OK, so killing puppies really isn’t my thing. I don’t care if they have had a Six Million Dollar Man upgrade for the sole purpose of killing me in the most painful way possible, I still don’t like killing them. I would much rather give them some food, some loving and a whole bunch of pain killers to make up for the enhancements. Instead… I killed every single one of them with a steel pipe.
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is a stand-alone prequel expansion to last year’s hit Wolfenstein: The New Order. But really what it felt like to me was what I would expect a remake of Wolfenstein 3-D to be. A first person dungeon crawler with Nazis. Where The New Order gave us an in-depth story full of a love, hate, torture, and meaning, The Old Blood has given us a straight-up first person gameplay experience with minimal storyline and almost no character development, but does this make the game bad?
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood takes you on a journey throughout the castle and surrounding towns and teaches you the only thing you really need to succeed in life is a piece of steel pipe. Well a piece of steel pipe that can be unscrewed into two steel pipes. (No really, I’m waiting for the person who gets through the entire game using only the steel pipe. OK, so the boss fight at the end might be hard and that one scene in a gondola, but I reckon you would have a pretty good chance with the rest of the game.) You use this steel pipe for everything, opening doors, bashing people on the head, climbing walls, hooking people’s legs and bashing them on the head, removing armour from mutant mech creatures (and bashing them on the head)… and of course… killing dogs.
Of course I really haven’t actually told you about the game yet have I? You play William “B.J.” Blazkowicz, the original Nazi Killer, in an alternate history 1946, or just before The New Order.
The story is broken into two segments, firstly: Escape from Castle Wolfenstein. You are sent in as a undercover spy to get some documents, however you are caught and tortured, then you must escape the clutches of the crazy Nazis embed in the castle. This really brings back some of the older Wolfenstein adventures. Finding weapons, eating food, getting health packs. You can even eat dog food if you really want, but this only adds to the dog killer in you, which I still don’t like. Not only do you kill them violently, but you take their armour and food. You really are a heinous individual.
Of course, getting in the way of all of this, you have a antagonist: Rudi Jager, an all round bad guy, and Nazi dog trainer. He has no issues with feeding his dogs humans he finds unsuitable. Did I mention he is also built like Dolph Lundgren and also enjoys a dishing out a bit of torture? The first mission takes you on a journey through caves, on gondolas and of course in Castle Wolfenstein. This story could be considered realistic if steampunk became a big thing in the 60s, and more time was spent building mech soldiers… but then, things then get a little strange.
Introducing mission two and the wine-swilling Helga Von Schabbs. While partaking in an archaeological excavation, everything goes wrong, earthquakes prevail, an entire town gets destroyed and just to mix things up a little… Zombies. That’s right: You have become a Nazi zombie killer. Oh yeah!
You journey through the town hunting down Helga, which finds you underground, Indiana Jones-style in a vault, only to be faced with a giant boss. I won’t give too much away other than to say, getting kissed by zombies doesn’t leave you at all healthy. Particularly when they’re also on fire.
If I sound cynical on this one, that’s because I am. After such a fantastic game like The New Order, I was a little bit let down by The Old Blood, not because of the gameplay, because that was fine, but because I wanted to hear more about the awesome storyline that was in New Order and it just wasn’t there. This is an expansion so maybe I shouldn’t have expected so much, but I really wanted something. Instead I got what might be the perfect successor to the original Wolfenstein (which is far from a bad thing). If this game had only come out before The New Order, I would have been more than happy.
Did I mention I don’t like killing dogs?