Younger gamers may be unaware that the roots of the modern FPS can pretty much be traced back to one game. Castle Wolfenstein, a blocky, flatland maze game where you shot Nazis. It was little more than a real time dungeon game, but in that it was real time, it was revolutionary.
creators ID Software went on to create two more of the FPS genre’s milestone titles, Doom and Quake. For their latest offering they’ve finally returned to the Wolfensein
world, and brought us Wolfenstein: The New Order
The title not being a reference to the millennial Manc electronic ravers, but to Hitler’s dream of a blond haired blue eyed über-race marching goose step-style around Europe (and the World) oppressing the population while ensuring a decent Kampfer Van for the volk.
In reality, iD has “returned” to the FPS genre only in so far as to grant MachineGames (a part of Bethesda) the rights to make a new Wolfenstein
title, that they then based on the iD Tech 5 game engine.
The game is set in a 1960s that (unlike the 1960s in our universe which was full of unwashed, vegetarian, drug-taking, free-sex pinkos) are not swinging, so much as shaking in their jackboots.
Instead of dying in a Berlin Bunker in 1945, Hitler survived, and his Nazi scum have only gone on to win the war. Instead of Werner Von Braun and countless other less Shaver-inspired named Nazi scientists defecting to the USA to build space rockets, they have remained in Das Mutterland, and have created a technology of oppression that has enabled the jackboot crowd to crush all resistance.
As in all Wolfenstein
games, you play the part of William “BJ” Blazkowicz who in this incarnation is a US Ranger of Polish descent. The game starts as BJ and his squad attack a German stronghold in search of General Strasse, a Nazi officer scientist known as "Deathshead”.
This attack forms the expositional section and training level of the game. It is already clear at this point that history in the game has taken a dreaded turn from history as we know it.
Rather than the Nazis being a near-spent force on their last legs, they are strong and ascendant. Instead of their weapons being outclassed by those of the allies, they have huge and powerful mechanised war machines, far greater than anything the Third Reich actually managed to put into production.
So, in this early part of the game, instead of progressing inexorably to final victory, as we have come to expect from games such as Medal of Honor
(sic) and Call of Duty
, BJ's squad is trapped and defeated. BJ is forced to decide on the fate of his comrades, and choose which of Fergus or Wyatt is slaughtered.
He then escapes a Nazi soldier who is wearing a powerful steampunk exoskeleton only to fall to certain death! But, in Boys' Own
manner, he escapes.
He then spends 14 years in a semi vegetative state in a hospital, only awaking as the Nazis enter and kill all of the staff and inmates/patients.
Filled with rage and vengeance, BJ arises from near death and fights his way to freedom, rescuing the nurse who erm, nursed him back to health during his long interment in the hospital.
The nurse takes BJ back to her family, who help him launch an assault on the German forces. Based on information obtained from torture, Blazkowicz sets out on a mission that he hopes will enable him to locate the last members of the resistance, who the Nazis have captured and imprisoned.