Wolfenstein: The Old Blood – First reviews

Less than a week after the digital release of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, many reviews of the game have been already posted by some major sites, like Polygon, PC Gamer, Metro UK, Destructoïd, XBox Achievements, Game Informer, IGN, Video Gamer, Games Radar, etc… According to MetaCritic, the reviews scores for the PC and the XBox One versions is around 76%, for PS4 around 77%, which is quite good! Most of reviewers praise the intense action and the fun of the game, but regrets the lack of a scenario that was better in The New Order.

GamesRadar says “Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is another sterling effort from MachineGames, fast proving to be real players in the FPS genre. This add-on clearly has smaller scope than was found in The New Order, keeping things much more ‘down to Earth’, but the core shooting experience that makes the reborn Wolfenstein such a pleasure to play remains perfectly intact. If you like shooting zombies and Nazis with extravagantly powerful weapons (and lets be honest here, who doesn’t?) this is well worth checking out.“, but PC Gamer says also that “The Old Blood is a false start for Wolfenstein’s life after The New Order, a creative step backwards that survives primarily because of the strong groundwork laid in the previous game. It will always be fun to fire these guns and MachineGames’s presentation is still ahead of the curve, but this isn’t the game you should play if you want to explore those qualities—that game was released a year ago.“. So generally, it’s very good, very intense, MachineGames proving all their skills to deliver a high quality action game, but The New Order is generally seen as being better, with a stronger and more interesting storyline.

Here’s a video test of the game by Game Informer:

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood – The Easter Eggs (spoiler)

EuroGamer has already spotted some Easter Eggs in Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, with some elements of the background inspired from some other games from id Software and Bethesda:

  • A miniature Quake 3 rocket launcher key chain – which was already in The New Order
  • A vending machine selling drinks, including the Nuka Cola and the Supersaft with the Pip-Boy character from Fallout
  • The horned helmet from Skyrim

They’ve even recorded a video with all these items:

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood – Reddit with Jerk Gustafsson

Jerk Gustafsson, executive producer on Wolfenstein: The Old Blood and The New Order for MachineGames, has done a reddit session wednesday where people could ask him some questions about the game. Here are the most interesting info from it:

  • They have worked a lot to improve the pace of combats in The Old Blood (compared to The New Order), by making areas larger and providing more options for the navigation in these places.
  • While The New Order was a lot inspired by Wolfenstein 3-D, they have taken a lot of inspiration from Return to Castle Wolfenstein for The Old Blood, especially from the first two episodes of the game.
  • About the segmented health system: “I really wanted a health system that involved the classic 100 health/100 armor, but at the same time gave the player some possibility of regeneration. Basically to avoid situations where players just stand behind a cover and wait for the health to regenerate and instead encourage players to move around more, while still not ending up stuck with extremely low health – we had a similar system in Riddick (but with cubes) and it’s a system that, I think, works very well with the combat we want to have in our games.
  • About the pressure to work on such a prestigious franchise: “A lot of joy and a lot of pressure, but having Bethesda and id Software by your side certainly removes some of the pressure – and adds a lot more joy! Personally, being a huge id-fan, it was a dream come true to work with such a legendary ip.
  • About having more story-driven FPS like The New Order and The Old Blood: “I would love to see more story-driven shooters, and I do believe there’s a market big enough. But I don’t have a good answer on what needs to happen to encourage publishers/developers. I only hope that these type of games will continue to be developed and that they will be succesful enough for others to follow. MachineGames will definitely continue developing story-driven shooters.
  • About the design of the weapons of the game: “Personally I draw a lot of inspiration from the old id shooters like Quake, Doom and Wolfenstein. In general we have a pretty clear idea on what weapons we want to include very early in production, but we are also very open to and encourage members of the team to contribute and come up with ideas and suggestions – which they always do. We also have a very talented team that we call the “Through the gun”-team who handles player movement and a lot of the core weapon mechanics. They are of course also big contributors to the design of our weapons.
  • About the “nightmare” levels where you can play to Wolfenstein 3-D within The New Order and The Old Blood: “The first Nightmare level that we added to The New Order was not planned from the beginning – it was something that our team did for fun during development and when they got it working we of course wanted to include it. We have a truly amazing and very creative team here at Machine Games.
  • About the id Tech 5 engine of the game: “I’m very satisfied with id tech. Whatever technology you’re working with there will always be challenges, but considering that we now have delivered two games running at 60 fps/1080p – I’m definitely satisfied.
  • They’re also very happy with what they’ve done with The Old Blood and The New Order, and can’t reveal anything about their future plans for the Wolfenstein franchise.

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is out!

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is now available on digital platforms for PS4, XBox One and PC for the price of 20 euros/dollars as a standalone game. You can also buy it on Steam in a bundle with Wolfenstein: The New Order for around 41 euros/dollars. The European physical release in stores will take place on May 15th.

And in order to celebrate this release, Bethesda has posted a new launch trailer of the game:

I can’t wait to have it! 🙂

Play Wolf3D also in Wolfenstein: The Old Blood!

In Wolfenstein: The New Order, players were able to access some “nightmares” where they could play the first level of Wolfenstein 3-D while BJ was sleeping in the headquarters of the resistance. Bethesda has revealed on its blog that it will be still possible in Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, but to a higher level: players will be able to complete the whole first episode of Wolfenstein 3-D during these “nightmares”, including the boss fight against Hans Grösse and the secret level!

Each level of Wolf3D will be unlocked at the end of each of the nine chapters of The Old Blood, and players will be able to replay them at any time! In order to integrate these levels from Wolf3D to Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, the developpers had to develop a specific tool, as explained by MachineGames’ executive producer, Jerk Gustafsson:

One of our Senior Level Designers, Christian Grawert, wrote a small utility that reads in the original Wolf3d data files and looks at the tilemap for each level. He then used that to write out a 3D mesh, appropriate materials, map files containing all the game objects, and additional data like collision.

The levels themselves are accurate, but the placement of objects and type of objects has been tweaked a bit for gameplay’s sake. The placement of enemies are fairly accurate, too, and Christian tried his best to replicate their patrol routes. There are likely to be differences in behavior just due to how the AI code differs.

 

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood – The last previews

Many previews have been posted recently, all generally very positive, praising the old-school action with great weapons and various enemies, mixed with beautiful environments and high-definition graphics. You can find these articles on the Bethesda Blog, on XBox Achievements, IGN, GamesRadar, PCGamesN, AusGamers, and many others!

Here are some last screenshots of the game:

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Moreover, Bethesda has recorded a long gameplay walkthrough of the game:

 

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood – System requirements and release dates

Bethesda has posted an article summarizing the info about the system requirements and the releases dates of the game:

wolf15-infos-release-en

The pre-loading has already started on most of the platforms, and the digital version will be playable starting from May 5th. Then, physical copies will be in stores in Europe on May 15th, and in Oceania on May 14th.

wolf15-infos-sysreq-en

For the PC requirements, you should have an Intel Core / AMD FX processor, with 4 to 8 Gb of RAM, 38 Gb of hard-disk space, a high-speed internet connection, and at least a Geforce GTX 5xx / AMD Radeon HD 6xxx graphic card.

For reminder, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood will be sold as standalone game for around 20 euros / dollars.

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood – Abilities

Similarly to Wolfenstein: The New Order, you can unlock some special abilities in the game in order to increase your skills. Here’s the list of the known abilities from The Old Blood, and the condition to get them, as provided by the twitter and facebook accounts of the game:

Icon Name Condition Effect
wol15-icons-01 Quick turn 50 kills from cover Enable you to do a quick 180 turn and auto-aim at nearest enemy
wol15-icons-02 Master platinium trophy N/A N/A
wol15-icons-03 Reload bash 20 kills with the last bullet from a clip Increase reload speed by mashing the reload button
wol15-icons-04 Can carry machine guns perk 200 kills using MG46 Allows to carry a heavy machinegun in inventory/weapon wheel
wol15-icons-05 Eagle eye 20 silent commander kills Show markers in the world for collectibles
wol15-icons-06 Tough skin Getting 10 Pipe Head Explosions Reduces Health Loss from Melee Attacks

Many more are yet to be discovered!

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood – The list of achievements

The sites XBox Achievements and ActuGaming have listed all the achievements you can unlock in the game, with a total of 1000 points on the XBox Live (for 20 points each).

Its confirms the fact that BJ will meet again Kessler (already seen in RtCW) and Annette (seen in The New Order) before having to choose to save one of them (similarly to the Wyatt / Fergus choice in The New Order), and that we’ll have to fight against Hans Grösse – a boss already met in Wolf3D and Wolfenstein!

  • Incognito: Infiltrate Wolfenstein Keep
  • Free!: Escape from Wolfenstein Keep
  • Revenge: Complete the first part
  • Kessler saved: Choose to save Kessler
  • Annette saved: Choose to save Annette
  • Hero: Complete game on any difficulty
  • Super hero: Complete game on I AM DEATH INCARNATE! (or ÜBER)
  • Über hero: Complete game on ÜBER
  • Die, Grösse, die!: Complete all nightmare levels
  • German Alps nightmare: Complete the prologue nightmare
  • Prison nightmare: Complete the nightmare in chapter 1
  • Docks nightmare: Complete the nightmare in chapter 2
  • Wolfenstein Keep nightmare: Complete the nightmare in chapter 3
  • Escape! nightmare: Complete the nightmare in chapter 4
  • Wulfburg nightmare: Complete the nightmare in chapter 5
  • Ruins nightmare: Complete the nightmare in chapter 6
  • Old town nightmare: Complete the nightmare in chapter 7
  • Guten tag!: Complete the nightmare boss level
  • Research centre combat master: Achieve gold medal for this challenge map
  • Prison docks combat master: Achieve gold medal for this challenge map
  • Keep foyer combat master: Achieve gold medal for this challenge map
  • Cable car platform combat master: Achieve gold medal for this challenge map
  • Caves combat master: Achieve gold medal for this challenge map
  • Paderborn bridge combat master: Achieve gold medal for this challenge map
  • Wulfburg square combat master: Achieve gold medal for this challenge map
  • Workshop combat master: Achieve gold medal for this challenge map
  • Bathhouse combat master: Achieve gold medal for this challenge map
  • Graveyard combat master: Achieve gold medal for this challenge map
  • Paperboy: Collect 5 letters
  • Postman: Collect all letters
  • All that glitters: Collect 8 gold items
  • Glittering gold: Collect 16 gold items
  • The ecstasy of gold: Collect 32 gold items
  • Gold master: Collect 64 gold items
  • Eagle Eye: Unlock the Eagle Eye perk
  • Health upgrade I: Unlock the Health upgrade I perk
  • Health upgrade II: Unlock the Health upgrade II perk
  • Health upgrade III: Unlock the Health upgrade III perk
  • Armor upgrade I: Unlock the Armor upgrade I perk
  • Armor upgrade II: Unlock the Armor upgrade II perk
  • Ammunition upgrade: Unlock the Ammunition upgrade perk
  • Grenade belt: Unlock the Grenade belt perk
  • Vampire: Unlock the Vampire perk
  • Kampfpistole ammo storage upgrade: Unlock the Kampfpistole ammo storage upgrade perk
  • Schockhammer clip upgrade: Unlock the Schockhammer clip upgrade perk
  • Bombenschuss clip upgrade: Unlock the Bombenschuss clip upgrade perk
  • Carry heavy machinegun: Unlock the Carry heavy machinegun perk
  • Reload mash: Unlock the Reload mash perk
  • Quick turn: Unlock the Quick turn perk
  • Tough Skin: Unlock the Tough Skin perk