Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Wolfenstein: The New Order

Review: Wolfenstein: The New Order

11:01 PM on 05.19.2014 // Chris Carter

What if the Nazis won?

Along with Catacomb, Wolfenstein was one of my first FPS games. One of the fondest memories I have of my father is playing it "co-operatively," where one of us moved and the other shot enemies and opened doors.

It was one of the purest FPS games of all time, in an era where maps were more of an elaborate maze than a hallway of cutscenes. While Wolfenstein may play it safe with many modern designs that we've all come to expect, it manages to encapsulate the spirit of the genre when it was in its infancy -- fun.

Wolfenstein: The New Order (PC, PS3, PS4 [reviewed], Xbox 360, Xbox One)
Developer: MachineGames
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date: May 20, 2014
MSRP: $59.99

While the premise may not be as wildly different as Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, The New Order tries something different this time. Taking place a few years after the events of 2009's Wolfenstein, Order once again follows the footsteps of American hero Captain "B.J." Blazkowicz as he attempts to topple the Nazi regime during World War II. There's just one major problem -- he fails in the prologue chapter, the Nazis win the war, and the US surrenders.

Blazkowicz is rendered unconscious, and as a result of an encounter with General Wilhelm "Deathshead" Strasse, he is stuck in a mental institution for 14 years suffering from brain damage. Oh, and the Nazis have giant robots now in this alternate 1960s universe. Yeah, this is one messed up future. For those who aren't aware, The New Order is a single-player only game, which is probably for the best knowing how half-assed developers handle multiplayer these days.

While the story isn't exactly Oscar-worthy material, the genuine surprise that Blazkowicz's voice actor exhibits when he finds out that the US actually surrendered to Germany sounds authentic, and it sets the tone for the eerie landscape to come. The developers really went all the way with this concept, and it does wonders for essentially rebooting the franchise without rendering all the previous stories moot.

But Blazkowicz isn't a thinker -- he's a doer -- and you'll get off to killin' Nazis in no time. To do this, he'll utilize a number of different playstyles (stealth, tactical, assault, and demolition) all with upgradeable perks in tow. The cool thing about this system is that players can opt to go for all or none of the skill trees, and they don't have to switch between them because every upgrade is permanently unlocked once you earn them.

By looking at the perk menu you'll be able to spot different challenges (kill five enemies undetected, or achieve 10 headshots), which will unlock perks like throwing knives and stronger headshot damage, respectively. I generally preferred the stealth element, as the throwing knives were particularly fun, and sneaking around isn't nearly as slow as it is in other games.

If all hell breaks loose I opt for assault weapons, most notably guns with dual-wielding options. The only real annoyance with this "choose your own perks to upgrade" mechanic is that you can't "pin" goals anywhere on the UI -- you have to go back to the menu every time and pause to action to find out your requirements. Thankfully, it does allow pretty much every playstyle to flourish, and completionists will have a great time mastering everything.

The New Order is also old-school at times, chiefly because it employs the classic multi-weapon system that's eschewed so often these days for a simplistic two-gun loadout. There's a weapon wheel that allows you to switch from everything to rocket launchers to silenced pistols to dual assault rifles, and if you want you can use the weapon switch button to quickly swap between two of your favorites -- opting for the best of both worlds.

The health system isn't entirely retro as there is some form of regenerative health, but it's severely limited and medkits are still a thing. Starting with a maximum health of 100, your life regenerates in multiples of 20, so if you have 80 health you'll have to find a kit to get back to 100. It's challenging enough as every hit will bring you that much further from a maximum of 100, and the later difficulties can get pretty brutal.

Another refreshing feature I found is that The New Order doesn't hold your hand at every turn. We've become so conditioned to blindly follow bread crumb trails no further than inches from our faces, and only press buttons outside of the confines of the game in QTE-like situations. But thankfully the objective reticles are kept to a minimum, you're expected to improvise in certain situations, and maps must be filled out by hunting down and killing special "Commander" NPCs throughout each level.

The maps are a good mix of multiple paths and linear hallways, although they tend to err on the side of the latter far too often. It's not nearly as open as say, the new Rise of the Triad or even older Wolfenstein games, as you'll usually know where to go, or where secrets are hidden. You'll also get to make a major choice at the start of the game that will influence your skills and the storyline ever so slightly, but the differences are marginal.

New Order's main ingredient is simplicity, which can feel a bit grating at times as you ostensibly repeat the same actions over and over. After you've unlocked a fair bit of abilities and have seen most of the enemies it can feel like a grind at times -- a feeling that is alleviated the more you enjoy FPS games in general. The tesla packs and iron soldiers are a neat concept, but the more you play it the less developer MachineGames does with the occasionally mundane reality.

If you're looking for more after the roughly 10-hour campaign, you'll want to hunt for every collectible, unlock all the concept art, and search for the elusive "Enigma Codes." The codes are basically the ultimate secret in The New Order consisting of 18 individual pieces for each of the four codes. If you can find them all and solve the numerical puzzle in the extras menu you'll unlock additional modes, which are mainly just modified difficulty levels.

In many ways, Wolfenstein: The New Order is "First-Person Shooters: The Game," but it gets most of the important details right. It's still weird to me seeing Wolf games developed over and over by new devs, but MachineGames did a great job adapting the franchise in its own way. With a few tweaks, the next iteration could be something truly special.



Wolfenstein: The New Order - Reviewed by Chris Carter
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Chris Carter, Reviews Director
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidChris Tips
Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Wolfenstein: The New Order

  Apr 16

Pre-order Wolfenstein: The New Order on Steam and wear swanky hats in TF2

Deck yourself out in some sweet new hats for buying early

  Apr 08

'Nowhere to Run' in new Wolfenstein gameplay trailer

Gentlemen! Ve are Nazis und ve vill have var!

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Cblogs of 11/27/15 - Life is Strange, and Sad

Top 5 Reasons Star Wars Battlefront KICKS ASS!

Attack of the Friday Monsters: A Little Slice of Childhood

Top 5 Reasons Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 IS AWESOME!

Cblogs of 11/26/15 + Combat Heropon-isms

Video games go mainstream

I’m Not a SJW, I’m an Anthropologist: Making the Case for Diversity in Games

Insidia REVIEW - A whole dark, gloomy, and kinda creepy world to explore

DS REVIEWS: Trace Memory

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: With all the controversy surrounding review scores, what do you personally consider a "bad" score versus a "good" score? Is there a game in particular that was panned by critics that you nevertheless enjoyed? Or vice versa?
TheVeganGamer avatarTheVeganGamer
Finally got around to playing Diablo 3 with some friends, holy smokes! That game is rad!
SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
Public service announcement: Marry an orphan. It makes the holidays so much easier when you don't have to deal with pain in the ass in-laws.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
So... how long is it until we get the inevitable Colonial Marines or Ride to Hell: Retribution PS4/Xbox One re-releases?
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Screw Bloodborne. I finally managed to overcome not tearing up while listening to the entirety of Never More. Git gud! [youtube][/youtube]
NYCpunk avatarNYCpunk
you know what's not okay? scalpers with 10 copies of fire emblem fates SE on ebay for $200+. and no one is saying anything.
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Fallout 4 wouldn't be Fallout with ridiculous glitches and shenanigans. Here are a few I've run into - [youtube][/youtube]
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
I've never earnestly went drinking before so it's cool to know I'm the slow, sleepy, impaired type.
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Got to admit I didn't expect to find a mewtwo amiibo at my bookstore of all places...
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
My cousin found out I slept with his girlfriend and is pissed. Understandable. I am totally sick of the angry phone calls though. It reminds me so much of playing Call of Duty online. The screaming 11 year olds suck on there too.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Huh. Apparently even Japan has a Black Friday sale going on on PSN right now.
Lawman avatarLawman
Yes, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, I know that somebody has 2,625 more medallions than me. No, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, I don't really care.
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
This fucking Bloodborne DLC, jesus. I'm on new game+, about level 90, and shit just tears my dick off. I don't know if I want to start another guy just to avoid NG+ and level him up, etc. sigh....
Shinta avatarShinta
Wii U, top selling black friday item on Take that you anti-Wii U people.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I am pretty hyped for when I get a laptop because I'll be able to have a good enough connection to stream XbOne/soon PS4 games to it along with natively rendered Steam games. Hype!
Avoclefo avatarAvoclefo
Got a PS4 that came with SW Battlefront this week, and planning on picking up the FFX/X-2 remake. Hype is through the roof, especially for FFX. If I were to get one other game, what should it be?
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
Did a google maps search around my parents house for bars and there isn't one in like 25 miles, so I picked up an Intel compute stick and South Park: Stick of Truth on Steam. That's more or less the drunken screaming I'm in the mood for at about the cost.
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
Do you ever have that moment of clarity when talking to someone and suddenly realising: You're just a skull, and they're just a skull, with fucking eyeballs and a sac of skin being the only comparative difference between you visually? ..just me then?
Nathan D avatarNathan D
After quitting for two days out of frustration, I beat Ludwig on my first try of the night. I'm on cloud fucking nine right now.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
When I did my retail shift today, we were moving more Smash/Splat Wii U bundles and the Gears/Rare Replay/Ori XB1 bundles than Uncharted and Battlefront PS4s. I think Nintendo and MS have better value on their side this holiday. Sony got lazy.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -