Warren Spector “Tired” of Stuff Like Wolfenstein. Are You?

There’s a new Wolfenstein game coming later this year…but do you really want one?

Set for a Q4 2013 release on current- and next-gen platforms, Wolfenstein: The New Order is the latest game to be announced by Bethesda Softworks. The trailer, embedded above, sees longtime OSA agent B.J. Blazkowicz brought back into the fray, seemingly dropped into an alternate timeline where the Nazis have defeated the Allies, or at least have them on the run. There are no finer details as of yet, but we know the Nazis are still alive and well, they’ve launched attacks on American soil (the burning Statue of Liberty), and they have an army of death-dealing robots at their disposal.

Developed by Swedish Game Mafia MachineGames, The New Order is the “secret project” that’s been listed on the developers site for some time. Furthermore, The New Order will presumably be the first game developed outside of id Software to use the id Tech 5 engine (unless Doom 4 comes out first).

The current dearth of information should be remedied by Gamespot and their exclusive coverage over the next week, but some in the gaming industry are making their opinions known now, and in no uncertain terms.

Warren Spector, the veteran game designer with titles like Deus Ex and System Shock under his belt,  took to his Facebook page earlier today to share some thoughts on the Wolfenstein announcement. Spector asks (rhetorically, of course), “Did the world really need another Wolfenstein game? Did we need a generically dark, monochromatic, FPS, kill-the-Nazi-giant-robot game?”

“Uh. No. The world did not. I am so tired of stuff like this…”

Warren goes on to lament the use of the “generic gravelly-whisper trailer voice guy,” while admonishing Bethesda and MachineGames for “…using Jimi Hendrix to promote your adolescent male power fantasies.”

So it seems like Warren will not be among those buying The New Order on day one. While I admire him for speaking his mind (and with a resume like his, it’s hard to ignore his opinions on such matters), this is some serious judgement coming down on a game that we’ve barely seen. The New Order trailer is 100 seconds of pre-rendered “The Nazis are winning” setup, and we’re waiting for Gamespot coverage, E3 or Quakecon before the punchline is delivered. It’s easy to understand Warren’s frustration, however, as the trailer does seem rather boiler plate. An overused Hendrix tune, World War II imagery, and some rather generic-looking robots of doom complete the trifecta, as it were.

The New Order (not to be confused with one of the greatest bands of all time) is the latest chapter in a franchise spanning twenty years…or rather, twenty years under the id Software and Bethesda banners. There is a storied history here, but Wolfenstein has suffered over the last decade — it’s disheartening to realize that there hasn’t been a worthy addition to the franchise in ten years. Return to Castle Wolfenstein was released in 2001, and it’s legendary multiplayer-only spinoff, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, arrived two years later in 2003. What have we gotten since then? A bunch of Wolf3D rehashes for mobile platforms (fun, but not original), 2009′s Wolfenstein, which was met with middling reviews and unenthusiastic fanfare, and…that’s about it.

With its recent track record (Dishonored, Skyrim, salvaging RAGE, and announcing an Elder Scrolls MMO), I’m hopeful that Bethesda can bring this franchise back to greatness. The tools for success are there, including a capable and proven publisher, a fresh new studio in MachineGames (led by former Starbreeze Studios talent), and an engine that can produce some wonderful imagery in the right hands.

In other words: Please don’t botch this, Bethesda. PC gamers the world over are watching.

What do you want from a new Wolfenstein game? Are you an old school Wolf: ET player who only wants a new multiplayer experience? Do you want Wolfenstein to return to its roots with a focus on single-player? Or both? Leave your thoughts on the trailer – and the franchise in general – in the comments.

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7 Comments on Warren Spector “Tired” of Stuff Like Wolfenstein. Are You?


On May 7, 2013 at 4:54 pm

I feel so extraordinary. Something’s got a hold on me. I get this feeling I’m in motion. A sudden sense of liberty.

But it’s not from another Wolfenstein game.

Listen, I may be wrong. As long as it’s fun, and offers more to me that just another shooter. Wolfenstein 3D, and Spear of Destiny were such great, important games back in the day. I would hate for this to get ruined in a day.

Multiplayer means nothing to me, so it would have to have a strong single-player campaign. I don’t need any bizarre love triangle in this. I guess though if a friend of mine suggest that we go play together. Would I know it from the start if that friend of mine would fall apart? I’ll pretend not to see his gun and I’ll say “Let’s just go and have some fun.” Can we take whatever we want in the game and can anyone else be thieves like us?

Also, after playing it, there should be nothing I regret.

The game should take place in 1963 instead, if you ask me.

They should offer a “Shellshock” mode.

Will one of the levels be in Dracula’s Castle?

Will there be krafty ways of taking people down?

Will it be spooky enough?

Will there be vanishing points so you can hide from the nazis?

Will it be all about saving the Republic?

You brought ‘em up.


On May 7, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Sorry Warren, your day has come and gone. When was the last time you put something even remotely good on the pc? You turned your back on the pc and became a console lackey. Should we all just give up an play mickey mouse games? I used to respect you, but like your time, that too has come and gone. I dare say you have a hard time telling what is good or bad anymore.
If the game looks good, I’ll more than likely try it. I like Bethesda, so I’m willing to say, I’m looking forward to it. You Warren can take your walker and head on back to bed and dream of Mickey once again now that you unemployed.


On May 7, 2013 at 8:10 pm

I think there’s room in a new title for both SP and MP, if done properly. Bethesda does have a very good track record, recently one of the best in gaming, so I’m fairly confident they can implement both. Obviously, like any game I’m interested in since ME3, I don’t pre-order. I’ll wait a month until a reasonable consensus has formed as to whether or not this is garbage, and then make a purchase decision.

I am extremely excited to see something else built on id Tech 5. Whatever one’s opinion on RAGE (and I happen to be a huge fan), there’s no denying that it had a lot of visuals that were absolutely stunning. There were some scaling issues with graphics up close, but I have no doubt that Carmack and company will tweak the engine to fix that. What was apparent is that id Tech 5 was able to produce visuals that rivaled Crysis without needing a bajillion dollar gaming PC to do it, and that should make those of us gamers who are not independently wealthy oil barons very happy.


On May 7, 2013 at 9:22 pm

I have a certain amount of faith in Bethesda, that they will put out a game that if not earth shaking then at least one that won’t make me regret having played it.

And I for one look forward to fighting giant Nazi robots.

Look, as much respect as Mr. Spector is due the fact is there isn’t anything wrong with a silly adolescent power fantasy, and quite frankly I can’t fault people for making the games they want to make, whether it’s some ground breaking work of art or the equivalent of an entertaining popcorn fueled summer blockbuster (though personally my tastes run more towards Toxic Avenger and Saint’s Row III than either of the above genres).


On May 8, 2013 at 4:34 am

If Activision was doing this then it would stand a chance of being decent, otherwise you might as well play the NES version because there isn’t a developer on the planet capable of competing with Activision in the FPS genre aside from EA. And both of them have better things to do than resserect a thirty year old kid’s franchise with bad graphics.


On May 8, 2013 at 4:34 am

If Activision was doing this then it could maybe stand a chance of being decent, otherwise you might as well play the NES version because there isn’t a developer on the planet capable of competing with Activision in the FPS genre aside from EA. And both of them have better things to do than resserect a thirty year old kid’s franchise with bad graphics.


On May 8, 2013 at 9:08 am

Did the world really need another CoD game ? After all, fighting ex urss rogue military or tier world terrorist is so innovative right ? …