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Review Wolfenstein: The New Order (PS3): For the win, superior to a shooter like Bioshock Infinite!

genre: fps, action, adventure, stealth
year:2014





First person shooters simply don't do it for me unless an element is added that makes it appealing to me. In this case that is stealth. This Wolfenstein gives you the option to do sneak up on the enemies and take them out silently. Now don't expect a refined stealth mechanism. It is very basic but effective for the most part. And if you use stealthy methods often enough you get perks (skills, abilities) to aid you. There are perks for three playing styles and in my opinion these do make the game so much more fun. When you kill a soldier using a stealth takedown you won't be able to move or pick up a soldier. But as long as you don't do it out of sight the other soldiers will ignore the dead one. Not entirely logical but it makes sense otherwise stealth would not be functional at all. Sometimes though the watch commanders were able to spot me even when I was not really in their sights or was making noise. That was a little annoying at times especially if you are trying to play it as stealthy as possible but while going further into the game I let go of this and went the mayhem road since that was a bunch of fun too. Killing off enemies as silently as possible still is far more satisfying for me then doing it the cowboy way since not getting caught always makes you feel like a boss. 

The New Order surprisingly also has a well done narrative where it shows the horrors of Nazism and where killing of the Nazi's therefore is very therapeutic. Our hero also has been given some depth since his thoughts are vocalized. I really appreciated this since it added to the immersion and you could feel what was at stake. This game surprised me at times in how much time it had taken to depict some of the atrocious behavior on the Nazi's and their morality. In my opinion it is good to show these things so that new generations stay informed about this since we have to be vigilant of something like this not happening ever again.  

The dynamics between other characters also added to the immersion as you are given the choice to get to know them better through little tasks like for example finding toys for a guy named Max, a giant who has been lobotomized and therefore is very childlike. Next to the killing and violence it is nice that a game takes the time to look at the human side of things. 

Normally I don't care that much about collectibles and such unless they are worth looking for. And in this game they do. Most of them do offer you something like health, armor or weapons upgrades and others tell you more about the world you reside in now. Seeing how our hero B.J. has been in a coma for 15 years and is not aware of the full changes of the Nazi's winning the war that is a welcome addition. The New Order is filled with easter eggs here and there with one huge one called Nightmare. In the levels where you are at your hideout you can actually activate this nightmare where you get transported to a level of Wolfenstein 3D which was very nice. BTW sleeping also is rewarding so do it whenever you can. I like it that the game makes it worth your while collecting stuff. Too many games just add them as an afterthought but when done like this it actually adds to the replay value considerably.

Wolfenstein: The New Order also is full of epic moments and they always give you a sense of helplessness at first. Until the moment you are given the chance to overcome the situation. Always a plus and very satisfying. I am not going into these moments since they are best enjoyed not knowing about them. 

This game for me is one of the best first person shooters I have ever played. It sometimes is very relentless and unforgiving and therefore makes it challenging. Which in this case for the most part is a lot of fun. But the game does give you enough equipment, weapons and skills to deal with it as you see fit although some enemies have to dealt with in a certain way. That might seem limiting but it makes sense story wise. Because these enemies do add to the tension. Maybe I can't compare this to Bioshock Infinite but I am going to anyway since I do think that game wasn't nearly as much fun as The New Order was. Infinite was too conscious and too pretentious for it's own good but never backed that up with good gameplay. The New Order has a story that is good, serious and has place for humour. Next to having oddities and immersive gameplay. I simply enjoyed this game from start till finish and Bioshock Infinite I got bored with real quick. (For people wondering why that is. In short: I was not impressed with the story. It's nearly not as clever as everyone thinks it is and then what are you left with. Some average shooter mechanics, big deal. So yeah Wolfenstein: The New Order for the win. 


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