Game Review: Wolfenstein: The Old Blood – PS4

Title Wolfenstein: The Old Blood
Platform: PlayStation 4
Genre:Action/adventure, first-person shooter, action
Date completed:January 2020
Information on game

Summary review: A very good experience overall. Highly recommended.
Graphics: Texture details is quite impressive. At least with my humble little 1080p TV. I did not notice any frame drops (also don’t know the FPS it was running at, probably 30).
Music: Very impressive with surround sound system, audible cues work flawlessly
Controls: No issues with controls
Replayability: Having just finished it I don’t see a reason to replay it. Perhaps after enough time has elapsed and I want to try something with a lot mindless shooting.
Total score: 85 / 100 – I haven’t owned a PS4 for very long but I have played a lot of shooters. I think this is one of the better once I have played. It runs really well (no slowdowns) and always looks great. The retro sequences are entertaining and don’t overstay their welcome. And the length makes the current going price well worth it.

Playing this in tandem with Drake’s Fortune 4 is something of a strange combination. Where Drake’s focuses on puzzles, dialog and story with some combat thrown in, Wolfenstein is entirely action.

I should perhaps mention that going in I didn’t realize this was a prequel to the first Wolfenstein game (New Colossus) that is supposed to fit in perfectly with the plot of that game. I haven’t played the other game but now I’m actually thinking about it.

I did have one rather large issue that almost made me rage quit part way through. But I don’t know that everybody had this issue so I’m a little conflicted about whether or not I want to really penalize it for this or not. More on that below.

The game itself – as the name implies – involves infiltrating Castle Wolfenstein to get some plans for some kind of weapon or something. The story is more of a background thing. This game is all about making things go boom and shooting Nazis in the face.

Maybe sometimes you’re on a subway car or a…is that a gondola?…anyway the point is you’re moving from one backdrop to the next trying to find a thing or activate a thing to get to the next set piece or scenario.

There are some options in how your approach these scenarios: it’s often much better to try and sneak up behind and stab a guy then to start shooting. Because often there are entirely too many enemies around for anything else. And then the orange shotgun guy comes walking out and…it’s a thing. Every so often when starting a location there will be this radio signal indicator that comes up indicating specific kind of enemy that can raise the alarm and bring in a ton a back up. If you can take those enemies out it won’t matter if the rest of the enemies see you because the rest of them can’t set off the alarm. As an aside there is one particular handgun that seems to fire some kind of high-explosive mini-rocket, easy for taking out large numbers of enemies quickly. The catch being ammo for is quite rare and reload times relatively long.

I very rarely managed to take out the alarm kind of enemy first. I usually got one maybe but inevitably ended up with a bus load of Nazis all shooting me at once and coming out of the wood work.

Seems like I was in the castle for a really long time. And I thought I was about at the end when I finally got out of the castle.

Then a thing blew up and the Nazis turned into zombies. Hopefully doesn’t spoil anything.

There’s this whole other thing when you’re sneak-stabbing zombie-Nazis. That part is almost like a whole other game. It was kind of fun though. Because before the enemies see you they’re all distracted by trying to kill zombies. Then themselves turning into zombies.

Is that some sort of commentary? That the Nazis will thoughtlessly continue shooting me even as the zombies are much more clear and immediate threat? Like the Nazis are a different kind of mindless zombie before they’re turned into more literal zombies? Am I making more of this game filled with Nazi-Zombies that I should be?

One thing I will mention: hidden through out the game in nondescript locations are these beds you can sleep in. You lay down and dream and…you’re in the original Wolfenstein 3D from 1990 or so (well the flat pixels are much higher resolution but the effect works). I don’t know if this game came out within enough proximity of the release of Super Mario Odyssey that it had an influence (Odyssey has some similarly inspired old school sequences) but these were some very fun sequences for me even if I didn’t find them all.

That bad thing I mentioned…

I don’t remember exactly how to get the perk but I got this perk eventually that allows for super-quick 180 degree turn around. Only I missed the screen about the button combination to make it work and kept doing it accidentally. Just spinning around when I’m in the middle of trying to shoot some Nazis.

I did eventually find out how to do this 180 spin on purpose: moving backwards+L3. In other words if I happen to be trying to back up if I inadvertently push too hard on the analog stick I’m going to seemingly randomly flip orientation and probably immediately die. So far as I know there is no way to disable that or adjust the button combination to activate it.

As I say this could be just a thing I ran into. In the PS4’s rundown of trophies I’ve accomplished for the game it says relatively few players actually got this perk (I think it was 14% or something). So for all I know this problem could be limited entirely to myself.

Final thoughts:

I think this can all be boiled down to a few basic questions:

Would I play this game again start to finish? Probably not immediately but perhaps in a few years. I am more interested in the first game now though.

Would I play another game in the series based on the experience of this game? Eventually, I think so yes.


Metadata

Method of control used Standard PS4 gamepad
Controllable via both one analog stick or digital four-way (“HAT”) n/a
Hardware requirements: n/a
Supports 21:9 aspect ratio screens?n/a
Device(s) tried on standard non-pro PS4
TVregular old 1080p, nothing special
Initial setup required I did turn on sub titles
Sound setup5.1 surround system/receiver
Total time to completion~15 hours
difficulty levelsecond easiest
Random assortment of meta data

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