It’s an old saying we’re all familiar with: We’d all be speaking German right now if the Nazis won World War 2. Heil! But what would become of the wider world that we know?
Mainstream gaming’s most recent vision of a Nazi victory was rendered in 2008’s Turning Point: Fall of Liberty, where the American east coast — particularly New York City — became an fiery apocalyptic battleground in a shooter that’s gameplay, unfortunately, lacked the polish and flair of its bodacious concept.
MachineGames‘ recently announced Wolfenstein: The New Order, on the other hand, takes alternate history in a more… alternate direction, even for a long-running series that’s steeped in paranormal Nazi lore.
Unveiled by publisher Bethesda last week, the game once again casts players in the role of William “B.J.” Blazkowicz — decorated veteran of World War 2, prized agent of the United States Office of Secret Actions (the game’s version of the real-life OSS), perennial defender against the machinations of the Third Reich. As we quickly found out, however, there’s no longer a war going on but rather a resistance movement. The year is 1960; Nazis control the world; and Blazkowicz, naturally, is tasked with spearheading a desperate European counter-offensive to overthrow the SS and, well, unseat their New Order.
That’s where the trove of screenshots and concept art rolled out by Bethesda today steps in. The CGI announcement trailer released for Wolfenstein: The New Order set the stage for a universe where robotic Nazi death-machines, mass-produced super weapons and mass-induced super soldiers ran rampant across the world; but only the trailer’s coinciding pair of images let us peer briefly into that world — a world of tyranny, oppression, and the highly stylized, quasi-futuristic aesthetic motifs Wolfenstein has long been known for.
And they turn out to be rather revealing. A mix of gameplay footage, cutscenes and concept drawings, the images shed light on The New Order’s fearsome foes (robotically enhanced Nazi soldiers, nightmarishly Nazi mechs, Nazis in general), intricate weapons, fantastical architecture, grisly combat and even parts of its cinematic presentation.
Bethesda didn’t release any further information regarding the game with its latest asset dump, but for now the look and feel of The New Order tells its own story. We know that Blazkowicz himself will have access to weapons and technology of the world while invading Nazi strongholds, labs, factories and assorted facilities, upgrading his abilities along the way. And with E3 fast-approaching on June 11, it might only be mere weeks before we see the game in action — powered, no less, by id Software’s id Tech 5 engine.
What do you think of the atmosphere being invoked by MachineGames for Wolfenstein: The New Order? Multiplayer, somewhat surprisingly, won’t be featured in the game — the developer stated that it wanted to focus on crafting a richer single-player experience — but will it still be able to stack up against the next generation’s first crop of first-person shooters?
Wolfenstein: The New Order will be storming the Xbox 360, PS3, PC and next-generation platforms in the 4th Quarter of 2013.
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