Looking back, there was little hope that Wolfenstein: The New Order would be anywhere near remarkable. It’s a single player only shooter riffing on a notoriously shallow (albeit legendary) series. The fact that MachineGames wanted to bring depth to a character as blissfully depth-free as BJ Blazkowicz should have sounded alarm bells. Which it did, but few anticipated that the resulting game would be as great as it is. It goes to show that sometimes you need to curb your cynicism.
We've encountered some problems running Wolfenstein: The New Order since we started playing this morning, and though the LPC's GTX Titans haven't suffered any crashes and the framerate is stable, the same id Tech 5 texture pop-in we witnessed in Rage is very apparent. But if I don't turn too fast, the artists and engine have pulled off one trick: some really damn nice textures.
We've only had access to Wolfenstein: The New Order since this morning, so our full review of the game won't be available until Friday this week. I'm writing this now because we've all encountered technical issues with the PC version that warrant a warning for early adopters. I didn't encounter any of these problems when playing earlier PC builds of the game, but those sessions took place in publisher-controlled environments. That said, several of the issues seem to be related to graphics drivers - suggesting that recent updates might have thrown a spanner in the works.
Wolfenstein: The New Order releases tonight on Steam. Console reviews will start appearing in a few hours, but ours will be a little late. PC code for Bethesda's excitable alternative history shooter wasn't available early, so we can't bring you a verdict just yet. Rest assured, we'll be gunning our way through robo-Nazis with great eagerness to bring you our conclusions as soon as possible.
You may need to check your diary to make sure you're not in 2001 while you watch the following video for Wolfenstein: The New Order, which resembles one of those WW2 shooters we were collectively bored of well before Modern Warfare moved its action to the presentish day. Supernatural elements, dynamic crate destruction and optional stealth do update things up a bit, but there was little sign from Bethesda's recent 30-minute livestream that Wolfenstein will be anything other than another mundane, gory shooter. Make up your own mind with the following footage, but be wary of an American soldier creeping around your Nazi compound looking to shank you in that mind from behind.
Wolfenstein: The New Order has been delayed until 2014, according to a new interview with Bethesda Softworks marketing VP Pete Hines at Polygon. The MachineGames re-boot had been planned for a late-2013 release, but developing simultaneously for current and next-generation consoles has played a role in the game's launch schedule, according to Hines.
In a world where Nazis and robots have teamed up to shoot things, one man is shooting them back... Is how the Wolfenstein: The New Order trailer might begin. At which point, collected filmgoers would roll their eyes in dismissal. That's the problems with films, see. You just can't convey the ridiculous enjoyment of being chased down by a massive robot, who is also a Nazi for some reason.
Unlike these screenshots. Which attempt just that.
Our quantum spectrathingy is going wild! What could it be? Ah, a chilling vision of an alternate reality world in which the Nazis: a) won World War 2, b) were obsessed with robots, c) had the technology to act on that obsession, and d) did so.
No, wait, my mistake. I'm being told that these pictures came not through a pan-dimensional viewing field, but rather a regular-dimensional "email". And they're not of an alternate world, but of the upcoming Wolfenstein: The New Order.
We know very little about MachineGames' upcoming Wolfenstein: The New Order. What we could glean from the announcement promised the return of B.J. Blazkowicz, fighting through an alternate universe where the Nazis won the war and Hendrix's All Along the Watchtower hadn't been cheapened by its bizarre inclusion in Battlestar Galactica.
We now know one extra tidbit: that video's Nazi Robots will remain strictly robotic, because the game will be entirely singleplayer.
A post on the Bethesda Blog announces that there's a new Wolfenstein on the way from MachineGames, formed of ex-Starbreeze members behind the excellent Chronicles of Riddick. It's called Wolfenstein: The New Order being built in id Tech 5 and will be released at the end of this year.
According to Gamespot, it's set in the '60s in an alternative universe in which the Nazis won World War 2. You play as B.J. Blazkowicz again, who must defeat the Nazi threat with new "super weapons" on Earth "and beyond." robo-Hitler Moonbase finale, anyone?
Interweb supersleuth Superannuation notes that a domain registrar associated with Square Enix picked up the warfornosgoth.com domain late last week, prompting speculation that somewhere, somehow, a new Legacy of Kain game is in the works (Nosgoth is the setting for the series). OXM noted an entry for a "Legacy of Kain videogame animation pitch" on artist Richard Buxton's LinkedIn profile listed back in 2011, and picked out some vampiric storyboard artwork from his online portfolio. A game, a film, a HD rerelease of all the Legacy of Kain games? All hands to the rumour mill.