Developer: Machine Games
Release Date: 5/5/2015
Also Available On
The New Order was a fantastic game. It oozed atmosphere, excellent action, weighty guns, and a decent story. It was the best Wolfenstein since Return to Castle Wolfenstein on PC which was released over 10 years ago. The Old Blood returns to give us a little extra snack with a nice prequel leading up to the beginning cutscene of The New Order. The Old Blood is all about finding the documents to Death Head’s compound while also fighting one of Nazi Germany’s many paranormal agendas…zombies. Yes, thankfully they don’t overstay their welcome. They only appear in the final chapter, but it is a nice pace from the broken stealth and gunfights.
While The Old Blood’s story isn’t as fleshed out as The New Order, it’s not bad or awful at least. The same storytelling mechanics are used here such as BJ’s narration in his head and some excellent voice acting all around. The game is literally the same outside of a couple of new guns. All the action from the previous game is here and it just feels great. It shows why Wolfenstein is one of the better shooters in recent times. It’s satisfying to shoot everything and it’s also extremely challenging which most shooters don’t offer. You have to use strategy and actually use cover or you will die, quickly.
There are a few boss fights in the game, some of which are the hardest I have fought in a shooter in ages. The challenge alone is enough to bring hardcore shooter fans smiles even if they don’t like Wolfenstein. Despite the game’s short length (about 4-5 hours), there are a lot of different locales so things change up constantly. My biggest gripe about the game is the stealth. It never really worked in the last game either. You know you are in a stealth area when the commander’s location shows up on the screen. You are supposed to sneak around to silence them or waves of enemies keep coming until you kill them. Most of the time the areas are set up in a way in which you just can’t sneak around. This drove me nuts in The New Order and I’m saddened to see it returns here. I don’t know why stealth would be put into such an action-heavy game, it ruins the flow and pace of the game.
Outside of the gameplay, the graphics are pretty good except for the textures. Even on PC with all the bells and whistles of DirectX 11 graphics, the textures look muddy and ugly up close. I don’t know if this was to squeeze them onto consoles, but I don’t like it. This game requires a monster rig to run at full settings, some of which are questionable. 32x anti-aliasing, really? It makes the game run at 8 FPS and under 30 even with a Titan X. Some other settings such as the 8196 shadow map just slow things down with no noticeable upgrade. I honestly think this is just crap to make PC gamers feel happy and to shut them up. The game isn’t optimized too well with texture pop-in either. Yes, I know there’s a setting for texture fade in but it doesn’t work. Outside of that, the game looks decent, but with all these options available it should look better.
The Old Blood is well worth the $20 price tag. We get a lot of quality games for that, and hopefully, this isn’t the end of Wolfenstein.