Like RAGE before it, the new Wolfenstein is using the Id Tech 5 engine. I already knew that this engine would perform well on my machine and it certainly did. Changing the graphics to "High" still provided perfectly smooth gameplay at a 1920x1080 resolution. The game doesn't support SLI yet, so it was only using one of my graphics cards. Hopefully they'll add SLI support later.
My current config is this, for comparison:
- Intel Core I7 2.66ghz
- 2 EVGA GTX 660 TI SC in SLI
- 12 Gb RAM
- OCZ Agility3 SSD disc
The game comes on 4 CDs and requires a whopping 44GB of disk space to install. Remember when a fine game came on a few 1.44MB diskettes? It connects with Steam, so you'll probably only be using the CDs once. Included with the pre-order was a "Doom 4" beta access code allowing you to register at the official Wolfenstein website. Also included was a music CD with some of the game's music. 9 tracks of German music tracks to get you in the mood for some Nazi killing.
The new Wolfenstein has a great story. It feels almost like you are watching a movie at times ("Iron Sky"  springs to mind.) I don't normally like when there are too many lenghty video sequences in first person shooters, but here they are of such outstanding quality and provides an exciting story to follow. The story is of course full of plot holes and stupidities, but come on, this is a Wolfenstein game. Just accept it and enjoy the fun ride.
"Evolution durch Wissenschaft und Krieg!"
Agent William "B.J." Blazkowicz is wounded in WW2 and ends up in a Polish asylum where he sits semi-unconscious in a chair for 14 years or so. He wakes up in 1960 when the Nazis are raiding the asylum and he hasn't forgotten how to be a lean mean fighting machine and is somehow still physically ultra fit. He escapes together with a young woman named Anya, and he learns that the Nazis have won WW2 and that they now control most of the World and the Moon too for that matter. Our 2 heros find their way to The Kreisau Circle Resistance HQ (well-known from "Wolfenstein 2009.")
With Blazkowicz back on the Resistance team, it is now time to fight back against Evil, personified by the good old sadistic Nazi scientist General TotenKopf (aka Deathshead) and Frau Engel (leader of a concentration camp.) At some point in the game you'll have to make a deadly choice that will affect some of the gameplay that follows. This leaves me a good reason for a later replay of the game, where I'll make the opposite choice. I think I'll wait and see if they get the SLI support ready first though. Also next time, maybe I'll try harder to find all the various collectable items and Enigma codes. On my first play-thru that was never a real priority.
The graphics are not mindblowingly stunning as in e.g. "Crysis 3", but it still looks quite nice. It has a bit of an old fashioned look to it, but that is intentional. The game does an awesome job at capturing a feel and mood of this alternate Nazi universe. Noted is the perfect use of German and Polish voices where it makes sense, and that's the way to do it! In a Wolfenstein game the Nazis should of course be speaking German. As required there's also explicit violence, sex and sadistic Nazi experiments to enjoy along the way.
The level design is very impressive. You'll go to many different locations including Poland, Berlin, London, an asylum, aboard a train, the Gibraltar bridge, a concentration camp, aboard a plane, on the Moon, aboard a submarine and of course General TotenKopf's fortress. The game doesn't leave much room to drift off from the given path thru the levels, but that's the way a Wolfenstein (or Doom) game has always been (and perhaps should be.)
At a reasonable lower difficulty level the enemies including boss fights are never too hard, but still challenging enough to be fun. The exception being the very last boss, who takes a lot of work to kill. Most of the enemies are not exactly intelligent and you can use a mix of stealth or brute Rambo-force to finish them off. It's a bit annoying that you have to use a keypress to pick up ammo or health, but that's the only real annoyance.
I made it thru the game using some of Friday and most of Saturday and it was really great fun and one of the better singleplayer gaming experiences I've had for a while. Even if the game is brand new, I did not experience one single crash and only minor insignificant graphical issues. I'd like to give some praise to the fact that there's no multiplayer option. Maybe that's the reason why the singleplayer mission works so great and the level of attention that has been paid getting all the details right. I don't like playing multiplayer games anyway, so for me it's a total win-win.
I think this is a great revival of the Wolfenstein franchise, and it's a much better attempt than the disappointing "Wolfenstein 2009" game. The ending may not look that great for a sequel, but if you listen closely near the end of the end credits, you'll hear a helicopter closing in. Maybe that's a clue that it may not be all that impossible after all. I'd certainly be willing to explore more of the Wolfenstein universe, especially if the quality is kept at this high level.
How to enable "God" mode:
If you get too pissed off at some point and can't be arsed to get a hint from a walk-thru video then you can always enter "God" mode using the in-game console:
CTRL + ALT + ~ (on a US keyboard) or CTRL + ALT + ½ (on a Danish keyboard)
Enter this command:
Maybe you'll need to add a line (I am not sure if it is necessary though) to the "wolfConfig.cfg" file in the "Users\[user]\Saved Games\MachineGames\Wolfenstein The New Order\base" directory first:
seta g_cheatsAreOn "1"