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E3 2013: Wolfenstein The New Order Preview

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 13 comments

Wolfenstein: The New Order should be a solid hit for Bethesda this holiday season.

During E3 2013, I was actually given a chance to play Wolfenstein: The New Order after my 30 minute dose of The Elder Scrolls Online. I played it using an Xbox controller, but the game was actually running on a Revolt gaming PC. It was extremely fun to play to say the least, but I'm not sure at this point how it will stand out against other FPS titles on the market when it launches.

Prior to actual gameplay, Bethesda set the stage: it's the 1960s, and the German Nazi Global Empire currently rules the world thanks to defeating the allies in World War II using an atomic bomb. Because of this, history is altered in their favor, with the Nazis landing on the moon, serving as members of the Beatles, enslaving millions of people and so on.

The demo opened up showing that our hero of the original Wolfenstein, B.J. Blazkowicz, carrying a serving tray with cups of coffee. Previously he had awakened from a 14-year coma, so both he and the player enter this new universe together. At first it seemed like he was actually a waiter working on a Nazi passenger train, but eventually he returned to his room where he delivered a steaming cup to his female partner, Anya.

However prior to returning to his cabin, he was stopped by two Nazis siting in a booth, one of which is a female senior Nazi named Frau Engel. The male associate seated next to her, a very feminine kind of guy, obviously loves to kiss her ass. Engel commanded our hero to slide into the seat in front of her and be tested for what she described as "impurity".

Once seated, Engel then placed her gun on the table along with a set of photos. B.J. must choose between them although the real test is to see if he would pick up the gun and shoot her. Naturally he doesn't, choosing one of the photos instead. She laughed at his cowardice and pointed the gun in his face. Using his wit, he convinced both Nazis that he's pure blood, that he's not the enemy. After some convincing by her male colleague, Engle allowed B.J. to returb to his cabin.

The next demo actually showed gameplay, with B.J. making his way through a destroyed bridge using bullet-based and futuristic energy weapons we've seen to some degree in other shooters. This portion actually resides about three quarters of the way into the main campaign, so it's unclear if the wreckage is current, or something that transpired before the game itself. And unlike the first demo, we finally get a taste of the protagonist's personality, reminding me of Duke Nukem with all the wise-ass comments.

The actual playable demo I experienced after the briefing was an entirely different level, pitting the hero against the Nazis inside a building. The new Wolfenstein is pure action-packed shooter goodness for tank gamers and run-n-gun fanatics – there's no major stealth requirement here (although it helps in some circumstances). There are mechs to take down, turrets to control for eliminating waves of bad guys, and plenty of debris to hide behind and use as a shield. Standard stuff.

However I'm told that there will be plenty of story to engulf the player despite all the action, which in some aspects is a good thing, keeping the game from feeling too arcade-like in nature. There are also a number of scenarios that require the player to use his/her brain for puzzle solving. For instance, a player will need to use specific energy weapons that can cut through metal surfaces in order to progress through the level. These same weapons can be used against enemies, or to simply create new pathways in a level just for the heck of it.

Unfortunately, my time with Wolfenstein was short, but then again the game was also rather standard, so there's really not much more to elaborate on. If you're a big FPS fan, then you've been there and done it. It will definitely be a good, solid launch title for the new consoles, and will likely prove to be a big hit with PC gamers as well.

Wolfenstein: The New Order is slated to hit the Windows PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 in Q4 2013.

Wolfenstein: The New Order E3 Trailer

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  • 0 Hide
    booyaah , June 17, 2013 7:23 AM
    I really hope this game pays proper homage to the original Id Wolfenstein games, although I doubt it. That was probably the 1st FPS I played on DOS as a kid. Does anyone remember the Barneystein and Beavis and Butthead mods? So many good memories.

    I hope the PC Port is not that crappy. The good news is that it looks like it might already be ready for PC since he played on one at the demo. I hate it when PC gets a staggered 2nd citizen release.
  • 0 Hide
    tomfreak , June 17, 2013 7:53 AM
    the last one is awful compared to Return to Castle Wolfenstein.
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    rwinches , June 17, 2013 8:29 AM
    Wow, Kevin jaded much? This looks really cool I can't wait for it to come out. Looks like a parallel universe where things turned out different, a real nightmare.
  • 0 Hide
    viliu24 , June 17, 2013 9:28 AM
    no worries , this is next gen dumb gaming , auto aim , auto run, auto jump , auto ..., oh w8 ,i am watching a movie??
  • 0 Hide
    irish_adam , June 17, 2013 9:58 AM
    >_> of course they used a controller, its E3 and they want as many as people as possible to get a feel of the game not just a few hardcore people that PC game. A controller is universal, anyone can pick it up and play, that can not be said for keyboard and mouse which can have any number of layouts

    They obviously ran it on a PC though because its not like microsoft or sony was going to give them a next generation console to play it on
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , June 17, 2013 10:28 AM
    Some might say the new console architecture may lead to a renaissance in PC gaming, if both PS4 and XB1 use x86 then ports won't be the crappy kind we are used to
  • 0 Hide
    NightLight , June 17, 2013 12:46 PM
    sigh, must every game nowadays include mechs ...
  • 0 Hide
    robochump , June 17, 2013 1:48 PM
    WTF happened to ID Software?!? Sadly another mismanaged legendary gaming company. I just hope the new Wolfenstein lives up to its legendary roots!
  • 0 Hide
    robochump , June 17, 2013 1:53 PM
    Also I love the goofy mustache on the up riser throwing the tear gas and for some reason the World under the Nazi has become much more advanced!!! hehe
  • 0 Hide
    outlw6669 , June 17, 2013 11:27 PM
    So many new games, so little time T_T
  • 0 Hide
    computertech82 , June 18, 2013 5:04 PM
    Now if the game lasted as long as the original.....but most likely it will be a 30 minute to maybe 2 hour game for $60 bucks. Sad how things change.
  • 0 Hide
    hammer85 , June 18, 2013 9:45 PM
    Say anything this looks good!
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    JTri , August 19, 2013 5:18 PM
    I think that this game will finish the transition to the current gen that 2009 started. 2009 was flawed, but had some good things going for it like sandboxing, shadow/coloring, atmosphere, and interesting maps. This looks like it will be more immersive like Return to Castle Wolfenstein, even a bit Kojima-ish while forgetting the crappy gameplay mechanics and features from 2009 ever existed. Yay health packs!