Wolfenstein: The New Order is a surprisingly solid next-gen and last-gen FPS that saved us from the summer gaming drought. Gamers needed an action-packed, explosive game for the much warmer days of 2014 and got in the form of B.J. Blazkowicz’s resurgence.
There’s a ton of effort that went into the game, which is due in part to the creative developers at MachineGames. We spoke with the game Narrative Designer Tommy Tordsson Björk, who gave us some backstory on what went into creating the game’s intense atmosphere and violent gunplay.
Here’s everything you need to know about Wolfenstein: The New Order!
1. What are the main storyline motivations behind “B.J.” Blazkowicz’s crusade against the Nazis?
Tommy Tordsson Björk: B.J. has been fighting the Nazis since, what seems to him, forever. As the game begins, however, the allies are losing the war and B.J. is confronted by one of the main figures behind the Nazi war machine – General Deathshead. The confrontation ends with B.J. falling into a coma and waking up 14 years later to find that the world is ruled by the Nazis. But B.J., an anomaly out of time, will not stand for this and so he seeks out the remaining resistance to launch an assault against General Deathshead to bring him down for good.
2. Will “B.J.” find himself encountering historical figures from the Nazi regime of the past or will he face off with more fictional villains?
TTB: Wolfenstein: The New Order is grounded in the history of World War II and the Nazi party for its portrayal of a world dominated by a fascist regime, but the villains are all fictional and unique to the story.
3. What old school first-person shooting elements make a return here?
TTB: There are a number of nods to the first game in the shooter genre, Wolfenstein 3D. The traditional numeric health counter comes back in this game. You can’t rely on going into hiding and waiting for your health to regenerate, but instead have to scavenge the levels for medpacks. You can carry as many weapons as you can find. The levels are also more open and non-linear like they used to be in the old-school shooters.
4. Will there be any new modern first person shooter mechanics present?
TTB: Yes, there is. One thing we have which is really useful is a fluid leaning system where you don’t snap to a cover, but instead hold down a button to lean in whichever direction you want – up, down, left and right. It feels really natural when you use it and helps out if you find yourself overwhelmed by the opposition.
5. From the demos I’ve played for the game so far, I noticed that the gore factor is incredibly high. Did any particular films, games or other forms of media inspire the development team to push the envelope on this shooter?
TTB: Aside from Wolfenstein 3D, the series owes a lot to the old movie classic Where Eagles Dare. So we took some inspiration from that and even recorded a special animation set for the Nazi soldiers to mimic their battle stance from the movie. Also, the dual-wielding assault rifles are a nod to the movie’s classic shoot-out scene with Clint Eastwood.