The year is 1946 and the Nazis are on the verge of winning World War II. Don’t worry; that wasn’t a test to see how well you know your history. That is the foundation for Bethesda Softworks and MachineGames’ upcoming Wolfenstein: The Old Blood.
Rather than pursuing the usual downloadable content model for 2014’s acclaimed Wolfenstein: The New Order, MachineGames is releasing a prequel. Players won’t need to have played last year’s title to be able to understand or enjoy The Old Blood; it is completely self-sufficient. At the same time, we would recommend it. Wolfenstein: The New Order was an excellent game.
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood puts players in the boots of B.J. Blazkowicz who must take on a two-part mission in a bid to stop the Nazis. The first part of the game sees Blazkowicz breaking into Castle Wolfenstein in an attempt to steal the coordinates to General Deathshead’s compound. Standing in his way is the maniacal Rudi Jäger.
The second part sees our hero journey to the city of Wulfburg to stop an obsessed Nazi archaeologist who is busy exhuming mysterious artifacts that threaten to “unleash a dark and ancient power.” Both parts are included in this standalone title.
Those who have played Wolfenstein: The New Order will be familiar with many of the gameplay fundamentals. Player health is broken up into blocks with each able to regenerate over time. However, if you lose a full block of health, you will need to find a medkit to recover that layer. Like its predecessor, The Old Blood utilises a more flexible cover system than you find in many first person shooters. Players can lean around, over, or under cover to give themselves every advantage in a sneak attack or full out firefight.
It’s certainly possible to skulk around. Between the cover system and the silent melee attacks, there are plenty of opportunities for silent takedowns. But, inevitably, the bullets will start flying and The Old Blood will offer players plenty of ways to have fun when they do. The expansion features new guns and enemies, as well as the option to dual wield some. You can also customise weapons, so if strapping a rocket launcher to the side of an assault rifle takes your fancy, you can do just that.
Producer Jerk Gustafsson seems quite keen to get the game out to fans. He said, “We think fans will really enjoy the story, all the action and, of course, jumping back into the combat with new weapons.”
The team has hinted that there may be some treats in store. A Vine, which you can see below, hints that Nazi zombies will make an appearance. It’s unclear if this will be another game mode, as was the case in Call of Duty, or if they will simply appear as another enemy, which is quite likely given the subject matter.
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is shaping up nicely so far. There is an air of expectation about the game after last year’s fully fledged title, which was very well received. Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is a standalone prequel, so you don’t need prior knowledge or a copy of The New Order to enjoy it. Perhaps it will act as the perfect jumping off point if you haven’t played it before. And if you did play The New Order, expect more of what made that game so great.
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood will be released on May 5th for PC, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC.