I was able to get hands on with the latest from Bethesda and Machine Games’ alternate timeline Wolfenstein game, Wolfenstein: The New Order while at E3 this week. Sure, Wolfenstein isn’t exactly a game that gamers were clamoring for, but Bethesda actually might have a lovely little Nazi bloodbath on their hands!
Turns out that Wolfenstein protagonist BJ Blazkowicz somehow winds up in a coma while fighting it out with the Nazis, waking up in the 1960s in a world where the Nazis have taken over. BJ finds himself fighting to reignite a long crushed resistance to destroy the Nazi plague with dual-wielded space machine guns and the occasional grunted one-liner.
Outside of using laser pistols to cut through arbitrary chain link fences, the folks over at Machine Games have added a little more as far as storyline. Machine Games were originally members of the Starbreeze team involved in helping put together fan favorite, The Chronicles of Riddick as well as the Darkness series, so we can already expect a higher quality narrative and gameplay mechanics than we’re accustomed to from a Wolfenstein game. For example, during the demo, we were introduced to the game’s main antagonist and her (yes, I said her) perverse relationship with her boy toy “Bubi” in an interactive cutscene where BJ is forced to battle wits with the Nazi general…and including what appears to be a “touching” love scene between a lantern-jawed BJ and an freedom fighter helping named Anya. Don’t worry, because it’s not long after that BJ is out there mixing it up with Nazis in mech suits.
As far as shooters go, there are no major surprises here outside of the outlandish futuristic weapons and standardized controller layouts…however, they have added a fairly comprehensive leaning mechanic. I know, I know, “leaning” is apparently all the new rage with these console shooters now, a mechanic that has been in almost every shooter on PC since the original Xbox was launched. Just use the left bumper in conjunction with the left thumbstick to lean in any direction while remaining in cover. It takes a little bit to get accustomed to, but I imagine we’ll be seeing quite a bit of this weaseling its way into the next generation of shooters.
Shockingly, the game is set to be a single player only (man, would it have been simple for them to try and shoehorn a multiplayer “Nazis vs. Freedom Fighter” mode in), scheduled for release in December across all current and next gen consoles.