January 7, 2019 at 12:57 AM #1434
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood
Rating: 2.5 – Playable
After the surprise success of Wolfenstein: The New Order, Machine Games decided to release a standalone expansion to capitalize on the base game’s popularity. The result is Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a prequel story that will likely leave fans of the The New Order fairly disappointed.
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood offers a boring narrative that feels underwhelming after The New Order. The game suffers from the problem that a lot of prequels do, in that we already know where the story is going. We know BJ is going to survive the ordeal here because The New Order exists. There is a lack of tension here when BJ interacts with the various bad guys because we know that he’s going to be fine. A lot of prequels suffer from this, and The Old Blood is no different.
From a gameplay perspective, The Old Blood also feels like a step down from The New Order. There is way too much of a focus on stealth in The Old Blood, whereas the base game was more concerned with delivering high level FPS action. These stealth sections are especially frustrating near the beginning of The Old Blood, where they are much more prevalent. As the game progresses, it becomes somewhat easier and there are less annoying stealth sections, but the difficulty spike here is noticeable and not welcome.
In general, The Old Blood is just not as impressive or memorable as The New Order. It’s true that the game is merely a standalone expansion, but even so, what’s the point of doing it if it doesn’t add anything meaningful to the foundation laid by the base game? It’s just a pointless prequel story that fails to do anything compelling or all that new. It feels like a rushed cash grab, if I’m being perfectly honest, or just a way to fill in the time between the release of The New Order and 2017’s Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus.
At the end of the day, I guess I was just expecting more of an effort on the part of Machine Games. Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is a boring slog with frustrating stealth sections, a pointless prequel story, and none of the heart or charm that made The New Order such an engrossing FPS experience. Diehard fans of the genre may still find some entertainment value with the game, but most gamers would be better off returning to The New Order instead.
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