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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Happy 10th Birthday, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory!

Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory was released exactly 10 years ago. ET was a free multiplayer game that quickly became a big success on the net, gathering a huge and loyal community of players. Their creator, Splash Damage, posted today an entry on their blog in order to celebrate this birthday, with some pictures of the development of the game.

First planned to be a solo and multiplayer expansion pack for Return to Castle Wolfenstein (2001), Wolf:ET was based on the excellent multiplayer mode of RtCW, created by Nerve Software, and improved by Splash Damage for that extension. But when the development of the solo part (being developed by Mad Doc Software) was canceled by Activision and id Software, they were facing a big problem: what to do with the excellent work of Splash Damage? They took an original – and very courageous – decision: distribute it freely and in standalone mode! At the end, the success that the multiplayer part of RtCW got was greatly increased for Wolf:ET, and it was not a coincidence.

Wolf:ET was proposing a gameplay where teams with various classes were fighting one against the other: a soldier, a medic, a lieutenant, a engineer and a covert ops. A team was attacking (usually the Allies) and the other one was defending (often the Axis). The attackers had to fulfill some objectives to defeat their enemies, while the defenders had to stop them doing that, and last as much as possible – during the period of the game – and block the attackers of doing at least their last objective. At the beginning, the game had two campaigns with 3 maps each, but the community quickly grew, and many mods and maps appeared for ET.

Its fast-paced game and its very nice and well-balanced maps (Fuel Dump, Rail Gun, Würzburg Radar, Siwa Oasis, Seawall Battery and Gold Rush) made of Wolf:ET a classic of team-based multiplayer FPS. Following the success of Wolf:ET, Splash Damage then released the very good Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (based on the futurist universe of Quake), Brink (with a similar gameplay), and soon Dirty Bombs (planned for 2013). More info on the Wolf:ET creators page and on the game encyclopedia.

 

Many pre-E3 previews about Wolfenstein: The New Order

Many news site could play shortly on Wolfenstein : The New Order at MachineGames’ in Sweden, including sites Polygon and GamerHorizon (which interviewed Jens Matthies, the creative director of the studio, about it). Not many exclusive news, but some first impressions after this playable demo:

  • French websites JeuxVideo.frGameBlog and GameKult are not very enthusiasts, and find the game slow, easy, with a bad AI…
  • English-speaking sites (SI, VB, Polygon, GF, DT, …) are much more positive, and some even find it too hard!
  • GamerHorizon could interview Jens Matthies, the creative director of the game at MachineGames.

 

Some new info and game scene from these articles (along with what was known before):

  • Each weapon of the game will have two fire modes, with an alternative mode being available only after upgrading the weapon.
  • It will be possible to use all the weapons (except the laser) in dual-wield mode – including the shotguns!
  • The laser weapon can be used to cut some metal elements of the area, and solve some puzzles in order to progress in the game, or get hidden bonus items.
  • All the weapons can be upgraded althrough the game, including the laser which will allow you to cut into iron sheets and create some holes to be able to fire on the enemy safely, or even go through the ventilation system by cutting the access grid.
  • You can get upgrades for weapons by selling items and treasures found in secret areas of many levels, or by finding directly these improvements somewhere in the level.
  • Anya will supervise you progress during the game, and will transmit you some useful info by radio althrough the game.
  • Along with the main quest of the game following the storyline, BJ will be able to execute some secondary quests given by the Resistance Headquarters, where BJ will regularly come back. It can be infiltration missions, for instance.
  • The player will be able to play in a more silent way, in infiltration mode. But finally, as the game is mainly action-oriented, this kind of gameplay won’t be imposed, and you’ll have to unleash big guns sooner or later.
  • He will be also able to pilot some war machines in the game, but no big robots like in the trailer.
  • The health system mix an automatic regeneration system with some health kits: the health of the player will go up to the next multiple of 20 automatically, and then he’ll have to find some health kit to restore his points up to 100 %, and even beyond – but the points will slowly come down to 100 %. Armor bonus will be also available.
  • It will be possible to loot dead enemies in order to find, for instance, health kits or armor pickups.
  • In a battle scene in a helicopter hangar, players will be able to go into one of the helicopters and use one of its side machineguns to clean the area.
  • In some rooms, BJ will be able to use heavy mounted guns – and even take them with him in order to kill the remaining enemies.
  • Humor is very present in the game, and BJ will taunt the Nazis with some funny lines during the fight. But there will be also some very serious and intense moments, like in the train or with the suicide bombing of Resistants against the Nazi base.
  • According to some sites, the advanced technology of Nazis would come from some ancient artifacts they’ve found, and that they’re trying to analyze and reverse-engineer. Some Hebrew script seems to be included on them…
  • There will be various difficulty levels for the game, and they come directly from Wolfenstein 3-D: “Can I play, daddy?”, “I’m the death incarnate”, etc…
  • Wolf3D greatly inspired them for the new game. For instance, the BJ’s face is directly inspired from the one in Wolf3D.
  • Some sites put the graphic quality of the game between the current gen and the next one, with the id Tech 5 engine being heavily modified by MachineGames – which also use it for The Evil Within game from Bethesda
  • At the beginning, MachineGames shown its project to id Software, who accepted it. Then, they could develop it like they wanted since October, 2010.
  • MachinesGames used a lot of motion capture for every move in the game, including for background characters. They also captured facial animations in synchronization with actor’s voice to be the most realistic possible.
  • The cut-scenes in the game are pre-rendered using the game engine. While they’re playing, the game is also loading level seamlessly in the background.
  • MachineGames is currently developing the game for the next-gen platforms, and will adapt it with optimizations and restrictions for the current generation platforms.

 

Some sites like VG24/7 even posted a video report about the game, with some live captures of the game in action, with an interview of Jens Matthies, creative director of the game at MachineGames:

 

MachineGames also released some screenshots and pieces of art of the game – which were completed by me with screenshots from the video above:

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More picture in the game gallery