Wolfenstein: The New Order delayed to 2014

In an interview during the QuakeCon, Peter Hines, Bethesda VP of press relationship and marketing, explained to the site Polygon that Wolfenstein: The New Order would be delayed to 2014 – instead of being released in holidays 2013 -, and why they took that decision:

Working on next-gen and current gen definitely has an impact, you’re developing for two different things. The fact that the next-gen stuff is still moving is also definitely a factor. But the most important thing was definitely just looking where it was at, what they needed to polish. Because it’s just not trying to be a shooter, because it’s trying to be a shooter that also has driving elements, story elements, narrative, stealth sections — each one of those has to be excellent. It’s not just like we’re making a shooter, where if the shooting is good, then all 16 hours of the game will be good because it’s all we’re doing.

We didn’t just want to do a one-note Wolfenstein game. We wanted to make something that brought in all these elements, and as it turns out, the polish time you spend on the shooting stuff has no impact on what it feels like in the stealth part.

MachineGames has been working on this game for a while. You don’t want to waste all that time and effort for the sake of a couple of months, if a couple of months could make all of the difference in the world.

This needs to be the best Wolfenstein game ever made, and you can’t shortcut that. It can’t have the same historical impact of Wolfenstein 3D, but it can be a better game.

Promotion on Bethesda and id Software catalogue on Steam during the QuakeCon

After the QuakeCon started on August, 1st, Steam is doing a great promotion on most of the id Software and Bethesda catalogue, including some Wolfenstein games: Wolfenstein 3-D for 1.24 euros, Spear of Destiny for the same price, Return to Castle Wolfenstein for 2.49 euros, and the “Wolf Pack” containing these three games for 3,74 euros ! You can even buy the whole catalogue (containing 44 games!) for 86.84 euros, including Skyrim, Dishonored, Rage, Fallout New Vegas, Brink, and obviously many legendary games from id Software (Doom, Quake, etc…)!

Todd Hollenshead, CEO of id Software, leaves company

CEO of the studio since 1996 – after the departure of Jay Wilbur for Epic -, Todd Hollenshead has decided to leave the studio, according to Bethesda:

After many years with the studio, Todd Hollenshead decided to leave id Software to pursue other personal interests. While Todd was not part of the development teams, he was an integral part of id Software’s success as the business head of the studio and we wish him the very best in his future endeavors.

Even if there is no other information about the reasons of his decision, it is most likely that it’s due to the problems of the studio with the development of Doom 4, which was set by Bethesda as the highest and unique priority of id Software.

The terrible “I’m the Death Incarnate” difficulty level is back in Wolf:TNO

According to Andreas Ojerfors, senior gameplay designer on the game at MachineGames, the player who will choose that difficulty level will “cry blood”! He said to GameSpot that all the difficulty levels from Wolfenstein 3-D – “Can I play, Daddy?“, “Don’t hurt me“, “Bring ’em on” and “I’m the Death Incarnate“, in the order of growing difficulty – will be back in Wolfenstein: The New Order (even if he said they would be five of them…). 

We want it to be a real, real challenge for people. This is not an easy game. Of course we have the five (??) difficulty levels of the original Wolfenstein 3D, like everything from Daddy Can I Play? to I Am Death Incarnate. So you can turn it down or turn it up if you want to. But like the default, normal setting of the game, it’s going to be a challenging experience.

He also said these levels are made to be fair for the player…

It’s difficult, but it’s always fair. You’re never really cheated. It’s always your fault if you die.

 

 

Meet Axel Torvenius, senior concept artist on Wolfenstein: The New Order

The Bethesda Underground blog went again to visit the developers of MachineGames, and met Axel Torvenius, senior concept artist on Wolfenstein: The New Order :

 

Nothing new about the game, he talks mainly about his daily work, about the speed painting he does every morning (with a live demo), and about the best way to be hired as an artist by such a studio.

 

 

Wolfenstein: The New Order website updated

Bethesda has posted a new version of the official Wolfenstein: The New Order website, which explains in more details the storyline of the game:

Europe, 1946. World War II rages across Europe. Where once the Allies pressed advantage, the Nazi forces have turned the tide in dramatic fashion behind the technologically advanced war machine of General Wilhelm Strasse — Deathshead. When a final Allied assault on Deathshead’s compound fails, the Allies’ greatest hope falls with it.

Europe, 1960. The war is over. And the Nazis are triumphant victors. Using unrelenting force and brutal intimidation, the Nazis have brought even the most powerful nations to their knees. The Nazi regime now rules the globe with an iron fist.

You are Captain B.J. Blazkowicz, the American War Hero. After emerging into this world of darkness, you must launch an impossible counter-offensive against the monstrous Nazi regime. Only you dare stand up against an unstoppable army of Nazi robots and hulking Super Soldiers. Only you can stop Deathshead. Only you can rewrite history.

We can see that Wilhelm Strasse, aka “Deathshead”, one of the greatest villains of Return to Castle Wolfenstein and the Wolfenstein game, will be back. We also have more information about the fate of BJ at the end of WWII, and how he went into a so long coma:

BJ Blazkowicz1946. With the tides of World War II turning drastically in favor of the Nazi war machine, the desperate allied forces set out to shift back the momentum with one last ditch attempt: an assault on the Deathshead Compound. The operation goes wildly awry, and Captain Blazkowicz ends up in a comatose state on account of a traumatic injury. He somehow survives but lives as an empty shell of his former self in a mental asylum for fourteen years. Until one fateful day in the year 1960…

Moreover, we know more about Anya Oliwa, the teammate of BJ, and about the terrific Frau Engel:

Anya Oliwa

Anya OliwaBorn to Polish doctors and intellectuals, Anya was well on her way to a doctorate in archeology. The war, however, forced her to abandon her academic pursuits. Stepping up to help with the family trade of running a mental asylum, she serves as head nurse and caretaker of the afflicted. Including an unidentified soldier who was picked up at sea, badly injured, by a fishing boat.

Anya and her parents do what they can to treat their patients, while frequently getting visited by armed Nazi officers, who arrive without notice and leave with random patients in shackles. One day in the year 1960, the Nazis make a final visit—a visit to shut the asylum down and purge the place of its patients.

Frau Engel

Frau EngelA leading figure behind the Bund Deutscher Mädel (League of German Girls), the girl’s wing of the Nazi party’s youth movement. Frau Engel has dedicated her life to the Nazi cause.

Having done her duty, raising six Aryan children to serve the Fatherland and exhibiting steadfast loyalty to the Nazi party, she quickly rose up their ranks. Near the end of the war, Frau Engel assumed command of forced labor camp Belica – a dark place where she runs the day to day operations with an iron fist.

 

Note that you can also pre-order the game.

Wolfenstein: The New Order – New videos and previews for E3

Many news sites got the opportunity to see the game in action at E3, where it was shown longer than before.

For instance, Andreas Jerfors, Senior Gameplay Designer on the game at MachineGames, was invited by GameSpot to answer to their questions while presenting the infiltration mission into the Nautica complex in London, in the following video:

 

Other sites posted previews about the game. GameInformer detailed a mission in their very positive report:

Developer Machine Games showed off a later gameplay section during an E3 presentation set about three quarters into the game. Blazkowicz navigates the wreckage of a destroyed monorail while picking off enemy soldiers in the debris.

Machine Games explains that B.J. uses mysterious technology – the same the Nazis are using – to blow up the train. The wreck occurs over the Strait of Gibralter. Presumably the Nazis have built a bridge connecting the southern tip of Spain to Africa, where the last bastion of Axis resistance resides. With the train destroyed, Blazkowicz begins hunting for identification papers.

B.J. hops through destroyed train cars towards a lower section of the monorail. He drops through train sections that hang vertically, using shifted crates as a pathway down. Metal grates block the path, requiring B.J. to use his laser cannon to cut holes in them. Our hero crawls and leaps through the twisted remains of the locomotive, eventually landing on the crumbling concrete of the bridge’s lower section.

Surviving Nazis emerge from the rubble guns blazing. Heavily armored super soldiers join the regular rank and file, blasting at B.J. with huge gatling guns. On his way through the level, B.J. uses the huge machine gun to mow down enemies, blasts down flying drones with dual wielded shotguns, and banks grenades off walls with a launcher. The shooting gameplay looks slick and pretty, with the sun shining over the vast expanse of the sea in the background. The demo ends with a big Nazi bruiser sucker punching B.J. in the face.

 

The French site FactorNews was also invited to see the game in action on a XBox 360 (note that the game has been officially announced for both XBox One and PS4 too). In their quite positive article, they mention this:

The fights are very intensive and the weapons are impressive. The shotguns are firing with a heavy sound, and the enemies are flying like puppets. This feeling of having very heavy weapons is increased by the fact that they are visible in almost a half of the screen. (…) The game is closer to Half-Life than Call of Duty, meaning that its quite linear but it let some time to the players to explore the area without undergoing a simple series of scripts. They are many “useless” areas to discover with some ammo’s and secret places to unveil. These latest are useful for the player to get more information about the background storyline of the game, which seems quite rich.

 

 

Interview of Jens Matthies about Wolfenstein: The New Order before E3

Before the E3, starting next week in Los Angeles with many shows including one for Wolfenstein : The New Order, Jens Matthies, creative director on the game for MachineGames, gave some interviews to various websites, like this one:

 

Some interesting information from these interviews:

  • BJ will be able to use a laser weapon that will liquefy the heavily armored enemies!
  • MachineGames still works on balancing the game difficulty, which will have different levels (from “Don’t hurt me” to “I’m the Death Incarnate” I presume, like in Wolf3D and RtCW).
  • The studio consider it more as an action-adventure game than a pure FPS.

 

 

E3 trailer of Wolfenstein: The New Order

MachineGames and Bethesda have posted today the E3 trailer of Wolfenstein: The New Order. In a nutshell: a world full of Nazis, some German Beatles, and a very angry BJ!

 

Here are some screenshots of the game taken from the end of this video:

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