With Wolfenstein: The New Order proving to be one of last year’s most surprisingly excellent games, it was unlikely that Bethesda would be willing to ignore fans asking for more. Machine Games has seen fit to give us just that in The Old Blood. Fans will surely appreciate more of the quality gameplay from The New Order, but The Old Blood doesn’t quite hit all the same notes of its full priced older sibling.
Gameplay has seen few changes, which is a good thing considering how well its predecessor performed in this regard. There is a much greater focus on stealth to the point where you may wonder if it is still an action game. Of course running in guns blazing is still a satisfying alternative. It would have been nice to have a little more variety in weapon selection and enemies compared to The New Order, but the fact is that The Old Blood is a satisfying playthrough with old school inspirations blended perfectly with modern advancements.
Story and Modes:
No, there still isn’t any multiplayer. I just figured I’d address that right away in case anyone was wondering. The Old Blood is still a single player only affair, but much as was the case with The New Order, this isn’t really a bad thing. B.J. is tasked with discovering the location of Deathhead’s research facility (Spoiler Alert: We know he finds it) so the Allies can launch a last ditch attack on it to save the war effort. The supporting cast is noticeably weaker than The New Order, but that is almost to be expected given the bargain price. The story is good for a solid 5-6 hours, which is better than a few $60 games can claim, but definitely comes off as add-on material. It is too good at setting the stage for the main game and, as a result, loses its unique identity. It can be said that there is a greater occult influence compared to The New Order which has a heavy science fiction influence, but it might be best to just ignore it. Without going into details, it just seems strange that the final hour or so of play was not once addressed in The New Order, despite being a pretty big deal.
Visuals and Sound:
The heavy soundtrack returns in all its glory and the overall sound design is unchanged from The New Order. B.J. is much more gung ho and vocal this time around, replacing some of the internal monologues with jokes about killing Nazis. He basically says what we’re all thinking. Though not quite as technically polished as The New Order, the game still looks great and runs smooth as butter at 60FPS. Again, this is a $20 standalone DLC that outclasses a lot of $60 titles.
As was mentioned in a previous section, The Old Blood lacks a unique identity outside of it’s final hour or so. It is clearly a means to hold over fans until they have something to show for a sequel, which itself is all but confirmed. I mean, come on, you don’t just make a game like The New Order, a DLC follow-up like this, and then not have plans for more. The Return to Castle Wolfenstein (see what I did there?) is welcome, but it is a bit of a reach for anyone who isn’t a longtime fan of the franchise.
The Big Question:
When does the sequel come out? Really, if this is anything but a confirmation that Bethesda is not only confident in the future of Wolfenstein, but attempting to generate early buzz for a sequel announcement (E3 perhaps?) then I’m liable to throw my PS4 out the window of a moving vehicle. The only question I care to have answered is how long do I have to wait?
No matter how you look at it, The Old Blood is a steal. It has a similar level of quality to its full priced release last year and packs in a fairly lengthy single player at the price point. You know how you sign up for e-mails to get notices about good deals, this should be in your next e-mail. Jokes aside, the asking price could be $10 higher and this would still be a bargain. If you had any level of enjoyment with The New Order, add this to the list of the best twenty bucks you ever spent.