Ninety-five percent of all shooters released today sport a similar theme: the world has fallen to pieces, and it is up to our protagonist(s) to restore order and find peace within the chaos. Most of these shooters offer up uninteresting characters, predictable plot development, and identical gameplay mechanics. Whenever a new shooter is released, it is therefore up to the modern developer to prove to gamers that its title sports something different, superior to the status quo.
Ladies and gentlemen, here we have the case for Bethesda Softworks' and MachineGames' Wolfenstein: The New Order, which will be releasing on both the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 this December.
The former Starbreeze team, behind such notable titles as The Chronicles of Riddick and The Darkness, has ambitions to make Wolfenstein: The New Order more than simply 'going into rooms and killing things.' Bethesda PR and marketing head Peter Hines made the argument in an interview with IGN, and even compared the game to Naughty Dog's critically acclaimed Uncharted series.
“If you think this is just a mindless shooter where you go into rooms and kill things, of course that doesn’t sound interesting,” said Hines. “But when you figure out what Wolfenstein is actually doing here, what it’s about and what they’re trying to bring to the table, I think there is something there for folks who say, ‘yeah, I want to shoot things, but I want some other stuff too.’”
Praising the Uncharted series for being more than a shooter, Hines claims that The New Order "starts to feel a little like Uncharted, where there's more going on. It’s one of my favorite series on any console, just because of the things it does outside of the shooting that are so compelling and interesting,” he said. “I couldn’t wait for the next cutscene, because the cutscenes are so good. There’s something similar to that here, enjoying the non-shooter parts to that extent."
Noting the past projects of MachineGames' development team, Hines believe that gamers should look to games like The Darkness for a greater understanding of what they hope to accomplish with The New Order:
“If you look at Chronicles of Riddick and The Darkness and some of the other things these guys did in the past at Starbreeze, you can see some of the elements that they’re trying to bring into this,” Hines added.
Hines recognizes the seeming omnipresence of shooters in the video game market, pointing out that while it may not be heralded as the shooter franchise of the generation, there is something special that the Wolfenstein universe hopes offer later this year when The New Order hits store shelves.
“We’re not doing Wolfenstein because we think, ‘oh, everybody thinks of Wolfenstein when they think first-person shooters.’ We’re not that naive. But we do think there’s something to this world.”
Steven Chaffin, Jr. is an American editor for PlayStation Universe, and while he has never ventured into the Wolfenstein realm, appreciates the additional effort developers are putting towards creating experiences greater than sheer fun gameplay. This is what keeps him gaming. You can find more work from Steven on his blog, and on Twitter @steven_chaffin.