Wolfenstein: The New Order Preview

Have the Nazis won?

The Wolfenstein franchise is lauded among PC gamers as one of the most influential first-person shooters ever to grace gaming. Now, some few decades later, MachineGames hopes to do the series justice with a new entry of its own, subtitled The New Order

I got the chance to spend some hands-on time with the game at PAX, and I must say, it's clear that MachineGames has been carefully taking notes on what works and doesn't work within the confines of the FPS genre. With epic set-piece moments akin to Call of Duty, this game takes the best of what's already out there and wraps it within the skin of an alternate history World War II shooter. And guess what? It's an absolute blast.

My time with The New Order began in a crashing plane, as I fought to help the pilot fend off oncoming threats from the sky by manning a turret. It wasn't long before the sucker we were flying on went down, so we had to make a jump for it. That's right, we hopped from the wing of one plane to another in epic, over-the-top fashion. It's these kind of scripted moments that give Wolfenstein: The New Order a wonderful larger-than-life feel, as you control a hardened soldier named Blazkowicz.

After narrowly surviving the plane sequence and swimming to shore, it was boots on the ground as I fought to make my way up the beach, Saving Private Ryan-style; however, in this instance, there were giant mechanical dogs trying to hunt us down. After picking off my foes from a safe distance, all while keeping a close eye on my health, I made my way up to the stronghold, where our target, Gen. Deathshead, lay in wait. Our mission? Assassinate the general and put an end to his evil deeds.

I don't want to go too deep into story specifics in the event you want to experience the early parts of the narrative unspoiled, but I will say this: MachineGames isn't afraid to put you in uncomfortable situations. While at its core The New Order is a first-person shooter, there are also elements of choice that keep the story interesting. It's clear the team wanted to make a narrative-heavy game this time around, so buckle up because this new Wolfenstein tells a dark and depressing tale set in a world were evil has taken control.

If you're looking for a solid story-driven first-person shooter to sink you teeth into, you'll want to keep a close eye on Wolfenstein: The New Order for PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, and PS4. While it may not be the most innovative shooter of 2014, it'll certainly pack a whole lot of fun and fleshed-out narrative to boot.