What's New in Wolfenstein: The Old Blood

We talk to MachineGames about what to expect in Wolfenstein: The New Order's first standalone DLC--The Old Blood.

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Last year's Wolfenstein: The New Order took us back to an alternate 1960s where the Nazis had won World War II, much to the displeasure of a gruff B.J. Blazkowicz, who had spent the preceding 14 years in a coma. The upcoming standalone DLC Wolfenstein: The Old Blood takes us back even further in time; all the way back to the 1940s, in fact, and the the ascendance of the Nazi war machine. The Old Blood is being developed by The New Order's Machine Games, and we spoke to executive producer Jerk Gustafsson about what changes to expect in the upcoming game, what new weapons and enemies we'll see, and much more.

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What would you say are the most significant changes from The New Order to The Old Blood?

Jerk Gustafsson: One of the major differences in terms of presentation is that The Old Blood has a persistent first-person perspective. The whole story is told from B.J.'s point of view which creates a more intimate play-through experience.

Another difference is that we have been able to do some nice rendering updates as well as being able to create larger and more detailed environments as we’ve only focused on the new consoles and PC. The Old Blood's combat spaces are, in general, more open and include more enemies--while still running the game in 60 frames per second.

What new weapons will be available in The Old Blood?

We have a bunch of new weapons in The Old Blood. Even the ones that have been carried over from The New Order, like the knife, assault rifle, and handgun have been revised and refined. Specifically, the assault rifle has gone through some major improvements--it’s now a lot heavier and fast-firing. It’s highly entertaining--especially when dual-wielding.

Then we have weapons that are completely new. The pipe, for instance, is a melee weapon that can be used both for getting around the levels and for performing gruesome takedowns on enemy soldiers. We also have a brand new and very efficient shotgun, a high precision bolt-action rifle, which can be upgraded with a scope, and a fun and powerful weapon called The Kampfpistole.

How about new enemies?

A few new examples from The Old Blood's enemy roster are the marksman, a new enemy-type equipped with a sniper rifle, and the heavy soldier who wields a semi-automatic shotgun. There are two new variants of supersoldaten and a new type of drone. In addition to that, we have a few surprise enemies which we can't go into detail on at this point in time.

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Are both parts of the game (Rudi Jager and the Den of Wolves and The Dark Secrets of Helga von Schabbs) going to be available right away?

The Old Blood will ship with both parts--Rudi Jäger and the Den of Wolves and The Dark Secrets of Helga von Schabbs. The storyline for each part focuses on one of our two major villains, Rudi Jäger and Helga von Schabbs. However, the two parts are not narratively disconnected--there is an over-arching storyline which binds them together.

Is The Old Blood 1080p on Xbox One and PS4 just like The New Order?

Yes, the game is 1080p on both Xbox One and PS4.

You teamed up with Meshuggah's Fredrik Thordendal for The New Order. Did he write any music for The Old Blood?

No, the music for The Old Blood is composed by Mick Gordon, who also made most of the music for The New Order. There is some truly great music in the game. To create The Old Blood style, Mick recorded live with a string quartet, and spent time manipulating a broken mandolin and cello for percussion and other weird sounds. Mick also prepared a piano by attaching nails, screws, clamps, chains and barbed wire to the inside of the piano, so when the keys were pressed the objects would bounce around and create chaos.

As in The New Order, we also try, as much as possible, to offer a good balance of stealth and action.

Where does this sit in the timeline? As The New Order was a direct sequel to Wolfenstein 2009, can we expect other characters from either game to appear in The Old Blood?

The Old Blood is a prequel to The New Order, taking place in 1946, just a few months before the assault on Deathshead's compound. There is a cameo appearance by one of the characters from The New Order, but I won't spoil who it is. Other than that, The Old Blood features a brand new story set in the German Alps with new allies and villains. .

As we're infiltrating Castle Wolfenstein, can we expect more homages to the original Wolfenstein 3D? More secrets? More pushwalls? Mecha Hitler?

Just like with The New Order, the game contains many nods to Wolfenstein 3D; secrets, dog food, difficulty settings, you name it. To us, it's more than just paying tribute to the original Wolfenstein--it's about the continuation of the spirit of that game.

The Old Blood is also heavily inspired by, and definitely pays homage, to one of my personal favorites of the franchise: Return to Castle Wolfenstein.

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How does The New Order's open spaces and variable combat approach translate to a location such as Castle Wolfenstein that is typically comprised of cramped stone hallways?

The Old Blood offers great environment variation and we really want all of the combat spaces within these environments to include different route possibilities in addition to allowing players to approach combat scenarios with their preferred playstyle. As in The New Order, we also try, as much as possible, to offer a good balance of stealth and action.

I do think that we have succeeded with the above in the more cramped areas (like some of the ones inside Castle Wolfenstein) as well as in the more open areas. The levels overall feel sprawling and very inviting for exploration and trying out different approaches to obstacles. Parts of the game also take place in the area around Castle Wolfenstein and in part two, The Dark Secrets of Helga von Schabbs, the story takes us to a medieval German town called Wulfburg which players get to explore.

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