Wolfenstein: The Old Blood - Review
Here are my first impressions of what I thought of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood:
- You can carry a lot of guns at once.
- Intelligent enemy AI.
- Good variety of enemies with unique actions (ex. Commanders and machine gunners will react differently)
- Awesome melee take downs.
- The stealth aspect of the game makes it so you can sneak around throwing knives the whole time or if you prefer you can run in with two machine guns (or a minigun) and blast everyone.
- Good variety of weapons.
- Wolfenstein has a difficulty setting that allows gamers of near any skill to play, and a setting called “Mein Leben” where you can only die once…ever.
- The story is predictable (for the most part there are a few big surprises.
- While using stealth is quite effective there are some armored enemies that cannot be killed quietly.
The year is 1946 and the Nazis are winning WWII. As B. J. Blazkowicz, you have been tasked with infiltrating a fortress in order to discover where a Nazi research facility is. If that sounded too easy for you wait until you find out that Blazkowicz does not speak German at all. Needless to say you get captured, Blazkowicz then sets out to not only escape prison (with nothing but a metal pipe) but to finish his mission as well.
In your average FPS you can usually carry two maybe three guns, in Wolfenstein, since Blazkowicz is a boss, you can carry two of every gun you find (with only a few exceptions). This means that you could be walking around with two pistols, two regular shotguns, a side by side shotgun, a minigun, and more. The game balances this by making ammo just scarce enough that you have enough to get by but are always looking for more.
One of my favorite things about Wolfenstein is that the AI used for the enemies is intelligent, it does a good job at making it feel like you are actually in a firefight rather than just a bunch of dumb computers that can’t aim or coordinate attacks. They will frequently flank you and if they have a commander they seem to be a little more organized and they can call for backup. In addition to that they are actually good at aiming, so you can’t just stand up in the middle and walk around. Yet another aspect that greatly improves the game-play is the enemy types, just to name a few there can be any enemy from regular soldier, sniper, and even heavily armored super soldiers.
Another great part of the game is the amount of melee combat you can do. For the melee combat you can be like your average run of the mill spy and just use a knife, or you can be hardcore and use your metal pipe to beat, maim, and stab people with. Depending on where you attack them and whether you are or are not crouching will change this. For instance if you are climbing up a ladder and you attack the guy at the top right when you get there, one of the things that could happen would be you stab him in the back of the knee and when he falls you put the other pipe in the throat. Another utility for the pipe is the ability to use it as a pry bar.
The stealth in Wolfenstein adds more different ways to play, for instance you can choose to destroy everyone with your guns quick and brutal, or you can be more stealthy and leave nearly everyone alive. So when you are low on or out of ammo you will still have a plan B. In addition to that it is also helpful so that you can be able to get through a particularly difficult area a little easier.
In order to add a little more fun to how most games do the difficulty setting the difficulty levels are named as follows, Can I play Daddy? (very easy), Don’t hurt me (easy), Bring’em on (normal), I am Death Incarnate (hard), Uber (very hard), and Mein Leben (insane). On the first setting it is easy and forgiving, medical supplies and ammo are more potent, and the enemies don’t put up much of a fight. Then in Mein Leben you have one life if you die you restart the game, ammo and medical supplies are much less potent, and the enemies are far from forgiving.
One of the let downs with Wolfenstein is that the story is for the most part fairly predictable and it does not surprise you (other than one big thing that happens at the middle of the game). Unfortunately at times you can forget what is happening in the story because it is just not super interesting. Another thing is that you cannot play through the whole thing as a stealth expert, there are a few enemies that you have to just shoot a bunch to kill. All in all I would give Wolfenstein the old blood a 8/10.