Discover soon the MachineGames studio

The Bethesda Underground team, who handle the Bethesda’s blog, will soon post some videos unveiling the MachineGames studio behind the scenes, as stated in the blog:

Recently, video editor Sal Goldenberg and I spent a week at their studio in Uppsala to learn about the taleneted men and women working at Machinegames. Over the next few months, we’ll be sharing numerous videos from our trip – beginning with our studio teaser today.

 

Here’s a one minute sequence introducing what will be available in these upcoming videos:

 

In the meantime, you can discover the story of the MachineGames studio (aka ZeniMax Sweden) and its publisher Bethesda Softworks (subsidiary of ZeniMax Medias) on the dedicated page of the site encyclopedia.

 

 

First previews on Wolfenstein: The New Order

The first previews from the news sites selected by Bethesda have been posted today, and we can get a lot of information from them about the game.

In France, it’s up to JeuxVideo.com to post the preview. Here are the interesting pieces of information from it:

  • There’s no multiplayer mode. It’s only a solo game.
  • BJ told in the trailer he was back after a long time. Actually, he had been in the coma for 14 years, and woke up in 1960 with a world dominated by Nazis… and he’s not happy!
  • The Germans have some top-secret super weapons they use to win the war. Overarmed robots are now part of their standard army, including bad dog robots.
  • The preview describes the first missions of BJ : “He has the mission to destroy the power in place, and find the Resistance spots where he can get some help. Blazkowicz knows what to do next. The hands-on starts when BJ discuss with a taxi driver leading him to his first objective: a kind of Kommandantur building he has to infiltrate. Sneaking into ruins due to recent fights, Blazkowicz walk stealthily. Suddenly, he has to avoid the attack of a giant robot dog who will be immediately killed by a concrete block, and get weapons on the body of recently strangled guards before entering into the building.”
  • The battles are described as being very intense, and BJ will have to regularly cover behind small walls in order to avoid enemy fire.
  • The AI seems to be very good, and won’t hesitate to dislodge the player if he’s camping for too long.
  • The weapons are very diversified and originals.

 

In USA, GameSpot is posting the first preview of the game with a video where the developers are interviewed, and where they give their first impressions about their first hours in the game,  without being able to show some captures from the game in action. Here is the GameSpot video:

 

Here are the interesting things to remember:

  • The developers says they’ve got a lot of inspiration from Wolfenstein 3-D and its fast-paced and nervous fights, with a lot of movements.
  • Along with these fights, there will be a lot of sequences of “adventure” gameplay, where the player will have to explore areas, discover hidden secrets, an talk with non-playable friendly characters, etc…
  • The player will be able to use very powerful weapons, very heavy and industrial-looking, and very fun to use. BJ will be able to hold them in both hands!
  • Some weapons have a retro sci-fi style from the 1960s (with laser guns and others), and others (like a shotgun) seem to have some mechanics to build the ammo’s they’re firing!
  • The demo that has been shown to the press was very action-oriented with gunfights, and not in an exploration adventure sequence
  • In the demo, BJ was led by a local resistant to a Nazi research facility close to museums and Big Ben, in London, and he started to fight soldiers in huge rooms full of places where to cover, because there’re numerous of very dangerous enemies around!
  • While shooting with his weapons, the hero will destroy many elements of the rooms, like walls and pillars, and might destroy some places where he could cover. It seems they’re well using a very powerful physic engine.
  • The player will meet big Nazis robots like in the trailer, and they seem very tough!
  • The developers could use the world of Wolfenstein in order to create extravagant things that couldn’t be possible in a classical WWII game, with retro sci-fi stuffs, robots, etc…
  • In another part of the demo, the player explores an immense entry hall with balconies on both sides, and staircases leading to the upper open floors. He also enter a huge room with a big replica of the moon under a dome – the Nazis have also invaded the moon (which reminds me the “Iron Sky” movie !)
  • The AI won’t let the player camp and shoot on enemies. He will have to move permanently in order to survive, and slide to various spots where he can cover temporarily.
  • The player can also lean to see what happens behind a wall and shoot safely, and even lead to shoot under a car on the enemies ankles!
  • Along with classical soldiers, there will be super soldiers with heavy armor, robots – with some that could fly -, and other fierce dog robots.
  • The technological leap that helped the Nazis to created their top-secret super weapons and win the war wouldn’t be coming from a supernatural power like the Veil in Wolfenstein (in 2009), but from secret technologies the player will have to uncover.
  • The architecture of a world that has been dominated by Nazis for 20 years will be very impressive, and will lead BJ to many cities in Europe with a totally different look, but also to special areas like the Polish mountain by car, the Berlin catacombs with a submarine vehicle, in a train where he will meet a twisted Nazy lady, etc…
  • In some moments of the game, the player will be able to control some big battle mechs.
  • While discussing with that Nazi lady, the player will have to choose carefully the sentences he will say in order to avoid being spotted, and continue his mission safely.
  • During the whole game, the player will meet many special twisted characters like this Nazi lady.

 

These previews come with some new pictures of the game:

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Other previews should be posted in the upcoming days… Stay tuned!

 

First reactions to Wolfenstein: The New Order announcement (updated)

With the announcement of Wolfenstein: The New Order, the young Swedish studio MachineGames (aka ZeniMax Sweden) told: “We are excited to bring a new chapter of Wolfenstein to gamers everywhere,” said Jens Matthies, creative director of the studio. “As fans of the series, working on this game is an honor, and our team is driven to create an unforgettable action-adventure experience that will make FPS fans proud.

On his twitter account, John Carmack, founder of id Software, wrote thatMachinegames has some of the sharpest developers we have ever worked with, both passionate and pragmatic. Doing Wolfenstein proud.

Todd Hollenshead, PDG of id, is happy thatWolfie returns! And it’s going to be awesome. Trust me. I’ve seen it!

In another vein, some famous people were delighted to see a new Wolfenstein game coming. Liam McIntyre, main character of the Spartacus series (since season 2), posted this comment on his twitter account: “Am I to understand you fight futuristic Nazi robots? I’m in!

However, on his facebook account, Warren Spector, creator of Deus Ex (at Ion Storm), wondered: “Did the world really need another Wolfenstein game? Did we need a generically dark, monochromatic, FPS, kill-the-Nazi-giant-robot game?“. He added he was sick of such shooters, and wanted something different from the industry… Let’s hope the quality and the content of the game will prove him wrong!

Updated on 14/05: Warren Spector apologized to the MachineGames teams for getting boiled over their game: “I owe the Wolfenstein team an apology. I wasn’t trying to diss you or your game. I have total respect for anyone making a game. I know how hard it is… And to everyone who pointed out that I didn’t know enough about the game to judge, well, you were right. Consider this my mea culpa. I hope I can buy you guys a coffee or something at some show to make up for all this rigamarole.

Wolfenstein: The New Order officially announced! Wunderbar!

It’s done: Bethesda has officially announced today the development of the next Wolfenstein game, called “The New Order”. In US, GameSpot received the honor to post the first preview of the game along with an exclusive video commented by Mister B.J. Blazkowicz himself:

 

The game will use the id Tech 5 engine of Rage and Doom 4, and will be released on PC and consoles (PS3, X-Box 360, PS4 and certainly the next X-Box too) during Q4 2013. The game is being developed by MachineGames (aka ZeniMax Sweden) as expected.

As expected too, the story will take place far after the previous installments, in 1960, in an alternative world where the Nazis won the World War II (despite the tremendous efforts of BJ!) and invaded the whole world (and beyond, according to Bethesda…). BJ will have to launch an “impossible counter-offensive” in order to correct the situation of (remaining) Allies. He will have to travel to Europe and its Nazis fortresses, fight against legions of enemies while taking control of “super weapons” that the Nazis have used to dominate earth.

GameSpot promises more info in upcoming previews during the week, stay tuned on Fortress Wolfenstein!

 

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Bethesda’s teasing (encore)

Bethesda launched once again a teasing on twitter and Gamespot to prepare the announcement of a new game. The publisher added that this game was not developed by its own studio – hence, it shall not be a new Elder Scrolls nor Fallout game. The following pictures have been posted…

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On the pictures, one can see the year 1960 written in the lower left corner. Many news sites guess it might be a new Wolfenstein game taking place at that time, far later than the previous games of the series. According to Bethesda, we’ll get more info in the upcoming hours… Wait&see!

 

A new Wolfenstein game soon?

Some websites like VG24/7 have spotted on a CV of an “ADR Engineer” (removed since – but still in Google cache) an entry mentioning a new game called “Wolfenstein” and foreseen for 2013, and developed by Zenimax Sweden (note that id Software is also part of the Zenimax group). This will revive rumors of a new Wolfenstein game, even if the 2009 installment was not well received…