Wolfenstein’s New Order is to Combine Old School with New
Choices, Linearity, and Ancient Technology
Öjerfors and Björk spilled a few additional beans about what to expect from Wolfenstein: The New Order, although on most details they remained silent.
Perhaps the most interesting was the idea that levels and firefights will see multiple solutions, although just how diverse or extensive these will be is yet to be seen. During the Nautica assault, there were lots of different routes through any given fight, but they were still fights; the developers suggested upgrades to BJ’s arsenal might allow him to find new routes through levels, but it doesn’t seem to be as diverse or free as, say, what’s available in a Deus Ex game.
A large part of the game, at least, seems as though it’ll be fairly linear, going from mission to mission. The introduction of non-linearity is more in level design, the developers said.
“I’d say that during the bulk of the game you have one mission and you have to finish that,” Öjerfors said. “But within the levels themselves, there are sometimes different paths you can take. For example, that first robot in the main hall, early on in the demo, there are multiple ways to take him down by finding different routes. There’s a rocket above him, and you can make it fall down and crush him. So you’re going to have to find another route to be able to do that, et cetera. There are sometimes different pathways through a level.”
“I think what we want to do is create a space that is non-linear within the levels and combat scenarios,” Björk added. “There’s not just one way to shoot your way through it.”
That doesn’t mean the game is wholly just going from one level to the next, though. Öjerfors mentioned “Headquarters missions,” which will be side missions accessible from the resistance headquarters at various intervals throughout the game. Those missions will offer BJ optional tasks and undertakings.
“We have the headquarters, which you return to occasionally — the resistance headquarters — and in there you’re going to have some optional side missions if you want to,” Öjerfors said.
“Infiltration missions and the like.”
“I think what we want to do is create a space that is non-linear within the levels and combat scenarios. There’s not just one way to shoot your way through it.”
The developers wouldn’t say just what those missions might add to the game, be they upgrades or story information. There will be secrets, though, in another callback to old Wolfenstein titles, and seeking out those secrets will be good for rewards and benefits to BJ of some kind or another.
As for the story, there was precious little to glean. The emphasis on sci-fi seems to be a heavy one, but there was a moment when BJ stumbled on ancient, high-technology artifacts and commented that the Nazis seemed to be trying to reverse-engineer them. They also included Hebrew script on them, suggesting that all kinds of ancient Raiders of the Lost Ark weirdness could be possible going forward. Even still, for the most part, The New Order kept its tone at least somewhat serious and fairly dark. BJ’s occasional narration sometimes lends something a bit goofy (like cursing out the moon), but that was more than balanced against moments like the suicide bombing and train sequence.
But for however dark The New Order might get, it seems to always be couched in fond memories of the game that was the star to the first-person shooter genre. Callbacks to Wolfenstein 3D are many, ranging from hidden secrets littered throughout the game and its gameplay, to slightly more subtle reminders of a simpler time.
“We’re also bringing back the old difficulty levels from Wolf 3D, everything from ‘Daddy, Can I Play?’ to ‘I Am Death Incarnate,’” Öjerfors said.
No matter how serious things get, you can always whip out two huge shotguns and litter a lunar landing museum with Nazi corpses.