This week I finished Wolfenstein: The New Order and I absolutely loved it. The previous games in the series were just mindless shooters and the latest offering really steps away from that. I was pleasantly surprised at the strength of the story and characters, both of which I found compelling. When was the last time you really cared about the protagonist or those around them? Ever since I can remember, I’ve always played first person shooters. Many fond memories of playing Unreal II and Quake III loom at the back of my mind. Back in the 90s We’d get get together and have a LAN party (remember those?) and curse each other with every headshot. Those days are now long gone and I don’t care to revisit them.
Being in my 30s now, nearly every FPS game I play accelerates my fatigue. An overwhelming amount of these types of games are mostly rehashing the same type of gameplay, rarely innovating on anything. With respect to Wolfenstein: The New Order, the only thing that kept me on the edge of my seat was waiting to find out what happens to B.J. Blazkowicz and those close to him. The gripping story, character motivations, and who they were as people are all aspects I didn’t expect to find in the game. Without giving any spoilers, I’ll say there were certain scenes that rocked me on an emotional level (which doesn’t happen often). I experienced intense horror, suspense, sadness, and occasionally joy. I don’t believe a FPS has ever stoked such feelings in me before, nor asked me to make difficult decisions that affect the outcome of the story. For the first time ever, the action felt like an aside to the story.
Last year with the release of Destiny, I was anticipating something bold and fresh. I was sadly disappointed as I didn’t care for any of the stories or characters within; I was reduced to a head bobbing character from the third perspective. When I feel disconnected from a game, it starts to become incredibly boring. I think Wolfenstein: The New Order will be the last game of its type I’ll play for the foreseeable future. I’m not saying I’ll never revisit this, but at the very least I need an extended vacation. I don’t mean to disparage or take away from the awesome experience of the latest update to the Wolfenstein series, because I think what the developers managed to accomplish was truly astonishing. If for some reason this game is my last in a long tired genre, what a way to go out!