Back in Time for More Craziness
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is a prequel to the previous game in the series, Wolfenstein: The New Order, the former takes place a couple of months before the latter. The world came to a point where the Nazi forces are winning, and the US Army sends BJ Blazkowicz to Castle Wolfenstein, on an infiltrating mission. Where he needs to recover some secret documents.
The story is straightforward and direct, and you’ll go through a linear path, meeting new characters each time you hit a new area. If you want more in-depth lore, you can find it through notes, that pop up from time to time, giving some text with a little more information, as well as finding text on papers through the levels, giving the player a little more story-telling.
It looks like the game will be a slow build-up, but in a few minutes it throws a load of guns at you like it’s saying “go crazy and have fun”. It was a pleasant surprise. It still managed to keep the stealth option through the entire game, it might have the best stealth of the Wolfenstein game, the levels are so greatly designed for the player to be able to have a clear vision of the paths and what’s going on with the guards. I really enjoyed that, despite some times your cover being unfairly blown, but not as many times as the other games.
The main idea, for about half of the rooms in the game, is for you to see where are the Nazis can sound the alarm, and quietly kill them, so things don’t become dangerous. In a ton of rooms, you can even go through it without killing anyone, which is nice for keeping the balance in such a crazy game. The game is pretty hard, not as much as the other games, but you still can die if you’re not much of an FPS player. You can easily do your job if you are good at getting headshots and being sneaky. And after you clean up the room, you’ll spend some time looking for loot, the game has an “E Button” pop up to grab things like Health, Ammo, and Armor. You’ll pretty much end up spamming E without even seeing what you’re grabbing, most of the time.
You can go over your health and armor limit, to some degree, by grabbing items that would recover it, and the number will slowly decrease to the right maximum amount. You can increase your maximum health and armor, as well as some things like maximum ammo for a weapon or reload speed, by doing some challenges. That might be ‘go 100 health over the cap” or “kill X enemies with that weapon”, so it has a nice progression that you can pay attention to complete it all as soon as possible or just randomly unlock some of it. You can find some collectibles through the levels, like gold bars, just for those who like doing everything available.
The game has a ton of features that I love. Let’s start with the slide, I love FPS games that have a good slide, and this game has one of the best slides out there, it’s the usual Run, then Crouch. You can also Dual-Wild weapons, which is the Wolfenstein special, it’s amazingly satisfying to get two shotguns or two automatic rifles, one on each hand, and just go guns blazing, demolishing Nazis. Even better since the game has a good character reaction and gore, they feel your shots and can lose body parts with a powerful shot. I like that you can just pop-up a map and see where you at, and which direction should you go, even though the game is fairly linear, it helps. You can even find the map of that location, somewhere on the level, that will clear out all the parts that you didn’t go to yet.
I liked the Easter Eggs that I’ve found. But easily the best of them, and my favorite feature in this game is that the levels have a bed or mattress where you can sleep, and in your dream, you play a Wolfenstein 3D level. That idea is phenomenal, it’s amazing, so satisfying, great nostalgia. The last feature I enjoyed, is something that I mentioned in other reviews, that I feel people don’t care about, is for the game to show your exact percentage of progression and hours played, on your save file. I think every game should do that.
The shooting is great, better than the other games in the series, especially by what I mentioned before (the level design is good for the player). The story is well-paced, it has a crazy twist, that amazingly caught me off guard. The problem is the duration, I was positively impressed with the game during all my time to it, thinking it would be a clear 5-star, but suddenly, it ended. Less than 5 hours in, it really bummed me out. It was a great experience, but it could have more to it, so I’m glad I didn’t get it at full price.
If you’re a fan of the Wolfenstein series and skipped this one, go back and play it. It does some stuff better than the other games, without losing any of the best things about the series overall. It surprises the player and has satisfying shooting, without being as hard as they usually are.