Wolfenstein: The Old Blood Review

I knew very little about this game going into it. I’ve never played a Wolfenstein game so I had no idea what to expect. All I knew is that the games focus on alternate World War 2 ideas.

No Spoilers.

TL,DR at the bottom.

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I enjoy alternate history immensely. I was intrigued from the beginning of the game. Going to Castle Wolfenstein and not know what was going to happen once I arrived made it all the more entertaining.

I think the main antagonists to be particularly interesting. I never really cared about Blazkowicz, although his backstory is intriguing. I wanted to learn about the enemies and their stories more than the protagonist. I felt like they offered the most interesting events and history in the game.

Whenever I came across some new baddie or person on the other side of the desk I wanted to know what led them being there. These antagonists are the epitome of bad guys, considering their historical basis and framework. And although they are evil in the best sense of the word, I find them all the more intriguing. How do they get to a place where they think their actions are “good” or at least “okay.”

I like the chapters as a means to communicate transitions between story focus points. I like the pacing that comes from those chapters as the next chapter was never far off. I appreciate of games with a great pace and this game is all action with very little slowdown. Of course, the story was told in some cutscenes but they were placed well and added to the overall experience.

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I enjoy the straightforward shooter gameplay Wolfenstein: The Old Blood offers. I think some shooters take themselves too seriously or try to add unnecessary depth to combat and it just spoils the game.

Wolfenstein embraces the mindless shooting and it’s all the better for it. I think all the guns and weapons felt different and forced you to play the game differently. I know in some shooters you can use all guns in any situation. I don’t think this is the case with Wolfenstein.

I found myself switching guns to fit the moment, which I think speaks to the level design as much as the gun mechanics. Somehow, I kept missing the scope for the marksmen rifle and that made some shots a bit annoying, which is my own fault and definitely not an issue with the gameplay. If I found the scope, it would have been all the easier.

I will not that I played the game on the easiest difficulty because bashing my head against the wall for ages is not my thing. With some games, I just want to shoot stuff and not have to think too much. I’m glad I was able to do that.  

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I don’t think the graphics are that incredible. I would describe them as cool, but not particularly imaginative or engrossing. The backgrounds and between the moment to moment action always looked amazing, but once you actually got into the game, I was whelmed, for the most part.

The game has a great color palette and uses variance to display changes well. If I was inside a building the lightning and color matched and made me feel like I was inside. The same can be said for outdoors or in town environments. The buildings looked different enough for me to understand my location in the world.

I do think the guns looked all too similar. Shotgun and marksmen rifle especially so. The major difference between those guns was that the marksmen rifle has a magazine on the left side and the shotgun on the right.

The characters looked fine graphically. Major enemies different enough for me to recognize them at a glance and minor enemies all looked the same. In my Call of Duty: WW2 I was critical of all the enemies looking the same. Which is a problem here because enemies who actually were different looked different.

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The world-building in this game is excellent. The environments changed as the game progressed and I felt like each area in the game felt and played differently. I think people often wonder what the world would be like if the Axis powers of WW2 won and this game explores a hyper-stylized version of that.

Obviously, I don’t want to live in that world. But, it presents a curious gaming world that allows players to explore the possibilities of an entirely different world from the one in which we live.

I think the lighting is well done in the different game environments presented. I never question my location based on lighting. The world felt real even if I was fighting flaming Nazi zombies.

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I don’t have any standouts when it comes to sound. I enjoyed the gun sounds and character dialogue, but I don’t think anything set the sound apart in this game.

I do think the sound worked well because I was able to understand what I couldn’t see based on the sound. If I couldn’t see what was happening around the corner while some monstrous enemy roamed an area, I could still tell where they were and how big they were based on the sound.

While the end credits have a great song to match, that’s about the only “sound” which stood out to me. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. You want the sound to work and it can alter the mood and atmosphere if done incorrectly.

I’ll chalk that up to sound as perfectly adequate.

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Really fun game to play overall. It isn’t particularly long which I can appreciate. I think shooters are difficult to do over longer periods, so I’m glad this game stayed short and it helped improve the overall experience.

Up next, likely a review of Journey. I think the review might be a bit shorter because the game is only an hour and 15 minutes long, but I think there’s a bit to say about it.

I think I’m going to take a break from shooters for a bit after COD:WW2 and Wolfenstein: The Old Blood while I work on a different genre for now. I’ll get back to the world of Wolfenstein sometime soon though.

Thanks for reading.

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