Wolfenstein: The New Order is a sci-fi first-person shooter developed by MachineGames and published by Bethesda for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on May 20, 2014.
The first game from Swedish developer MachineGames, The New Order is the sequel to the 2009 game Wolfenstein and is a "soft reboot" of the long-running Wolfenstein series. It is set in an alternate-historical 1960 where due to mysterious technological advancements, the Nazis won World War II and achieved global domination. Due to the game's timeline shift, The New Order adds a variety of new technology (being used by both friend and foe), including energy weapons and heavily-armored mechs.
Players reprise the role of O.S.A. agent William "B.J." Blazkowicz, as he is sent to assassinate Nazi commander Wilhelm "Deathshead" Strasse in 1946, sometime after the events of the 2009 game. After the plan goes haywire, Blazkowicz escapes capture from Deathshead's forces and ends up in a vegetative state for 14 years. Waking up to find the Nazis controlling the world, he joins a band of resistance fighters (the reformed Kreisau Circle from the previous game) with his former caregiver (Anya Oliwa) and must find a way to bring down both Deathshead and the Nazi regime.
The game was developed with id Tech 5 (previously used for id Software's 2011 game Rage) and features a new faster-paced gameplay engine with several new and revamped mechanics. The game is known for its use of weapon dual-wielding (allowing Blazkowicz to dual-wield every weapon type in the game, sacrificing the ability to aim down the sight for more firepower), semi-regenerative health (only automatically restoring Blazkowicz's health up to the nearest 20%, requiring healing items for additional health), and an overhealing system similar to Quake III Arena (where Blazkowicz can heal above his maximum health value, but will slowly lose health until he reaches that value). Unlike Return to Castle Wolfenstein and the 2009 Wolfenstein, The New Order and its successors do not include multiplayer of any kind.
Along with a standalone expansion (the prequel Wolfenstein: The Old Blood), the game received a full-blown sequel (Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus). The original game also included access to a beta for the 2016 Doom as a pre-order bonus.
Wolfenstein: The New Order is a fast-paced first-person shooter that takes inspiration from earlier Wolfenstein games in a few aspects. It has a limited health regeneration system, meaning the player must rely on picking up health and armor packs to survive. All of the weapons can be dual-wielded and the amount of carried ammo is relatively limited, encouraging scavenging and exploration of the levels. There are a number of collectables, many of which are hidden in secret rooms which require basic puzzle solving to access.
- Knife (default key "1") - The game's basic melee weapon, which can be dual-wielded for faster attacks. Players can perform takedown maneuvers (both silent and loud) with them on most enemies, even if they are unequipped. In addition, players can find additional knives that can be thrown for ranged takedowns (even if they are unequipped).
- Tesla Grenade (default key "2") - The game's basic explosive throwable, combining fragmentation (against organic enemies) with an EMP blast (against mechanical enemies). It cannot be dual-wielded, can be thrown while unequipped, and can stick onto mechanical enemies, and drains power from nearby energy weapons (including the player's). The game's prologue uses basic Hand Grenades that has no EMP blast effect.
- Handgun (default key "3") - A basic handgun that fires in three-round bursts. Later in the game, players unlock the alternate "Suppressor" configuration, which allows the player to fire it without alerting other enemies (while changing it to a semi-automatic firing mode). Unlike most weapons, both configurations use the same ammunition. The game's prologue uses an alternate version with both configurations usable from the start, although both of them are semi-automatic.
- Assault Rifle (default key "4") - A fully-automatic assault rifle capable of destructive power in various ranges. Later in the game, players unlock the alternate "Rocket Launcher" configuration, which utilizes an underbarrel launcher to unleash volleys of high-explosive rockets. The game's prologue uses an alternate version with two firing modes: fully-automatic and semi-automatic.
- AR Marksman (default key "5") - A semi-automatic scoped marksman rifle useful for long-range encounters. Later in the game, players unlock the alternate "Plasma Mode" configuration, which disables the scope and allows the player to unleash powerful bolts of plasma in fully-automatic (using a battery that can be recharged in the same fashion as the Laser Cutter). The game's prologue instead uses a basic fully-automatic Submachine Gun for this slot which cannot be dual-wielded, uses the same ammunition as the Handgun, and has a larger magazine size and improved recoil than the Assault Rifle (sacrificing the latter's power and utility).
- Automatic Shotgun (default key "6") - A fully-automatic shotgun that fires powerful buckshot for close-range encounters. Later in the game, players unlock the alternate "Shrapnel Shot" configuration, which sacrifices fully-automatic firing for clusters of projectiles that ricochet off of surfaces. This slot is unused in the game's prologue.
- Laser Cutter (default key "7") - An energy torch that is used to silently and continuously cut through fences and chains, only being used as an offensive weapon in dire emergencies. It cannot be dual-wielded and instead of ammo, it uses a rechargeable battery that can only be charged at special charging stations located throughout each level. Later in the game, players unlock an alternate semi-automatic firing mode which fires high-powered energy blasts for ranged cutting and offensive attacks. Even later in the game, players replace it with a more-powerful laser weapon prototype known as the LaserKraftWerk (or "LKW"). The LKW can additionally cut through aluminum surfaces and gains new updates throughout the game (including the ability to blind and affect enemies, a multi-targeting scope, regenerating batteries, beams that reflect off of surfaces, and a fully-automatic firing mode). This slot is unused in the game's prologue.
The game contains a wide variety of collectibles, some unlock new game modes or increased health and armor pools, while others are merely for completion. With the 'scout' perk, silently killing an enemy officer marks the location of all the collectibles hidden in the chapter.
Every level has a series of Enigma codebooks, gathering all of the pieces of a codebook unlocks a cypher which, when solved, unlocks a new game mode.
Each level contains a number of pieces of gold in the shape of various objects from the franchise, they serve no purpose other than to be collected.
Each of the three chapters which take place in the resistance HQ (chapters 5,7,and 9) have a hidden record; each unlocks a re-imagined song written in the style of a classic 60's band or musician.
Health / Armor Powerups
Choosing Fergus in the first level of the game will branch the story along the 'Fergus Timeline', while choosing Wyatt will branch the story along the 'Wyatt Timeline'. Depending on the timeline the pick-ups found will vary: health power-ups appear along the Fergus Timeline. When they are collected, player health is increased by 10. Choosing the Wyatt Timeline will replace these health pick-ups with armor pick-ups, increasing the amount of damage negated per armor point.
There are a number of letters hidden throughout the game which provide details and lore on the dark alternate timeline of the game. These letters are written by various individuals inhabiting the world under Nazi control.
Throughout the game Anya will automatically give you recorded readings of her cousin Ramona's diary, where she chronicles her vigilante attacks against the Nazi soldiers occupying her town. According to Anya, the diary was originally written in Polish. Dates on the entries refer to the early years of the Second World War, when the Polish resistance movement would have been operating effectively. The final record is dated to 1960.
Ramona's diary entries discuss her acts against the Nazis and her efforts to kill soldiers in a clandestine manner as well as the growing support for the Nazis among her own family and friends. The first entry justifies her attacks, as the Nazi soldiers killed a friend of hers. Her first kill is dated to June 25, 1940, when she stabs a soldier to death and records how he whimpered for his mother.
Wolfenstein: The New Order opens in 1946 as the Allies attempt a desperate assault on the sea-side compound of General Wilhelm 'Deathshead' Strasse, a scientist whose technological advances have allowed the Nazis to turn the tide of the war. B.J. Blazkowicz, along with his squadmates Fergus Reid and Probst Wyatt manage to breach the compound but are captured by General Deathshead.
Deathshead forces Blazkowicz to choose which of his squadmates will live. Deathshead says that he will take the other's eyes for use in a medical experiment. After being forced to witness the dissection of the squadmate the player has condemned to death, Deathshead attempts to kill them both as well using the room's incinerator. However, both characters escape. In their escape Blazkowicz is wounded by a piece of shrapnel in the skull, falling into the ocean unconscious.
Blazkowicz is pulled from the sea by Polish fishermen, and based on the fact he is unable to speak or move, he is sent to an asylum run by the Oliwa family. As the Nazis grow in power, defeating other nations, their visits to the asylum for 'specimens' become more frequent, as shown in the game's introductory cutscene. The game begins when a group arrive in 1960, proclaiming that the asylum is to be liquidated. The Nazis begin to shoot the inmates; when the staff resist, they too are shot. This moment sparks Blazkowicz's 'reactivation', for he becomes aware of his surroundings again and kills his way out of the asylum, saving Anya Oliwa in the process. Together, they are the only survivors from the asylum.
Blazkowicz spends time with Anya's grandparents in Poland, learning that the Nazis rule the world and the United States, as Fergus had predicted, would surrender. In the game's timeline, the USA surrendered in 1948 after the Nazis dropped atomic bombs. Resistance has been all but crushed, and the few who have resisted the regime are held in Berlin's Eisenwald Prison: built in the late 1940s, it is notable as there have been no escapees in its history. Anya and Blazkowicz, with the aid of her grandparents, make it to a train bound for Berlin.
Aboard the train Blazkowicz is confronted by Frau Engel and Hans Winkle, whom is referred to throughout the game as 'Bubi'. Engel forces Blazkowicz to engage in a Rorschach-esque test, choosing pictures linked to feelings of sadness and other emotions. She claims that, through this test, she is able to spot a true Aryan, and informs Blazkowicz that failing the test will result in him being shot. He manages to survive the encounter, and arrives in Berlin with Anya.
Upon arriving in Berlin, Blazkowicz breaches Eisenwald's perimeter by climbing onto the roof of the prison bus and accessing the roof. He is reunited with the squadmate who the player chose to spare in the opening mission, and subsequently introduced to the resistance movement headed by his old ally Caroline Becker.
Blazkowicz's first action with the resistance is the theft of three stealth helicopters in London, with the aid of resistance member Bobby Bram, who acts as a suicide bomber. During the attack on the research facility, Blazkowicz steals files relating to the secret Da'at Yichud organization. These files explain how the Nazis managed to build the monolithic concrete structures that dominate their cities: a substance Anya dubs Überconcrete. They discover that a member of the group, Set Roth, is being helped at the Belica concentration camp.
Blazkowicz is sent in to find Roth and extract him from the camp. It transpires that Frau Engel runs the camp, with Bubi as her second in command. While undercover in the camp Blazkowicz kills a sadistic guard known as 'The Knife', having been captured and tortured. He recovers valuable technology that Roth requires to engineer their escape, but when Engel learns of The Knife's death, she demands the immediate execution of all prisoners in Block 6. Seconds before their execution, Roth seizes control of one of the prison guard robots, known as "Herr Faust". Using Faust, he kills the executioners and seriously disfigures Engel.
Once the prisoners are safely secured from Belica, they hide with the resistance movement under the Reich's capital city, Berlin. Roth helps the group secure knowledge from Da'at Yichud held in a storehouse in the Atlantic Ocean. To gain this valuable knowledge, Blazkowicz steals a Nazi U-Boat and the group finds the storehouse. Here they discover a type of armor with a neural interface that enables Caroline to walk despite being disabled. The submarine stolen was one of the nuclear variants; according to Fergus 'Eva's Hammer' the "pride of the Reich's fleet". With the commander having been killed the group cannot fire any of the nuclear missiles in its cargo: the Nazis store the codes in the lunar based opened on the moon.
In order to gain access to the lunar base, the resistance attacks a train carrying Deathshead's chief scientist. With his identity, Blazkowicz is able to gain access to the lunar base, where he is welcomed by the Nazis. They congratulate him on his success and make reference to the previous head, but Blazkowicz acquires weapons and systematically makes his way through the base and across the moon's surface in order to acquire the nuclear codes.
Upon returning to earth in a stolen cargo-ship, Blazkowicz is shot down by the London Nautica, from which he had previously stolen the stealth helicopters. While fighting his way out of Berlin, Fergus informs him that the resistance hideout has been found and Deathshead has sent one of his elite units to eliminate them all. After destroying the monolithic London Monitor robot, Blazkowicz escapes Nazi-controlled England and returns to Berlin, where he fights alongside the remaining members of the resistance to eliminate the Nazi attackers.
In an act targeted at Blazkowicz in particular, Deathshead has taken Anya and Set Roth to his own compound, near the Baltic Sea. With the hideout having been destroyed and their numbers drastically cut down, the resistance launches a last-ditch attack on Deathshead's own compound. The captured members are freed and told to escape the compound aboard one of the resistance stealth helicopters. Blazkowicz is not able to escape, and chooses to face Deathshead and settle an old debt.
Before Deathshead opts to fight Blazkowicz, he informs him of what he did with the dead squadmate's brain - he used it as the basis for one of his robots, claiming it to have the "intelligence of the human brain and the obedience of machinery". Despite trying to fight with Blazkowicz, the robot pleads with him to kill it, which he does by removing the brain both from the robot and from Deathshead's containment chamber.
Seeing the prototype robot has been destroyed, Deathshead attacks aboard his own robot. While the prototype may have been the latest and greatest weapon in the Nazi arsenal, Deathshead's personal robot has been made even more deadly, featuring a shield as well as more guns. Blazkowicz ultimately destroys this robotic creation, pulling the stricken General from its wreckage and stabbing him repeatedly. In one last act of desperation, Deathshead pulls the pin on a grenade, killing himself and seriously wounding Blazkowicz.
Though seriously wounded Blazkowicz ensures all of the freed resistance members have escaped before he calls in the nuclear missile aboard Eva's Hammer. His act is one of sacrifice; without the helicopter it is not clear how he could escape Deathshead's compound himself. The game fades to black and the credits roll.
However, at the end of the credits the sound of a helicopter becomes louder, potentially implying that the nuclear missile was never launched and Blazkowicz was saved.
All cultural landmarks following the Nazi conquest of earth have been reshaped or suppressed to suit the Nazi ideology, as can be seen in the game's collectible records. Three records can be found in-game, and are recordings of real-world music in German.
The tracks are found on the fictional "Neumond Recordings" label (New Moon Recordings) and can be bought through iTunes.
The tracks are as follows, and were used for pre-release promotion. The tracks by Ralph Becker and Die Partei Fraue are also not included among the Neumond Recordings. Curiously one of the tracks collected in-game - Die Käfer's track "Das blaue U-Boat" - is not among those available on iTunes either.
None of the tracks feature any obvious Nazi symbols. Where these would be otherwise present they have been replaced by the Wolfenstein logo, with the most obvious example being The Bunkers' track "Toe the Line".
- OS: 64-bit Windows 7/Windows 8
- Processor: Intel Core i7 or equivalent AMD
- Memory: 4 GB RAM
- Graphics: GeForce 460, ATI Radeon HD 6850
- Hard Drive: 50 GB available space