Will Wolfenstein – The New Order be Bethesda’s next big hit?
When it comes to video games, my passion for RPGs is second to none. As far as first-person shooters go, I’m not a big fan. Sure I’ve played my share of Call of Duty and Battlefield, but for me, run and gun tends to get tiresome after an hour or so. The FPS genre just doesn’t captivate me, and the games lack the magic that an RPG like Skyrim has to offer.
Not surprisingly, my way of thinking isn’t out of line with the readers of the Skyrim Fansite. Based on an October 2013 poll we ran asking readers to pick their favorite game type, RPGs came out on top with a massive 84% of the vote with shooters coming in at a distant second at 9%. Based on the focus of our website, is anyone surprised?
Wolfenstein – The New Order
Despite the preferences of myself and our readers, first-person shooters are extremely popular with gamers and tend to be huge money makers for publishers. This fact isn’t lost on Bethesda, Skyrim’s creator. Later next month, Bethesda is going old school with the release of Wolfenstein – The New Order, the next chapter in the venerable Wolfenstein franchise that got its start way back in 1981.
Castle Wolfenstein was the first game in the series, but it was the release of Wolfenstein 3D in 1992 that got gamers excited. In an era of side-scrolling games, Wolfenstein 3D presented a unique first-person perspective, allowing players to roam and shoot in glorious three dimensions. The game is arguably the granddaddy of all FPS games, and even after 22 years the format hasn’t changed all that much.
Over time, various publishers have created different Wolfenstein titles with varying degrees of success. Wolfenstein – The New Order is Bethesda’s first foray into the franchise, and was helmed by their Machine Games subsidiary.
Like in previous titles, BJ Blazkowicz (the game’s hero) takes on Nazi soldiers. In New Order however, the Nazis have won World War II, and Blazkowicz must take on the evil regime in an alternate history of the 1960’s, infiltrating strongholds and shooting Nazi robots and Super Soldier with an arsenal of advanced weapons.
New Order = New Hit?
Even though FPS games are wildly popular with many gamers, it’d be a stretch to think that Wolfenstein – The New Order will come close to the 20 million sales mark set by Bethesda’s Skyrim (not many games can). However, this isn’t to say that New Order won’t be Bethesda’s next big hit. Consider the following:
- The game builds on a classic franchise,
- Has a compelling storyline,
- Has gorgeous visuals,
- Is a single-player adventure.
Despite the fact that I’m not a huge shooter fan, I can’t help but be intrigued. Yes, Wolfenstein – The New Order lacks the open world concept and RPG elements that I love in a classic Bethesda game like Skyrim and Fall Out, but from what I can tell, the game seems richer and more colorful than the standard military-shooter fare that I’ve played in the past. By making the game a single-player adventure, it appears that Bethesda is placing a heavy emphasis on the unique storyline itself (see the game trailer below). When you throw the game’s immersive graphics and retro roots into the mix, I can see myself thoroughly enjoying New Order. Running and gunning Bethesda-style just might make me a shooter fan after all.
Wolfenstein – The New Order is slated for a May 20, 2014 release date in North America (May 22 in Australia and May 23 in Europe). The game is now available for pre-order, and a limited-edition collector’s set can be purchased at the Bethesda Store here.