation 4, waited for the usual reel of load screens and had placed my difficulty setting, solemnly, on to 'Bring em on' I was instantly hit with back story from Blazkowicz. I felt an instant connection as I viewed his dream like state in which the game teased us on Blazkowicz's softer side. Before I could explore this, the story began to 'rev the pedal' for action and the First Person Shooter experience began.
I can honestly say that I was not impressed with the game within the first hour. It felt too familiar. I was gunning down Nazi's, leaning around corners and walking the linear paths that the game design forced me to take. Now I am going to retract that 'Congratulations' I made in paragraph one! But read on as I played on..... Things just got better!
In one of my YouTube pick up videos recently, I talked about a key moment in which the game made a turn for me. Without spoiling it for you, I felt the game open up completely after I stormed the first castle. No longer did I feel locked in to the linear lines of trenches. I now had choices, CHOICES as a player. I like choices. Choices also become an integral part of the game as you progress but don't worry, I won't spoil it for you. Do I take the left ladder or the right? Behind the staircase or skirt around it? Do I stab or shoot his ass? Okay...Let's re-award that 'Congratulations' back to the game developers. You sneaky bastards. There I was thinking that I had made a mistake spending £45 on this game and now here I am thoroughly enjoying this deep immersion of Wolfenstein. I also found that a stealthier approach to the game (at this point) was giving me great pleasure in choosing my path. 'Kill The General', that was my order. I crouched as I crept silently through the halls; knife in hand. With the General in my sight I continued to adopt a light footed approach before stabbing him in the neck. STEALTH RULES for me. Obviously, I believe this to be a smarter approach as I tried the 'running and gunning' but found myself locked within a cobweb of Nazi's firing back at me. OUCH.
The game does a fantastic job of story telling. As I said, we are greeted earlier on with Blazkowicz's dream that demonstrates our hero's softer side. I found this to be a very strong element to this game. I have played MANY first person shooters that have been way too mindless, have very little story and no depth. Wolfenstein: The New Order is the polar opposite for me. Plenty of depth, we see the unfolding of characters that is paced with great voice acting, texture and clarity and I was mesmerized by our man, Blazkowickz's tender moments amidst a cut scene back drop.
So here we go, this is a fantastic first Person Shooter experience. Crammed full of story, intrigue, unique characters and GUNS! Wolfenstein: The New Order is available on Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC. For me, this is not a battle between consoles but experiencing a quality game (albeit my first hour) on a platform of your choice!
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