Clumsy game play design and stupid glitches hurts this shooter.
It has been out in the open for awhile now that video games have gotten quite easier over the years, and for some people this is a bad thing while for others it simply isn't. I'm more towards the middle of this, yet I have a better appreciation for tougher games because they simply generate a sense of greater excitement which equates to being more memorable; I must make it clear though, the type of games I do appreciate are those that requires the player to work hard at developing their skills to beat them, as oppose to those that are simply hard for other reasons. I love the "Souls" series as it fits into the former aforementioned category. While on the other hand, we have games like Wolfenstein: The New Order which are difficult for excruciatingly stupid reasons. I mean this game stopped being fun for me somewhere around the middle mark, and I simply just wanted to finish it. I no longer enjoyed playing this.
Wolfenstein: The New Order does have a pretty interesting story to me especially since I have a great interest for our world's wars. Captain B.J. Blazkowicz is a part of the invasion against Germany taking place during a period in 1946. After storming one of their bases he and his crew are captured, and later on he wakes up in a hospital. After escaping the place, he learns that 14 years have passed and the Nazi's have won WWII. Together with new friends and allies, they attempt to fight back the Nazi's and change things.
The game is your standard FPS with quite a bit of weapons to pick up along the way, such as the usual pistols, machine guns, shotguns etc. The weapons can be upgraded for alternate firing options or different ammo. B.J. also packs a combat knife for melee attacks and brutal stealth moments, which will see him slashing throats or stabbing enemies straight to the head or under the jaw. He's a mean piece of work and this adds to the Nazi killing cool factor. He will also get the chance to use an armored vehicle which changes the pace a little. There are several things to do in combat like picking up the enemies mini-guns or using mounted weapons to mow down enemies. B.J. must keep on moving and taking cover because the enemy is relentless with uncanny aim, and I don't know how people who supposedly played this game see the enemy AI as being completely incompetent. I thought they were quite intelligent and you will take a lot of damage and die a lot of deaths. There are also some pretty good locations to wage gun battles, like inside of a stalling cable car which felt quite unique. The shootouts will leave an impression I'll give this game that.
Now all of the problems with this game lies in the gameplay which all but killed my experience and what bit of immersion there actually was. For one thing the enemies are straight bullet sponges. I have blasted enemies at close range with shotguns only for them to still be standing which leads to burning through ammo. Plus armored enemies are even worse taking more than 20 rounds of close range shotgun blasts to the face. I know they are armored but that is ridiculous. There are also many unfair moments such as getting killed then redoing the area with nearly no health. The game has started me several times with 20/100 health and barely any weapon ammo, making getting through the area impossible and forcing me to redo from an earlier checkpoint cut scene.
There are plenty of other ailments; B.J. is forced to swap weapons on the go or under massive pressure. This wouldn't be a problem at all if not for the weapon swap interface. The weapon inventory is set up in a very annoying clockwise format using the sticks to pick a weapon, and sometimes the cursor will bounce and juggle between weapons and this will always lead to grabbing the wrong item. It's very irritating to go through this; there was also a bone-headed decision to make B.J. have to look directly at items to grab them instead of simply running over them. This will lead many to unnecessary deaths; and health pick ups are bullshit in this game. The health count goes up to a hundred, and any additional health pick ups will increase the count, but it quickly goes back down to 100 even without taking damage. I never thought it was possible to be too healthy.
Here comes my greatest gripe, the glitches. I cleared an area that is suppose to trigger a robot for a boss battle, but the fight didn't happen which lead to me having to start over, plus I had items taken away from me for no reason before entering a tough location. I searched for my grenade launcher ammo, and the ammo was gone despite me not using it which led to a tough fight being all that more tough. Plus the fetch quests that break up the pacing, ugh. After awhile I just wanted this game to end, and I lost all focus on the story along with these clichéd action movie characters.
The biggest highlight were the visuals for me. The quick paced combat is done very well and I never detected slow down. The death sequences for the knife combat are really good. The backgrounds are well detailed with plenty of nice moments of grand buildings and bigger than life fortresses. The gore is captured nicely; B.J. will blow limbs off these guys, and some of them are torn to pieces in a big mess with heads completely destroyed into pieces. I loved the carnage.
I'm glad I didn't pay full price for this game. Wolfenstein: The New Order was a very frustrating experience for me. It simply got to where it wasn't fun anymore shooting hordes of enemies that just didn't die, plus they can hit you at will with the health gauge against you. In closing, with so many other better done FPS' out there I wouldn't recommend this game to anyone other than fans, or those who love tough games no matter how they come. I don't mind difficult games that force you to work on developing skill, but Wolfenstein simply isn't that game. Also, the lack of multi-player will definitely be an issue for many. I didn't mind that though
The Good: Visuals, very brutal carnage, decent weapons
The Bad: Bullet sponge enemies, clumsy game play design, glitches