We may have been left to rot in a squalid prison camp while we wait for our opportunity to review Wolfenstein: The New Order, but at least we can round up the appraisals of others, right? Swedish developer MachineGames’ macabre debut has divided critics, who have peppered the web with bullets of both overbearing praise and unexpected dissatisfaction. We’ve included five of the better write-ups in the empty space below.
Polygon - 9/10
The New Order’s got all the workings of a classic shooter. But in their trip back to the well, MachineGames has brought all of its talents to bear. The New Order is held together, even rocketed beyond the basic sum of its smart levels and effective mechanics by its characters. That humanity takes what would be a good shooter and makes it something truly memorable.
Gamespot - 8/10
Both the laser cutter and the perks system feel like missed opportunities at worst, because even aside from them, The New Order's combat intensity and variety have granted the Wolfenstein series a breath of fresh air, whilst still managing to hit the nostalgic highs that I expect from the series. It has injected some substance into the primal pleasure of shooting Nazis by way of an interesting tone that addresses the changing roles of first-person shooter protagonists. Through this, the game is both a celebration of the Wolfenstein series and what feels like a fitting send-off for it. The New Order could be the last hurrah of William "BJ" Blazkowicz, an outing which, for all its excess and bombast, is far from mindless.
USgamer.net - 4/5
A sprawling epic that sometimes doesn't quite hit the ridiculously high bar it sets for itself, but nevertheless delivers an absolutely spectacular, supremely gory, utterly compelling experience.
IGN - 7.8/10
Wolfenstein: The New Order is the melding of your typical, everyday shooter with quality writing and a cast of believable and relatable characters. Machinegames' more grounded treatment of the often way over-the-top alternate Nazi history is also a nice touch, and while The New Order is in no way, shape, or form a simulation of the real world, its 10-to-12 hour campaign can certainly make you stop and wonder more than, say, Raven's 2009's occult-centric Wolfenstein reboot. With an essential early-game choice that makes it worth playing through twice, the story at the center of Wolfenstein: The New Order props up its competent — but mostly unremarkable — shooting.
Eurogamer.net - 6/10
"War is not nice," Barbara Bush supposedly said, and it's often difficult for creative media to get across just how nice war isn't. Wolfenstein: The New Order has all sorts of war stories it wants to share with you and it knows how it wants you to feel, but it's not convincing. Its stories are more sensational than poignant. It's a decent shooter with a good few impressive moments, but it can be buggy and it doesn't offer much you can't find elsewhere, with little to tempt you back when it's over. Where it most tries to stand out, in its narrative and setting, it often comes off as juvenile. Overall, it's built on an impressive world but it doesn't do enough with it, and as a result it's curious, but hardly compelling.
Are your trigger fingers itching over the prospect of dismantling robotic limbs? Has the very thought of a single player centric first-person shooter left you rolling your eyes? Gun us down in the comments section below.