Home Editorial #E3 2013: Wolfenstein the New Order impressions

It’s been a decade and a half since WW2 wrapped up, but in Bethesda’s latest incarnation of Wolfenstein, the Allies got their asses handed to them. As such, your German-hating protagonist wakes up to a world dominated by the Third Reich. And, despite his blond haired, blue eyed complexion, he’s not too happy about how things turned out. Wolfenstein as a franchise has never been about deep storylines or character development. The first one had you fighting cyborg Hitler for fuck’s sake. And, for the most part, Bethesda’s brand of Wolfenstein follows suit.

As you might imagine, most of the game revolves around putting bullets (as well as plasma and rockets) into the Aryan army, with sprinklings of witty one-liners to accent the action.

Is the gameplay revolutionary? No, not really. Some of the weapons were interesting, like the dual-wielded shotguns or the high-powered welding torch (which could melt enemies or create shortcuts through metal doors), but the rest was fairly straightforward: (1) Aim gun at Nazis (2) shoot Nazis (3) sleep with a hot chick (4) reload and repeat.

But hey, it’s not like the original Bioshock had particularly strong combat, and just like that dystopic title, Wolfenstein makes great use of tense story moments to convey just how twisted the player’s enemies are. In one particularly well executed scene, the player is forced to serve tea to a bitter, 60-something female German general.

If that’s not uncomfortable enough for you, she’s pointing a gun at your face the whole time. If that’s not a source of tension, how about the fact that she’s getting a handjob under the table during the interrogation? I know it sounds absurd, but it was believable insofar as a Nazi-culture alternative universe can be believable. No, you cannot “interact” with Frau Grandma.

Whether or not you’ll like Bethesda’s take on Wolfenstein will probably come down to this: how much do you like shooting Nazis? After that, the only thing you’ve got to figure out is how much of a thing you have for (much) older women.


8 replies to this post
  1. Wolfenstein on the 360 was awful and I truly hope for a solid fps experience. Maybe I was burned too badly but Wolfenstein seems like an unlikely source. Thanks for the review. And the err, tension to look forward to.

    Maybe I can angle the camera so it collides with the floor just right… The only question is whether there is any “hot coffee” to have.

  2. In the tumultuous time before D-Day,
    There once was a man named BJ,
    With chocolate box hair
    And a face like a bear
    And a jacket he picked up on eBay.

    Sorry. You know, BioShock wasn’t the greatest shooter ever, true, though still much better than Infinite. But at least it didn’t have you shoot fucking Nazis! Seriously, even if it’s just to carry a bigger plot, those guys are like karmically neutral sheeple at this point. You can be made to kill any number and variation of them in increasingly gory and satisfying ways and no one will question it. But as soon as one civilian or American gets cleanly capped in the head, it’s a shock game using a taboo to shake you awake.

    Look, I agree that the Nazis were dicks. With a bit less luck, my family could easily be a lot smaller due to them. Still, they did have some standards, and I feel like they are getting more and more false judgement. For instance, they did adhere to the code of honourable combat, most of the time at least. What else? Oh yeah, it was also fairly uncommon to force Ally strangers into tea service and grandma handjobs.

    Likewise, Hitler never really wanted the world, as he knew he couldn’t get it. Unfortunately, what he found necessary to take in order to secure his order was done too quickly and all at once.

    Ah, but what am I doing, arguing that Nazis weren’t six-legged one-balled baby-eating aliens with glowing eyes and fangs growing down to their chest like a walrus’, because it’s common knowledge that they were. Games will continue to let you shoot at Nazis, communists, or absolute dickheads expelled from society like those in Fallout, and as soon as anything deviates from that formula, it’ll be denounced an exotic media or even banned to the audience, because America is all the world. Yay.

    A-hem. Back to the point. Alternate history, Nazis in command, Spunkgargleweewee justified only by the promise of another in-game cutscene a bit further on? Nnnnope, not gonna bother.

    Why is it even that you’re supposed to root for the guy fighting against the oppression in a world where it was never any different, when the present day scenario is basically just oppression by those guys who had plenty of PR to cover up their own war crimes, and anybody who starts a rampage in this history is a twisted freak?

    On that note, why does it always have to be Nazis? How about an alternate history where Kim Jong Il launched a nuke at the US, but it got intercepted right after launch, so now Korea is irradiated and they all have three arms and eyes and can communicate using radio waves and ride into battle atop giant lizards with laser beams coming out of their eyes?

    I’d be willing to suspend plenty of disbelief for that, if only for a break from the fucking Nazis already.

    • What is honorable about killing unarmed civilians in gas chambers or letting homosexuals and people of darker complexion die of starvation? I think the Nazi’s got a bad name by their actions, not the ideas people came up with after war against a government that was obviously taking over the world. Go study the myths of the Aryan race…they wanted the world and thought that anyone but the Germans were a lesser slave race. Its all there in black and white in the writings German history way before the Nazis, the Aryans and the common Volk.

      • “writings OF German history”. At least when I die they will look back and say “That guy…wuz a grammar wizard!!!”

      • I’m not defending what they did, but what I’m saying is that they don’t deserve all the demonising that’s been going on against them, either.

        He did claim the Arians’ superiority, but I stand by that it was merely justification towards the people to take over the space towards the East, in the same vein as they only shot back when they started the war. If he truly wanted the world, why didn’t he ever deviate from his path to the West or the East? (Save for the Sichelschnitt – that was tactics, not any intention of conquest.) Any countries there were practically undefended, taking them would have been tactically stupid yet required for world domination.

        If they’d dominated the war, perhaps the German influence would have expanded over time. It’s inevitable, with what strength the Empire would have had, and it happened before. Remember how many places there are which are officially English dominion? That’s what happens when a country can go unchecked for long enough.

        Hell, it’s questionable that even that would happen, as somebody would get upset over any violent takeover against a people that can drop ol’ England a note that the Germans are officially dicks. In my opinion, there are some delicious double standards when the English fight to punish somebody committing genocide off in another country.

        At best, culture would seep over to make regions like the Rheinland even more confused as to who they are and why they don’t feel attracted to girls. Germany would gain influence over nearby areas as they adapted its culture and perhaps some would become effectively part of it, inspired by their leading science and industrial productivity.

        The same thing is happening in this world; England is taking over the world, bit by bit. Have a nice day in soon-to-be New New England.

      • I tried to make a GTA San Andreas reference involving an old lady.

        And the shit got surius.

        So back to old naked ladies.

        Which Golden Girls star’s face do you plan on taping over the Xbox One’s kinect?

      • How can you deny that they where trying to take over the world? The organization that they modeled themselves after was the roman empire. It is apparent in their symbols, organizational structure, architecture, and titles. The reason for this modeling behavior was because of Romes ability to conquer the known world. Why they stopped where they did was due to, first and foremost, their inability to conquer certain nations and secondly, their alliances with local countries. Trying to point a finger at what England did to try to distract or lessen the impact of Nazis actions is a typical tactic of someone who realizes they are backed into a corner. The actions of the Nazis, the British, medieval French, American Indians, radical modern day Muslims, crusade and inquisition era Christians, and anyone else who tries to impose their ideas on others by force, genocide, terrorism, manipulation, or any other means similar is wrong and is the pinnacle reason why we, as a people in general, are just the lowest form of shit in existence.

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