Video Game Review: Wolfenstein: The Old Blood

August 22, 2015

Written by Capt McNeely

Georgia Division ZADF Twitter: @ZADF_ORG

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“Wolfenstein: The Old Blood” is a stand alone prequel to 2014’s “Wolfenstein: The New Order”. Set in 1946 it features our main protagonist BJ Blazkowics (the shirtless man pictured above) sent undercover into Castle Wolfenstein in order to steal an important file that holds top secret information containing the whereabouts of the evil leader of the Nazi army General Deathshead who’s technical advances are destroying the Allied forces. Finding this file is the miracle the Allies need in order to turn the tide and hope to defeat the Nazis once and for all and it’s all up to BJ and you but of course soon after you infiltrate Castle Wolfenstein everything goes awry and the mission that ensues is fantastic!

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For those who are unfamiliar with the “Wolfenstein” franchise, It’s considered the king of first person shooters and is always allotted as being the actual very first FPS to ever be made. The story and concept itself are very straight forward, shoot nazis with a wide artillery of weapons and stop the evil leader which has either been mecha Hitler or General Deathshead. It really laid the pavement for almost really every single FPS to date. There was a 2009 installment in the “Wolfesntein” series that I did not play, I personally preferred the “DOOM” series so I really didn’t mind skipping out on “Wolfenstein” but in latter years with the FPS genre becoming flooded with knock-offs and turds I really did have a yearning for a good old classic FPS that really didn’t aim for realism like most FPS’ now-a-days do so when I heard that they were making a new “Wolfenstein” for next gen I did a back-flip. “New Order” came out last year to critical acclaim and it was a great call back to what First Person shooters use to be with a mix of modern game-play to make it feel fresh, you collected Armour, you collected health packs, you shoot nazis on the moon and you toted shotguns the size of an alligator. It was truly an amazing game and that’s why I totally recommend picking up “Wolfestein: The New Order” but I am writing this review about “Old Blood”, the stand alone prequel but I just got to ask, why am I writing a review for a stand alone prequel?

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Now don’t get me wrong, the gameplay is still the same with a few useful improvements. A map to show you the way in case you get lost, 2 new weapons which really aren’t that bad, a relativity forgetful skill tree and a rusty pipe that you can  use as both a weapon and a means of climbing cliffs. It is copy and paste with the same enemies just slightly different looking and generic wall corridors as backdrops. I mean how did it go from battling nazis on the moon to fighting a huge robot in London Square to just shooting nazis in swastika ridden hallways. I mean it is a call back to old times but after the amazing set pieces that happened in “New Order” was this prequel really necessary as well as to charge $25 for?

Probably my biggest gripe with “Old Blood” is the story. In the beginning it starts out really good, your mission, secretly infiltrate Castle Wolfenstein and find the file. Where in the mission briefing did it say load up on as much ammo as you can and shoot up the entire castle? Then again stealthing it ends up failing on you and you do get caught just to let you know don’t bother with stealth, it’s hard and you’ll get caught either way. They also copy and paste lots of strong scenes from “New Order” into this. Events and moments that felt stressful in “New Order” feel really shoe-horned in and again don’t pay off as well as they did in the main game. Also probably the most aggravating thing in “Old Blood” is how the second act of the main campaign is totally phoned in and has zero weight to it. slight spoiler here in the middle of the game near the halfway point a zombie apocalypse begins. That’s right a random zombie apocalypse just shows up and suddenly BJ goes from having to secure this file to rescuing the entire town from a zombie Apocalypse. It’s pretty cool blowing zombies to bits but it kinda goes against what “Wolfenstein New Order” stood for. “New Order” broke the norm and took us to places never thought imagined citing space nazis on the moon again, the zombies were just so left field. “DOOM” is where the zombies, demons and other hellish creatures are placed and “Wolfenstein” is where the nazis, space nazis and super mecha nazis are put. The worst part though is at the end where all of the events of Act 2 are just simply ignored. Not to go into spoiler territory but all the events have zero gravitas and do not affect BJ in anyway or form, sorry to get you excited there but you are going to be let down at the end.

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In the end “Wolfenstein: The Old Blood” begins promising but then descends into the generic formula that mostly everyone frowns upon. Is it worth the $25 alone? No but if you can get it bundled with “Wolfenstein: The New Order” then your saving yourself the money and time. Just go play “New Order” instead. I give “Wolfesnstein: The Old Blood” a 5.5 out of 10. “Wolfenstein: The Old Blood” is available now for Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC.

 

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