(note: these are first impressions. I’ve only played for maybe 2 hours, but I had to tell my story)
To me, there’s nothing better than a GOOD first person shooter game. When the bullets start flying, explosions to your sides, and that enemy in front of you; I just want to aim down the sights and light him the hell up. After the first ½ hour to an hour of gameplay, THE TITLE SCREEN CAME UP and that was a sign of good things to come. A hell of an intro, super nazi robot dogs, the Nazis marching towards you (with you ready and waiting to blow a hole through that swastika); welcome to Wolfenstein: The New Order.
The game opens with a bit of a rails section and go here/do this/then this section, but with all the craziness going on around you it’s hard to get too mad at it. I don’t mind sitting behind a turret every once in a while and unloading on people and things; it can be a turn off for some so just a heads up. I smiled from ear to ear when I got face to face with my first soldier 🙂 As soon as you pick up that first weapon, you feel right at home (any FPS veteran already knows the basic controls). I did notice that the feel of this game was very reminiscent of Resistance; it could be the id tech 5 engine, but it just felt very fluid and arcade-like (like old-school shooter days). You have health and armor, and bullets DO hurt. Your health recharges a little bit (20 pts up to the last level of health you had) so you get some leeway, but if you get into a large firefight your ass is grass.
As you’re tearing it up in this nazi infested war-torn world, you’ll notice a few neat things about the gameplay and options you have. The lean function is back!!! By holding down L1 (PS4 version) and tilting your left analogue stick in the desired direction, you can peek out behind cover/walls and get that nice headshot. As you play and depending how you play, you can also unlock new perks. Get so many headshots, hey here’s a new ability. Playing the game stealthy, they’ll reward you for doing so. The more you play a certain way, or if you fulfill said perk requirements, you get some new stuff (neat little concept; not unheard of, but still cool).
The weapon wheel is back too! Hold R1 down (again PS4) and use your analog stick to select your weapon. No limit to how many guns you can carry, although your ammo does max out which you can upgrade as well. Chucking a grenade is just a simple press of R1; you can’t cook em, but they go off pretty quick. This was a little weird at first as the weapon wheel and grenades both share the same button; you get the hang of it though. Picking up items is done with square which is also the same as reload; this can get a lil tricky mid combat when you’re trying to pick up something like a new gun and you reload instead. Not a MAJOR gripe, but every once in a while it happens (also another thing that makes you think before running out in the open).
I only have a few other notes and observations here. There’s collectibles in every level for you to keep an eye out for. Letters from soldiers, treasures, enigma codes; each level has a few and it gives you some replay value here too if you like hunting for everything. While playing I noticed that some of the lil control features come in handy too. D-pad buttons for map, weapon functions (silencers/fire modes), quick switching; they tried to add a little bit of this and that which just gives the game that extra polish. Those harder difficulties are back too for those looking for a GOOD challenge (Über is no joke people).
Depending on the length of this title, so far, this has been a fucking blast! Whether you’re dual wielding assault rifles and taking on 5 dudes at a time, stealthily sneaking through an area knifing krauts through the back of the throat, or just admiring the bloody scenery; this has been an excellent entry in the Wolfenstein franchise. It has its bumps and kinks, but for the amount of fun I’m having it was well worth the purchase.