I picked up the newest Wolfenstein game for the Xbox One recently. It launched for PC and all consoles on May 20th of this year and I had heard some good things about it, so when I didn’t have much to play for my new Xbox One, I started to look into it. I had only played Return to Castle Wolfenstein back on the PC over a decade ago with a pirated copy. So beyond my knowledge that the game was a first person shooter, and it would involve killing Nazi’s, my information was limited.
Unlike Titanfall which came with my Xbox One, Wolfenstein is all single player. There is no multiplayer option which is good in that I didn’t want to be forced into Deathmatch games with a bunch of thirteen year olds, but bad in that co-op is also not featured which means my wife can only watch, not play.
The game isn’t layed out like the typical Call of Duty style FPS. In those games you always have a set amount of health, weapon capacity, armor, etcetera. In Wolfenstein it plays a little more like Bioshock or Borderlands. You can unlock health and weapon upgrades along the way, and weapons and items picked up in other levels will often carry over. That means it is in your best interest to play through the game on an easier difficulty to unlock a bunch of perks, then replay on the harder modes with better gear and weapons.
Storywise, the series has always been an alternate reality World War 2 in which the Germans develop technologies well beyond conventional history and stand to actually win the war. I can’t speak for previous games, but it becomes obvious with your characters interaction with the other characters that this story arc has been building for a long time. You start the game in 1946 trying to stop the Nazi general responsible for all these new technologies, but the mission fails and you end up a vegetable for the next 14 years. You finally come back around in 1960 to a world under the complete control of the Nazis. Over the course of the game you discover the secrets to their technological advances and strike back at the heart of their war machine with what little resistance is left. The game takes you to multiple countries, and to my excitement, even the Moon. The end of the game leaves itself wide open to further sequels, and I’d be interested to see where it goes from here.
Gameplay wise, the entire FPS genre has been standardized by Call of Duty, and there are few games that deviate from it’s control style, and Wolfenstein is no exception. It does allow me to jump right into the game and feel fairly comfortable, which is always a plus.
While weapons range from a standard Luger, to some pretty extravagant laser pulse rifles, there are only about four different gun types which seems fairly limited. The game does offer the option to sneak through and silent kill with knives or silenced weapons, which I took full advantage of on the hardest difficulty to avoid direct confrontations.
Overall I did have a lot of fun with the game, and the achievements weren’t too bad to collect either. However without co-op the game doesn’t offer much in the way of re-playability which makes it a better rental than purchase. But it kept me entertained for a week, so I’m pretty happy with it.