Played on PS4 (Also on Xbox One & PC)
Will killing Nazis ever get old?
Last year’s release of Wolfenstein: The New Order surprised a lot of people. Typically known just for their standard FPS fare, this was a Wolfenstein game that not only had excellent gameplay, but also featured an excellent story. And now, just under a year later, we have a standalone expansion in the form of The Old Blood.
Taking place in an alternate history universe, The Old Blood serves as a prologue to The New Order. It has a story the weaves together fluidly, yet consists of two separate acts, mostly to give the player multiple villains to go up against during the 6-8 hour campaign. The Old Blood definitely favors the supernatural more that we saw in The New Order, but from the get go, it attempts to be far more campy than the story presented in The New Order. While sacrifices are made to the story’s engagement, this is made up for with the increased balls-to-the-walls action, and 3rd act zaniness.
New weapons and abilities are present here, which seems a little odd considering this is a prequel. Still, it provides some new ways to play for veterans of the game. A balance of stealth and destruction are still key, although inevitably shit will hit the fan at some point.
As with The New Order, The Old Blood is a single-player only game, but this time around there are a variety of extras provided to gives the title some replay value. First, each of the 9 levels contains a “Nightmare” mission hidden within it. These missions lets you play a short, maze like, map in the classic, old school visuals of Wolfenstein 3D. They’re nothing extraordinary, but they are fun, break up the pace, and give the player something different to distract themselves with.
Another new feature are challenge maps. Challenge maps are score driven scenarios where you must not only survive and eliminate enemies, but do it with style. Killing enemies back to back will generate a combo, and different styles of kills are also worth bonus points. The challenge maps live up to their name, as it requires precision to achieve higher scores, and the highest ranks are only unlock able when playing on the games highest difficulties. Together with Nightmare levels, the game is extended dramatically beyond just the sub-8 hour campaign.
Technically the game steps it up a notch slightly from The New Order. Visuals are about the same, but newer characters look polished, and feel slightly more creative. Sound design and music is even better this time around, embracing the overall campiness. The same can be said for the often hilarious voice acting.
Wolfenstein: The New Order was a fresh game that I absolutely loved when it was originally released. While The Old Blood doesn’t do much to provide a new experience, it’s still new content all the same. If you loved the original, then this is highly recommended, and as a standalone download for $20, it’s a total no-brainer.