Wolfenstein: The New Order Review Roundup

Is the latest Wolfenstein a worthy follow-up to id Software's shooter series?

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The latest game in the long-running Wolfenstein series, Wolfenstein: The New Order, arrives today, May 20, and with its release, a flood of reviews have hit the Internet. Is the first game from developer MachineGames--which was founded by former employees of Riddick and The Darkness maker Starbreeze Studios--a quality one? We've gathered a handful of reviews from GameSpot and other outlets to give you some sense of what the critics are saying about the first-person shooter.

One thing you may want to know, in case you haven't been following the game closely, is that it doesn't have a multiplayer component--it's a single-player-only game that publisher Bethesda says you'll want to replay. It also features music worked on by Fredrik Thordendal of Swedish metal band Meshuggah--which you can hear a sample of here--if that's your thing.

The New Order is available on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. Both the Xbox One and PS4 versions currently sit with an average review score of 79 on GameSpot sister site Metacritic.

Polygon -- 9/10

"The New Order's got all the workings of a classic shooter. But in their trip back to the well, MachineGames has brought all of its talents to bear. The New Order is held together, even rocketed beyond the basic sum of its smart levels and effective mechanics, by its characters. That humanity takes what would be a good shooter and makes it something truly memorable." [Full review]

Eurogamer -- 6/10

"Wolfenstein: The New Order has all sorts of war stories it wants to share with you and it knows how it wants you to feel, but it's not convincing. Its stories are more sensational than poignant. It's a decent shooter with a good few impressive moments, but it can be buggy and it doesn't offer much you can't find elsewhere, with little to tempt you back when it's over. Where it most tries to stand out, in its narrative and setting, it often comes off as juvenile. Overall, it's built on an impressive world but it doesn't do enough with it, and as a result it's curious, but hardly compelling." [Full review]

GameSpot -- 8/10

"Both the laser cutter and the perks system feel like missed opportunities at worst, because even aside from them, The New Order's combat intensity and variety have granted the Wolfenstein series a breath of fresh air, whilst still managing to hit the nostalgic highs that I expect from the series. It has injected some substance into the primal pleasure of shooting Nazis by way of an interesting tone that addresses the changing roles of first-person shooter protagonists. Through this, the game is both a celebration of the Wolfenstein series and what feels like a fitting send-off for it. The New Order could be the last hurrah of William 'BJ' Blazkowicz, an outing which, for all its excess and bombast, is far from mindless." [Full review]

IGN -- 7.8/10

"Wolfenstein: The New Order is the melding of your typical, everyday shooter with quality writing and a cast of believable and relatable characters. MachineGames' more grounded treatment of the often way over-the-top alternate Nazi history is also a nice touch, and while The New Order is in no way, shape, or form a simulation of the real world, its 10-to-12 hour campaign can certainly make you stop and wonder more than, say, Raven's 2009's occult-centric Wolfenstein reboot." [Full review]

Joystiq -- 3/5

"The greatest problem in Wolfenstein: The New Order, then, is a jarring inconsistency of tone and cohesion. The quiet moments in your Berlin hovel feel like they belong in a more contemplative game, yet each new mission dumps you into the next sewer or train with little substance or explanation. It's almost as if there's a tug of war going between the big dumb shooter and the attempt to be subversive, with the result being a game that's not really slick enough to be an action classic, and not dramatic enough to draw you in." [Full review]

Game Informer -- 8/10

"Wolfenstein: The New Order is a positive step forward for the series after the last dud. MachineGames presents a competent shooter with more polish and a better array of characters, but ultimately the game feels more comfortable recompiling established conventions than it does striving for innovation." [Full review]

Time -- 4/5

"And for all it subverts, The New Order still feels slaved to genre conventions: the Nazi in the hallway outside your room will point his gun at the hapless asylum patient infinitely, his bullet forever unfired until you press through the doorway, tripping the algorithmic trigger and forcing his hand. Item deployment within a level often spoils climactic encounters, the sudden appearance of health packs, armor and piles of grenades portending a deluge of bullets. And mini-boss enemies so hard-fought early on will eventually appear in twos or reinforced by underlings, like an iterative museum of horrors — yesterday’s main course served as tomorrow’s hors d’oeuvres." [Full review]

Ars Technica

"There’s depth to Wolfenstein: The New Order if you’re willing to put the time in to find it, to the point where I don’t mind the lack of a multiplayer mode. The craftsmanship in the campaign speaks to what happens when a developer doesn't have to split its resources between two very different types of games wrapped into one package. Still, unless you're the type who tends to revisit games to try every tactical option and find every last collectible, this could be an experience that's short but memorable." [Full review]

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