So, another game comes to a close, rounding off this year’s Four in Febru-
Wait, It’s March 1st? But it was just February a minute ago...
But I promise that I finished the game in February. I swear. See? That’s my cheevos for The Old Blood. The “game complete” cheevo is called Hero. Here’s even a picture!
So browsing my cheevos, you may notice that I didn’t finish the game on Uber, as I wanted to. There’s an explanation for that, I’ll get to it in a bit. First, time for the writeup proper.
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood Is a standalone expansion to 2014’s excellent story-driven Wolfenstein: The New Order. The Old Blood acts as a prequel, and is far less story driven. This in itself isn’t a bad thing, there’s just a lot less feelings, with roughly the same amount of Nazi deaths per hour.
Which brings me to the game’s length: It’s pretty short. There’s 9 chapters, one of which is a prologue and is literally just a long-ish cutscene you walk through and then an arena fight. The other 8 levels vary in length from roughly half an hour to just over an hour long. If you’re charging through it, expect the game to take about 6-8 hours long for one playthrough.
Also included in each chapter are Nightmare levels, similar to The New Order’s Nightmare levels. They’re each one level from the first Act of the original Wolfenstein 3D, and each hide a set number of collectibles which unlock character models to view in the Extras menu. Unlocking all the models serves no achievement purpose, but are strictly for bragging rights.
When playing through The Old Blood, you’d be forgiven for thinking that there were no zombies in the game. The first six chapters are zombie-free, with the last three chapters featuring a healthy mix of zombies and Nazis, keeping the zombies from getting too boring.
So, I promised I’d talk about my Uber attempt as well.
I got to the end of the fifth chapter, the halfway point of the game, before I said “To hell with this” and started to write this.
That was three days ago.
Now, to be fair, this has been through several rewrites and Destiny also had the monthly Iron Banner event going on, so it’s not like I haven’t been trying to write this, it’s just been hard to get a start after being thoroughly demoralized by what is easily The Old Blood’s hardest chapter.
So, let me start by talking about the fifth chapter, a chapter called “ESCAPE!”. The chapter starts off with a particularly tricky commander section, where you have to deal with two commanders and a supersoldat, who makes trying to stealth everybody a lengthy process. Running in and gunning everybody down is ill-advised, as the commanders will just keep issuing endless waves of reinforcements.
Once you get past that, there’s decently easy part until get back to the base of the mountain and run into an arena fight with an amount of cover.This fight chains immediately into another arena fight with less cover, but there’s still a spot to hide and slowly take out the enemies. This chains into a supersoldat fight in the same arena with the same amount of little cover, which chains into a fight with a panzerhund, a big mecha dog. There are checkpoints between the fights, so it’s a little more forgiving, but the panzerhund can and will three-shot you when you’re at full health/armor. I managed to finally defeat it by abusing the AI pathing and hiding in a spot that it couldn’t get to me in as it ran back and forth. There was a lot of yelling involved in trying to finally kill that thing.
After that, there’s a relatively easy arena fight/snipe fest, which leads into a bit of walking and a cutscene. After the cutscene, there’s another arena fight in a bar with Nazis climbing in through the windows. Once that’s done, there’s a fight with the first part’s antagonist, who’s in a unique supersoldat armor with two chainguns and two power sources to shut down. It’s worth noting that this fight bears a resemblance to the Hans Grosse fight from Wolfenstein 3D.
It’s in the bar where I called it quits for now. The arena fight in the bar was giving me too much trouble for what it was worth, and I wasn’t ready to fight the boss fight quite yet. This difficult gauntlet is the halfway point in the game, and it’s also the hardest chapter in the game, which I found strange.
With all that out of the way, there’s some really cool things in the game. The second chapter, set in a prison, is essentially a tutorial for sneaking around, and there’s some cool tense moments when you’re powering down a supersoldat or a door and a different supersoldat could be on it’s way.
Also, the new pipe melee adds a small climbing… activity? interaction? Either way, it’s a lot of fun. You click and hold the left and right mouse buttons (or triggers if you’re on a controller) and you dig in the corresponding pipe into the wall and climb. It’s, as much as I hate using the term, really immersive, and it adds a nice little touch to the game.
There’s also a bunch of little easter eggs here and there, like a literal grammar Nazi, BJ quoting Hamlet whilst holding a skull and fumbling around with it trying to put it back, small nods to other id and Bethesda games peppered throughout the game.
All in all, The Old Blood was a lot of fun, even though I sucked at the Uber difficulty.
So, there’s no game lined up next, as I’ve finished my 4iF. I’ll try to get a finale/recap up in a few hours, but if I don’t have it up tonight, it’ll go up tomorrow. See you soon!