Wolfenstein: The Old Blood Review

old bloodFor the low price of 17.99 (19.99 now, PS+ version was discounted), I decided to return to castle Wolfenstein with their latest entry – Wolfenstein: The Old Blood.  When the last shell casing finally hit the ground, that last bit of Nazi blood spilt, I had the biggest smile on my face……which turned into a bit of a frown, and back to a smile.  Without giving anything away, the ending of this game set’s up the original quite perfectly.  I’m a big FPS junkie, so I felt like telling y’all a little bit about my time with this game.

Hallway shootout!

Hallway shootout!

All the events that take place in “The Old Blood” lead up to “The New Order”; the cool part about “The Old Blood” is that you literally go back to castle Wolfenstein.  The game opens up with a few stealth sections, and I felt like I definitely had to pace myself at first.  Just like the other games before it: there’s no regenerating health (you MIGHT get 5-10 bars back.) Health packets/armor/ammo is what you need to pickup to survive, and enemies will wreck your day if you’re not careful (using the lean function is crucial in some areas).

In the beginning of the game you get a new weapon: your pipe!!  Sounds stupid (or maybe Gordon Freeman-esque), but it’s actually kind of cool.  The pipe can be used as two pieces or one solid one (and regardless of form, it can be used as a melee weapon).  When using one piece in each hand, certain walls are scalable providing some alternative pathways, but usually necessary ones as the game is still linear.  When using it as a full piece you can: break down certain walls, take out larger enemies, open up pathways, and one more cool one: certain doors you can pry open and your pipe holds the door open, build up a run and slide, you grab that pipe and the door slams behind you.  It’s pretty cool each time you do it, and you can also do some pretty sick takedowns with it if you can sneak up behind an enemy (A REGULAR ENEMY!  Larger enemies you can take down from behind as well, but there’s a certain way you have to do it…..and I’ll let you guys figure that one out 😉

One of many various ways you can sneak up behind a guard.

One of many various ways you can sneak up behind a guard.

Of course the meat and potatoes of this kind of game are always the weapons.  You get some cool new ones that were not in the New Order (which I won’t spoil here), and the familiar ones as well.  Most are your basic machine guns, auto shotguns, pistols, etc.; and of course dual wielding is back and feels just as good as it did before.  The id tech 5 engine still feels and looks great allowing you to unleash your own personal vendetta against the Nazi regime, taking off legs/arms/heads at will (you just have to be close enough to get that head to go “POP”).  As the game progresses, the enemies will get tougher and bigger, and you’ll have to adapt and change your strategy to take each one on.

I'm crouching in this shot, but that is still one tough dude (note the tank on his back)

I’m crouching in this shot, but that is still one tough dude (note the tank on his back)

This all sounds great so far right?  Another excellent entry in the series…….but, I do have to list some negatives.  First off: as a prequel/expansion, this game is short.  It took me just about 5 hours to grind through it, and with some of that I did take my time exploring and looking around a bit.  The replay value isn’t great as well as there’s no multiplayer, and you would just be going back through the game on harder difficulties or picking up collectibles or trophy/achievement hunting.  I will add though, the journal entries/letters/secrets/etc. that you pick up while playing link back to the first game as well.  If you’re paying attention, you can learn about a cool relationship that is more fleshed out in the written content.

Overall, if you were a fan of the first game I would still say this is a game you should buy.  You won’t be able to rent it anywhere (at least no places that I can think of), and I definitely would not say you shouldn’t pick this up.  For those that never played The New Order, this game might even push you over the edge to pick that one up.  It was still a heck of a fun ride, and we don’t have enough damn games that let you blast Nazis in the face.


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