In a terrifying alternate reality the Nazis have won World War II, though not in the conventional way. With advanced technology on their side they’ve turned the tide on Europe and have forced the United States to surrender with a heady mix of cyborg dogs, giant robots and pure evil. London landmarks such as Big Ben and St Paul’s Cathedral still stand but are dwarfed by a colossal Nazi fortress. The English capital has an oppressive air, decked out in Swastikas and Nazi flags, while blimps patrol the sky-lines and armed soldiers line the streets. However, all hope isn’t lost just yet.
Step forward the square-jawed action hero, and Wolfenstein’s perennial Nazi ass kicker, William “B.J.” Blazkowicz, who has seen unspeakable horrors orchestrated by the Nazis during his mission to the Baltic Coast of Germany in 1946, which is where Wolfenstein: The New Order begins. After a rather bland opening half-an-hour, a generic run through bunkers and buildings, clearing rooms and blasting Nazis to pieces in typical FPS fashion, things really start to get interesting and The New Order proves itself to be anything but an ordinary, run-of-the-mill FPS.
From the moment that you and two of your comrades, Fergus and Wyatt, are captured by the sublimely evil General Deathshed, who then makes you choose which one of them to kill, it’s clear how far things have evolved since the last Wolfenstein game. Overall, The New Order is an excellent production with top quality cut scenes, credible voice acting, slick animation and a cast of love-to-hate characters that draw you into its twisted fantasy with some style. Aside from some bizarre moments, such as the search for some impenetrable Nazi concrete and a trip somewhere that you’d least expect (no spoilers), the narrative, excellent characterisation and tongue-in-cheek script do more than enough to keep you hooked.
The moment that The New Order really grabbed us was when Blazkowicz falls into a coma and is taken to an asylum in Poland, which is a front for the Nazis to take away patients and experiment on them. A love story begins to develop between Blazkowicz and head nurse Anya who he watches care for him through his vegetative state. One day the Nazis arrive in force to close the facility, killing all the patients in the process. But, as B.J. is about to be killed, he wakes up and fights back. The game is on… Blazkowicz has a lady and revenge on his mind and seeks out the resistance to aid him in some serious payback.
Gameplay switches between bouts of frenetic combat, slower-paced stealth sections and boss battles, all of which are broken up with entertaining cut scenes that introduce some enjoyable characters, such as Nazi sadist Frau Engel and her camp toy boy Bubi. There’s a vast array of weapons, from shotguns to assault rifles, all of which are upgradable and have secondary fire modes, such as rocket launchers and long sights. There's also some technologically advanced arms that add some variety to the usual FPS set-up, such as the Laserkraftwerk, which allows you to cut through fences and take down Mecha.