Wolfenstein: The New Order

I've played about three hours of Wolfenstein: The New Order now, and I'll probably play a bit more, but I'm really not impressed with what I've seen so far. If I'd paid money for it I'd be pretty disappointed.

There are parts of this game that are pretty fun. Unfortunately they seem to be surrounded by endless bits that aren't. The main thing is, there's just way too much story. Look, you don't need to convince us that Nazis are bad, we can just take that as a basic assumption. Just let me go kill them please. And I don't need BJ Blazkowicz's melodramatic musings on the horrors of war or whatever the fuck he keeps going on about. Just shut up and let me kill Nazis.

I guess "BJ" stands for "bland & joyless".
When the game does get out of its own way (and let you kill Nazis) it's pretty good, but these sections seem to be relatively short and disjointed, and it keeps taking away all your weapons just as you're beginning to build up a nice arsenal. And between these sections you get pointless cutscenes about characters you don't care about or irritating stealth sections.

Plus it makes you manually choose to pick up each weapon/ammo/health drop rather than just assuming that yes, no shit, I want to pick up the ammo. The one advantage to this system is that it makes it harder to accidentally pick up health you don't need - because yes, you can pick up health you don't need. It does increase your health over 100%, but it ticks down again so fast that it's basically worthless. You're much better off not picking up the health until you're injured.

Remember this guy? His only dialogue in the entire game was "Yeah!" and he's still a more engaging protagonist.
And there are a bunch of other weird design choices too, like the unlocks that require you to do kind of awkward things to get benefits that either seem like they should be things you just get by default or just don't seem useful at all. And sometimes you get objective markers telling you where you need to go next, but other times you're just dumped in a location with no real direction. There's generally only one way you can go, but it's not always obvious which way that is (rather like Mirror's Edge in that regard).

Combat, like I said, is generally fun, but there are certain enemies that are just a massive pain in the arse. Flying robots, for example, that are stupidly tough and are also small and fast-moving, so you'll waste a bunch of ammo on them. Or the dogs that, if they get close to you, force you to do a pseudo-quicktime event for some reason.

Overall, it just seems like a lot of wasted potential. If they'd kept the good bits and scrapped the rest it could have been a pretty good game. As it is, I can't recommend it.

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