Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is a first person shooter brought to you by Machine Games. The game is a prequel to The New Order which was a big hit for the developer last year. The Old Blood is being released as a standalone on XBOX ONE, PS4 and PC.
In Wolfenstein: The Old Blood you play as B.J. Blazkowicz a Soldier in the US Army, Trying to infiltrate Castle Wolfenstein and take out some of the hierarchy in order to get rid of the Nazis supernatural advantages that are winning them the war. You start off by getting inside the castle which is where you meet one of your first main enemies Rudi Jager a massive blonde german nutter who feeds his enemies to his enhanced dogs of war. Rudi eventually catches you and throws you in a prison cell which is where you get your first chance to use the pipe weapon/tool.
You can use this broken pipe to traverse walls, open doors and in gruesome fashion slay enemies including some of Rudi Jager’s precious hounds. Once you have escaped from your prison cell you will encounter a variety of enemies some of which are wearing huge mech suits but don’t worry you have access to their power supply and if your stealth enough you will be able to take them out without too much difficulty, The game has 5 difficulty settings (just like Wolfenstein the New Order) with the weakest being labelled (CAN I PLAY DADDY?) and the hardest (UBER) I would Recommend starting out in the middle though until you have a handle on the game especially if you are a newcomer to Wolfenstein. Once you escape the castle you travel to the village of Paderborn where you meet up with Kessler a local German resistance leader, throughout these areas there are plenty of secret places to explore and in these areas there are collectibles such as a gold and letters to find (achievement hunters get ready). After a few hours of playing the game you will eventually find yourself facing off against Rudi Jager in the tavern Kessler owns. He will be wearing a mech suit, this part of the game took me ages although it was very enjoyable and satisfying when I did finally beat him, Like The New Order, Old blood lets you dual wield weapons, This can be great fun when punishing countless hordes of Nazis but I prefer just holding the one weapon for slightly harder enemies such as Rudi where you need a bit more precision. Once you have defeated Rudi Jager you will flee to the village of Wulfburg which is where You will uncover The Dark Secrets of Helga Von Schabbs and finally find out what the Nazi war machine is up to. The amount of depth and time they have put into this smaller budget standalone really is quite refreshing as a lot of developers are being hounded at the moment for releasing add on content without enough new elements or story. It is nice to see a developer really in some ways look after their community of fans with this much new content. Helga Von Schabbs is another raving Nazi lunatic with world domination on her mind through the use of supernatural power. She like most evil masterminds eventually causes problems for you in the form of flaming Nazi zombie soldiers that fall from the sky like meteors. Some of the Visuals within this game are excellent you really can tell there has been attention to detail, especially when you inspect enemies more closely and you see the detail on their armour and uniforms. When playing through the story I found that some areas I would be able to sneak through and others I would just have to run in all guns blazing although I have to say I enjoyed this variety in game play and even if I did run in all guns blazing I would go back and check for hidden collectibles and locations.
I did Find sometimes when sneaking through areas that some enemies could be well a little uncaring about their fellow comrades in that I would shoot one and none of the others seems to mind or search for the bastard who done it! Although I suppose this gave me an advantage? I also found the super soldiers a bit inconsistent in that sometimes I felt I was in plain sight and they would take no notice and other times I would feel hidden and suddenly they would see me and off went the alarm, these small issues however did not detract from a very enjoyable first person shooter experience.
“Old school love”
Within Each chapter you will be given the opportunity to play through a level of Wolfenstein 3D, I totally love this not just because you get an achievement for completing these missions but because it offers you a completely different game within an already outstanding one. These levels are called nightmares and are triggered by sleeping. It’s a feature that was added with the new order so its great to see it make an appearance here. Within these Wolfenstein 3D games you will have to search through different areas with DOOM like graphics trying to find a key then find the door that will eventually take you back to reality as these missions are called nightmares and are playable from a bed you will usually find in each area of the game. The composers for this game have done an excellent job on audio as well with the old school music playing in these nightmare missions not only does it take me back but it also gives your ears a break from the same noises in the main game which by itself has great audio diversity with some of the music haunting and some making your heart beat that little bit harder. The voice acting in the game is also awesome with some of the villains giving out some rather evil outbursts.
Helga eventually leads you to the final boss aptly named the Monstrosity in which she believes to have found her best friend and war winning weapon. It quickly becomes apparent this is not the case when the monster turns on her and you are left to in familiar circumstances fixing the problems created by the evil establishment (AKA NAZIS). The Final boss fight is pretty epic and will have you moving from side to side, ducking, jumping and shooting all over the place. I must admit it did take me a few attempts longer than it should have but it was because rather than ducking one of the monstrosities attacks I was jumping which turned out to be the wrong move time and time again…..
Although you will complete this game relatively quickly I feel it does offer a lot of replay value as it will take time to find all the collectibles and secret areas making you go back and replay the game also achievement hunters will want to complete this game on UBER mode. Which I would imagine could take (me) some time……
Another element of the game that has changed is the upgrade system which has been changed to a selection of perks which are unlocked by completing different actions for example if you get a large number of kills with a particular weapon you will gain and extended ammo supply for that gun and if you overcharge your health enough you will get a permanent health improvement.
The game also features an arcade style challenge mode where you will replay some of the battles and try to score as many points as you can and again the achievement hunters will be happy! I think the fact that they have put all these different elements, modes and game types into one game is great value for money as there are some bigger games out there that don’t put in as much effort and replay value.
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is a very well made game with a few new additions in the form or characters, broken pipes etc… The horror and violence within the game adds to the classic feel of Wolfenstein and gives you a great gaming experience. I would say if you want more of the same buy this game but I feel that might be a slight injustice as this game offers so much for its price tag and has made a few nice new additions to an already outstanding game. Although on a simpler note if you want to fight Nazi zombies go buy this game… NOW!
This title was reviewed on a retail copy of the game on Xbox One.
For £14.99 its actually quite unbelievable how much value you are getting with this title. The campaign tops at around 8 hours but added extras will extend your playtime and if you haven't played Wolfenstein on current gen and have been wondering what all the fuss was about then jump in and realise why this was the surprise package of 2014 and the brilliant reminder in 2015.
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