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:
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.
Coupled with a poor storyline and lack of immersion Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is monotonous and requires far too much use of stealth to call itself a first person shooter. I was scanning my PS4 games last week and said "I want to play a mindless FPS". Unwittingly, I popped The Old Blood in only to completely regret it! I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated at trying to stealth past the huge robots. There was no easy way to kill them unless a stealthy approach was used which added to the monotony. Machine Games should have had multiple ways of taking down and perhaps then I would have been more focused. Additionally, I would have liked to see Castle Wolfenstein have more traps, more secret passages and overall stimuli. After two hours in, I was so bored of being 'in' the game that I didn't play it for two months afterwards. Clearly, The Old Blood was not a game I could lose myself in.
I'm certain that people will disagree with my review. Wolfenstein: The Old Blood received some decent press with some players rating it at whopping nine out of ten. The beauty of the gaming world are often seen in the differences in opinions though right? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this? Typically I don't rate games numerically but for the sake of comparison's I'd rate The Old Blood five out of ten due to the lack of immersion and overkill of lineage.
The combat systems in The Old Blood are simple and effective. Selecting different weapons can be easily done through the weapon wheel and more often than not, weapons feel pretty powerful when at full throttle. My most enjoyable moments in Wolfenstein: The Old Blood came when I could let loose on the nearby crowd of Nazi's. The in-battle strafing didn't feel as agile as one may have hoped but it was an overall satisfying experience.
The best part about Wolfenstein: The Old Blood was the price. I brought it for £13 brand new (approx $19 U.S). Few! I didn't waste my hard earned cash on a game that I'm crowning 'My Disaster Game'.
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We're well in to the Playstation 4 and Xbox One and more recently the Nintendo Switch eras of gaming. Graphics had never looked so smooth and gameplay had never flowed so fluently. Let's not forget the triumphant last Generation of gaming with the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii; all of which I have a lot of time for.
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