Introducing their version of Wolfenstein back in 2014, MachineGames has delivered some great and some not-so-great titles within the FPS series. Regardless of the quality of some entries, it has established its style in the genre as bombastic and action-packed.
His first non-series project was billed as an untitled Indiana Jones game. While we wait for the inevitable Wolfenstein 3 and what the studio’s version of Indiana Jones will look like, let’s take a look at some of its older games and how they fared on Metacritic.
5 Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot (PC) – 54
MachineGames took advantage of the modern gaming landscape to test virtual reality with Cyberpilot. It accompanied Youngblood, as both games were released on the same day. Travel to 1980s France, as you play a hacker causing chaos for the Nazis and aiding the French resistance in your robot.
Co-developed with Arkane, the studio behind Dishonored, Cyberpilot received low to mixed reviews. The poor reception was mainly due to the story and combat. On the narrative side, it felt like it didn’t lend itself much to the world of Wolfenstein, and combat-wise, it was repetitive with controls that felt out of place, leading to weightless action.
4 Wolfenstein: Young Blood (PC) – 69
A prelude to the third installment, with Arkane co-developing again. Youngblood was set in the 1980s and followed BJ’s daughters Jess and Soph on their journey to France to find his father. He is playable alone, but has the option to play through the co-op campaign as either of the sisters. So whether you like it or not, you could at least experience it with a friend.
You might want to say “nice” to its Metacritic score, but Youngblood was another entry in the series to mixed reception. The characters and the story were boring. Compared to BJ’s memorable crew, the daughters seemed utterly insipid. RPG mechanics were introduced, but failed to make any difference overall.
3 Wolfenstein: The Old Blood (PS4) – 76
Like Youngblood and Cyberpilot, The Old Blood was a stand-alone story within MachineGames’ overall Wolfenstein story. It was a prequel to The New Order and introduced some new ideas to the series, like Nazi zombies. The added horror elements in this action-packed, eight-chapter story made a welcome change to the studio’s growing catalogue.
The bloody action turned into a fun adventure that lasted about six hours. It was great for people who wanted more of the gunfights they experienced in The New Order. Unfortunately, due to its pace, it doesn’t have time to fully explore its story, themes, and characters. It shows that a solid game can do heavy lifting, but more substance is also just as important.
two Wolfenstein: The New Order (PC) – 81
Taking on an iconic series was a daunting task for the studio, especially for its debut. It had been years since Id Software touched the series; and Raven Software’s 2009 entry received mixed reception. In 2014, it was time for MacineGames to prove their worth by taking on the beloved series.
The idea of the Nazis winning WWII has been done almost to death, but MachineGames added their own spin on it. The concept was well executed, with interesting characters as well. The combat made it work and proved that this team of developers could handle major series. Weapons that packed a punch with simplistic yet deadly stealth systems built for endless fun while taking down Nazis.
1 Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus (Xbox One) – 88
The story progresses as BJ and the resistance movement continue to push back against the Nazis. The New Colossus also features memories of the protagonist’s childhood, with his abusive father and his loving mother. On the gameplay front, new mechanics were introduced for both the main game and certain segments of the campaign. For example, in the early parts of the campaign, you can fight Nazis in a wheelchair. After that, you are placed in an exoskeleton that gives you a physical advantage over most enemies.
The highest rated game in the rebooted series showcased what MachineGames learned and improved upon over the years from Wolfenstein’s mainline and standalone entries. The combat was more brutal and satisfying, showing that the team built on the foundations established from The Old Blood and The New Order. The writing was at its best, giving the player time to breathe and enjoy the cast of characters, along with dramatic beats and laugh-out-loud moments. In roughly 15 hours, story and gameplay come together to deliver a rollercoaster of thrills, drama, horror, and loads of Nazi-slaying fun.
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