Wolfenstein The New Order
Quite early in the game, the player is forced to make the decision, which one of two characters has to die. I thought that was quite odd. For one, it’s the sole choice of this nature the player can/has to make during the entire game AND it’s so close to the beginning of the game, that the player can’t possibly be already rooting for one of the characters, which thus made me pick someone at random. So every event after that is then called “timeline x”, where x is the name of the surviving guy. Was this done to add more replayability?
I’m one of apparently only ~5 people on earth who really like id tech 5, it feels so refined. IMHO it gives this game the right stuff. It’s all very slick/responsive all the time. There’s this moment when you instantly know which engine a game was created in when you start playing it, even without reading about it beforehand. I like it when that happens. It’s a little bit like coming home. I also didn’t encounter a single bug in my playthrough, which is an incredibly rare event.
The rest of the game does everything I expect an FPS to do. It’s a well oiled machine and it reaches a grade of perfection, where I’d say that it’s no longer possible to still significantly improve the game without redefining what a shooter is and ending up with another/new genre or a more severe mix of several.
The gameplay already contains mechanics like character progression based upon playstyle, which forces players to either adapt new tactics throughout the game or miss out on many abilities. That’s a really interesting concept, because that made me realize that I usually “learn” how to play a game and then stick to it. Games that reward experience points, that can be distributed freely, for completing whatever, never make me switch my habits. Wolfenstein’s system did. Sometimes I would use stealth and another time a gun I had neglected so far (which is more fun ingame than I make it sound here).
Exploration is also very much a thing in this game, because levels usually offer more than just these narrow paths, too many games are now cursed with and hidden collectibles reward observant players. The ride is complemented with (optional) “dreams” of the first Wolfenstein with fitting throwback graphics and it all ends in a scene hat didn’t really satisfy me, but William “B.J.” Blazkowicz probably has to be back anyway, because… the show must go on! The New Order was also the first game I played in some time, that didn’t have a scene after the ending credits, so yeah… don’t wait (unless you want to see all the names, of course). ;)