Wolfenstein: The New Order is unlike anything else I’ve been playing this year
There’s an endless amount of new games to check out depending on where you look, but what if the mood strikes and you’d rather rediscover a game you already love? There’s nothing quite like a good replay, especially when you generally know what to expect but some of the finer details aren’t as fresh as they used to be. Timing is everything.
Halfway through 2022, that’s where I’m at — I’m in the mood for some comfy, familiar gaming; hold the new stuff. I’m fighting the urge to keep moving from one in-the-zeitgeist target to the next, and I don’t mind putting my backlog on pause for the near future.
More or less out of nowhere, I’ve been playing 2014’s Wolfenstein: The New Order for the second and likely inevitable third time. It’s been a while since I’ve played a single-player FPS, and Wolfenstein III feels as elusive as ever, so here I go again. With this retread, I also want to figure out if I should bother with any of the series’ DLC, or Youngblood.
Instead of just replaying Wolfenstein: The New Order once more for its (surprisingly good at the time, and still solid to this day) story, I’ve convinced myself that I now need to:
- Check out the alternate timeline — which, for me, involves saving Wyatt instead of Fergus, to boost up my armor reserves and see new story bits.
- Mop up all of the gold trinket and Enigma code collectibles I missed despite playing very patiently and trying not to step into mini points of no return.
- Play one final time on Uber difficulty before moving on to Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (or The Old Blood if this excursion balloons to include the prequel).
As I write this, I’ve just wrapped up this replay and started another playthrough.
The big picture — a decades-long Nazi-resisting sci-fi-infused alt-history story with a relentless protagonist who just cannot seem to stay dead — was still crystal clear.
Certain memorable scenes — like the “choice” B.J. makes in Deathshead’s castle and on the train to Berlin, infiltrating the extermination camp, and the trip to the moon — have stuck with me after all these years. But a lot of the little details were hazy. Perfect!
I also didn’t realize how fun it’d be to play an of-its-time shooter campaign in 2022, where these sorts of games, at this scale, and from these publishers, are no longer common.
One needlessly confusing underwater section aside, I found Wolfenstein to be a breezy, satisfying replay. It went well enough that, at this point, I’ve decided to go all in. I hope I find my remaining collectibles on this next playthrough, and I extra hope I can get through my end-of-the-road Uber difficulty playthrough without too many headaches.
Fans generally don’t like Wolfenstein II as much as its predecessor, and I’m curious to see if my opinion will sway one way or the other — I remember liking the sequel (or at least parts of the sequel) more than most. It pulls some crazy shit, that’s for sure. The lack of a third main game to close out the trilogy stings, but at least I know that going in.
Why do we replay games, anyway?
Even if you don’t share my fondness for the Wolfenstein reboot (in its heyday or in 2022), I’m sure you have a recent favorite game that you enjoyed revisiting. Let’s talk about it.
When I think about this topic, my mind typically goes to the games that are built with replayability in mind or otherwise feel eternal for a lot of folks — Resident Evil, Dark Souls, Skyrim or Fallout, your favorite now-retro childhood game, take your pick.
All well and good, though I’d be interested to hear about more personal picks.
Does a game need to do anything specific to warrant a replay, or is it more about the overall passage of time, some new motivator (like an upcoming sequel), or changing industry trends? Have you ever replayed a game with someone else who’s new to it?
How do your game-replaying habits line up with your movie-rewatching or book-rereading tendencies?