First-person shooter game ‘Wolfenstein: The New Order’ continues dystopian storyline

First-person shooter game Wolfenstein: The New Order continues dystopian storyline

By Micheal Eyer, Tyrone Area HS, Tyrone, Pa.

Since the 1990s, the Wolfenstein series has been the predecessor to the modern FPS games that dominate the market today. Combining the deserving nature of an advancing Nazi foe with fast and fun gunplay, Wolfenstein remains a hallmark series in the gaming shelves of countless players. Five years after the last release, “Wolfenstein: The New Order” continues the storyline of a dystopian Nazi takeover.

“Wolfenstein: TNO” continues the storyline of the Wolfenstein universe in which Nazi Germany acquired advanced technologies and used them to continue their plan of world domination. Stepping back into the Polish-American boots of series protagonist William “B.J.” Blazkowicz, TNO starts you off in the cockpit of an Allied plane as you wage war an an old enemy, Wilhelm “Deathshead” Strasse.

After an intense aerial battle followed by a bloody effort at storming Deathshead’s castle, Blazko finds himself floating unconscious in an ocean as blood seeps from a fresh headwound. The dull, murky grey-blues of the night-lit ocean, coupled with the sparks of red blood, all framing the intense text of the opening serves as the game’s main pallet, perfectly matching the gunmetal colors and bright flags of the Nazi regime.

TNO is a beautiful game. Stellar facial animations (honestly, look at what they did with the difficulty options, nice touch) and a charming amount of lighting to offset and highlight the dark corridors, neo-steampunk bases, and charred villages give the game a great look.

As soon as the first bit of action plays out, it is easy to notice some of the influences that previous first-person shooter giants have had on the game. ”

The constant presence of gunmetal, red, and white symbolizes the true weight of TNO’s storyline; the Nazis have even taken control of the world’s color pallette, it seems. Acknowledging this, Blazko sees fit to help the Nazis paint the world red with their own blood. Despite the beautiful graphics the cut scenes can at times be a little choppy, with Blazko and company being a little shaky in some of the longer scenes.

As soon as the first bit of action plays out, it is easy to notice some of the influences that previous first-person shooter giants have had on the game. The murky, gray metal beams pierced by the bright lights of industrial type switches and warning lights, as well as the dystopian tone of Nazi control of the Earth, brings to mind the ravaged underground landscape of the Metro series.

Meanwhile, the setting of the Nazi-dominated 1960s now slightly echos the Half-Life 2 episodes, with giant Nazi architecture towering over the once-mighty Big Ben in London, much as the Combine towers did to countless cities in “Half-Life 2: Episode 2.”

Finally, the dramatic storyline, whisper-narrated scarcely by the protagonist, coupled with the addition of numerous RPG elements such as perks, health boosts and armor, mirror the earlier “Bioshock Infinite.” None of these similarities detract from the game or make it feel like a replay. However all these bits are classic Wolfenstein. TNO can be played like the old games, dual wielding advanced-for-their-time assault rifles and mowing down dark hallways full of armored Nazi soldiers, or you can try your hand at taking a stealthy approach to combat. The addition of commanders, chief officers who will radio for backup until killed, help to emphasize the need to choose going about guns blazing or stealthy, and not trying to combine the two at once.

TNO’s powerful imagery coupled with equally powerful and rewarding gameplay serves not only to supercharge the long-running series’ gripping plot, but to offer that familiar-but-different feel that such other modern shooters such as “Bioshock Infinite” and “Metro: Last Light” have brought forth in recent years.

Wolfenstein’s oldest fans may protest the artistic changes or the tendency for Nazi vaporizin’ Blazko to break into pseudo-poetry, but “Wolfenstein: The New Order” is a brilliant sequel that does both the original and newer games justice with its gripping storyline and enticing gameplay experience.