Wolfenstein: The New Order Review

Tonally, Wolfenstein: The New Order is all over the place. Following on the franchise's long-running idea that sees the Nazis win the war and consume planet Earth, you are, once again, B.J. Blazkowicz, who, in this instance, is the most stereotypical man in video game history.

If Bethesda had run with this idea - namely that Wolfenstein is as silly as its main character suggests - then the final outcome would've been far more enjoyable, topped off by ridiculous, deep-voiced one liners.

But it doesn't. There are occasions where it plays up to this concept, but for most of its existence The New Order tries to push a harsh, 'emotionally' hard-hitting tone. But then you get attacked by a robot dog. Or our hero 'pounds' (the term 'making love' would not suit here) his out-of-nowhere girlfriend. And visits the moon...

Thankfully, MachineGames ensures the outrageous nature is present where, arguably, it counts: when you're gunning enemies down. Feeling very much like an FPS from yesteryear, limbs can be eradicated, heads popped, and bodies exploded into a crimson mess. Weapons, too, are equally as ludicrous, often receiving add-ons that exaggerate their potential power, or benefiting from the in-game perk system that rewards you for particular styles of play: the more you dual-wield, for example, the more that setup will improve.

Furthermore, its stealth sections boast a satisfying end should you be skilled enough to approach them successfully. The New Order's claims of offering a choice wherever/whenever are a little audacious - killboxes are often designed with a particular offensive in mind - but the option, and awaiting sense of pride, is always there.

In short bursts, it's everything you'd assume it would be, and if your expectations don't go any further than that you won't be disappointed. Ignore the (awful) narrative, shoot some fools and enjoy.

As a total package, though, Wolfenstein continually feels disjointed and doesn't know exactly what it wants to be - the overall experience is jarring.

And the boss fights suck...

Version tested: PS4. Completed in 9 hours.

6 / 10

  • The core shooting experience is solid.
  • Guns become progressively more ridiculous.
  • The tone is all over the place.
  • It runs out of ideas fast.

Click above for enlarged Wolfenstein: The New Order Screenshots


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User Comments

sabbersolo's Avatar


Seriously? That's the review? All I understand is that the design and gameplay is exaggerated and the tone is all over the place, but not how the game works etc.
Posted 16:12 on 21 November 2014
capthavic's Avatar


Definitely would agree with the tone being inconsistent. It really tries to play up the seriousness and horror of the situation (after all what the Nazi's did in real life was indeed horrible) but it just doesn't mesh well with all the sillyness that happens. It doesn't help that BJ's lines are some of the worst writing I have ever heard, just every other line making me facepalm. The 20 hour run time is probably counting playing both timelines but the differences are so minor its pretty pointless IMO. Overall its a decent game and certainly worth a weekend rental but would recommend waiting for a sale before buying it.
Posted 00:09 on 26 May 2014
BritishWolf's Avatar


I think whacky gameplay followed up by a serious cutscene is a cliched problem and what games need to break away from
Posted 17:11 on 20 May 2014
brookie94's Avatar


A few hours in and I'm having a lot of fun with it. I was surprised by its production values, solid voice acting, and it's well written so far. I don't disagree with your point about the tone, but I guess it bothers some more than others.
Posted 13:49 on 20 May 2014


I think the contrast between the serious story and mental shooting sounds pretty cool.
Posted 13:01 on 20 May 2014


Got this coming today. Think they've pitched it right and the mechanics etc all seem fairly solid. I'm looking forward to it. I do wonder if that's because it's been quiet on the next gen front, but nevertheless, it seems like a welcome blast through.
Posted 08:51 on 20 May 2014
Nawe's Avatar


A few hours in and completely, totally in love with it. I suppose all the 6/7ish scores are fair enough, though. The way it alternates between depicting of the horrors of fascism and pure, outrageous camp is bizarre. That said, what I've played so far has miraculously avoided being as tonally crass/adolescent focused as I expected. Not a rubber clad SS dominatrix in sight (unless I'm proven wrong later) and characters even speak languages other than English!

I suspect this will become something of a cult classic alongside RTCW once it finds it's audience.
Posted 07:44 on 20 May 2014

Game Stats

Wolfenstein: The New Order
Out of 10
Wolfenstein: The New Order
  • The core shooting experience is solid.
  • Guns become progressively more ridiculous.
  • The tone is all over the place.
  • It runs out of ideas fast.
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 20/05/2014
Platforms: PS4 , Xbox One , Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC
Developer: MachineGames
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Genre: First Person Shooter
Rating: PEGI 18+
Site Rank: 1,147 176
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