I bought Wolfenstein: The New Order a long time ago but didn’t play it much because it made me motion sick. That was before I upgraded the TV and the PS4. I’m not sure if it’s the lower input lag on the new TV or the ‘boost mode’ of the PS4 Pro but for whatever reason motion sickness isn’t the issue for me that it used to be, so a few weeks ago I gave Wolfenstein another try and found I could play it without any discomfort.
And what a treat it was. If you’re as unfamiliar as I, the story starts towards the end of World War 2. During an operation William “BJ” Blazkowicz takes a piece of shrapnel in the head and is left for dead. He is found by civilians who either don’t realize he’s an American soldier or don’t care, and is treated, but the shrapnel can’t be removed and it leaves him in a vegetative state. He is cared for in an asylum for 16 years before he finally wakes up in 1960.
While he was away, the Nazis won the war and basically conquered the world, and their technology is way ahead of where it was for us in 1960. They’ve got a moon base already! It doesn’t take long for Blazkowicz to join up with the resistance to try to overthrow the Nazi regime via a series of ever more outrageous missions.
Wolfenstein has 5 difficulty levels and I played at #3 for about half the game. My FPS skills aren’t what they used to be and there was some difficult passages but I was having fun and didn’t mind re-playing chunks of the game over and over. But somewhere along the way, the story and characters really got their hooks in me.
Yeah, Wolfenstein: The New Order has a for-real story. I mean it’s not very realistic (as is typical of shooter stories, one man basically replaces an army), but it’s a kind of Saturday matinee plot with lots of spectacle, and I came to care about the characters that Blazkowicz encountered. It’s not always a happy story, either.
Anyway I got so engrossed in the story that I turned the difficulty down to 2, and eventually to 1, just because I wanted to see what happened next. And oddly I think I had MORE fun playing that way. Truth is, I like feeling like a bad-ass and mowing down enemies. I think I prefer the fun of being super-powerful to the satisfaction of beating a difficult section of the game. /shrug
Anyway, it was a great ride and I’m really glad I gave it a second chance. I expected this to be a bro-dude romp, and at times it was, but Blazkowicz had a love interest and he lost people he cared about along the way and he didn’t just shrug that off. I mean yeah he still has the jarhead tough-guy exterior but there’s more nuance here. And hell, he got to trip with Jimi Hendrix. How often do you get to do that in a game? There’s also a ton of “alternate history” lore strewn about in the form of newspaper clippings and such, and I love alternate history stories so I was really in my element.
Good times. Now I’m really looking forward to the new game coming out this fall.