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    dkirschner's Wolfenstein: The New Order (PC)

    [April 21, 2020 01:10:32 PM]
    Wolfenstein 3D was a game heavy in my rotation as a kid. And the game is nestled inside The New Order. It's a "nightmare" that you have while you sleep. That attention to detail is one thing I loved about The New Order. The game is slick as hell and they nailed the tone. It's dark, moody, emotional, and oddly funny at times. The story is an alternate history where the Nazis won WWII and dominate the world. Resistance cells have been squashed...well, almost. BJ Blazkowicz has a backstory setting him up for love, hate, and revenge. But mostly, he just wants to do what he's best at: killing Nazis. You kill hundreds of them, but some of the good guys die too. I actually teared up during one moment. A couple that I had saved earlier in the game was killed. This wasn't shown during a cut scene or anything. It's something the player finds through exploring the resistance base (which is really well fleshed out with characters and environmental storytelling), the couple embracing on a bed and shot to death. It was really sad. I think part of the emotional response to the game is negative attitudes toward Nazis, eugenics, white supremacy, and the like. I hated all the bad guys more so than in other video games because Nazis are real.

    The combat is fast-paced and feels great. I haven't played a quick FPS in a long time, so I had to adjust to the speed of it. Enemies don't stay in one place for long, and you will constantly switch weapons to defend yourself against various enemy types. You will also die a lot, which forced me to develop strategy and was much appreciated. Many weapons have alternative fire modes, and you can dual wield most anything. It's excessive being a whirlwind of destruction. And for some reason the assault rifle gets a rocket launcher attachment. Because why not? I think you get that attachment on the moon. The Nazis have a moon base. I love this game.

    Even though the game is generally fast-paced, some levels slow it down to a stealthier approach, or at least give you the option. You get a metal cutting tool that allows you to enter air ducts, and there are some incentives for being stealthy. Most notable is not alerting commanders. Commanders are special enemies with headsets who can call for reinforcements if they detect you. Best to sneak around and put a knife in their backs before opening fire on anyone.

    Another incentive for stealth--for varied playstyles really--are the perks. These offer mini-goals and I had a lot of fun trying to unlock as many as I could (and I got almost all of them!). One perk tree rewards you for doing things like racking up stealth kills or killing commanders with throwing knives; a gun-oriented perk tree gives you ammo and reload upgrades for killing enemies from cover or getting so many headshots. Other perk trees encourage the use of explosives and heavy weapons. I liked that Steam achievements were tied to each perk, so an unlock in the game was also a reward on Steam.

    The one thing I found a little disappointing was the lack of really interesting boss battles. I can remember two noteworthy ones (London Monitor, General Deathshead). Usually, another character talks in your ear telling you how to defeat the enemy. The hints made the fights too easy. But, in a cruel/wonderful twist of game design, there are no such hints with either phase of the final boss. You have to figure it out. The boss is hard anyway, but having help removed was disorienting! I wasn't sure if I was progressing the fight because there was little feedback. All of a sudden, phase one was over. And on like the 15th attempt at phase two, as I chanced standing in front of him emptying all of my ammo in a fury, the boss died. Granted, it was hard to see him potentially displaying injury through all the jets of flame.

    I knew I would like the game, but was surprised by how good it was. Part of me expected a cheese fest. As soon as I get the 35GB expansion downloaded, I'll dive right back in to shooting Nazis.

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    dkirschner's Wolfenstein: The New Order (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Friday 3 April, 2020

    GameLog closed on: Monday 20 April, 2020

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Fast, guns blazing! Just trying to get gun perk unlocks...Excellent game. Loved the tone.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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