Bethesda To Release Wolfenstein: The New Order
May 7, 2013

Return To Castle Wolfenstein Again

Peter Suciu for — Your Universe Online

There is the old saying that you can´t go home again, but you can go back to Castle Wolfenstein, it seems. Bethesda Softworks announced Wolfenstein: The New Order is slated for release later this year for the PC, Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360, as well as “next generation consoles.”

American spy William “B.J.” Blazkowicz will return to action in the game being developed by MachineGames.

“We are excited to bring a new chapter of Wolfenstein to gamers everywhere,” said Jens Matthies, creative director at MachineGames. “As fans of the series, working on this game is an honor, and our team is driven to create an unforgettable action-adventure experience that will make FPS fans proud.”

MachineGames is comprised of former founding members of Starbreeze Studios, which is known for its first-person shooters including The Darkness and Chronicles of Riddick.

The game is the latest in a series that actually began in 1981 as Castle Wolfenstein from Muse Software, and which was originally developed for the Apple II. It later was ported to the Atari system, the Commodore 64 and MS-DOS. The first game, and its subsequent sequel, Beyond Castle Wolfenstein, featured side-scrolling action that was akin to Donkey Kong or other early 2D games of the era.

Then, in 1992, id Software and Apogee Software released Wolfenstein 3D as a first-person shooter and practically launched the action shooter genre. In that game, players took on the role of Allied spy, William “B.J.” Blazkowicz as he attempted to escape a Nazi prison inside the castle. Nearly a decade later, id Software released Return to Castle Wolfenstein, which offered more over-the-top exploits in the guise of Blazkowicz.

He returned to action again in a 2009 game from Raven Software, id Software and Pi Studios, which was published by Activision, and titled simply Wolfenstein. That game was acclaimed for its single-player campaign, but the science-fiction setting may have turned off some fans, and sales of the game reportedly did not meet expectations, which resulted in layoffs at Raven Software.

With Wolfenstein: The New Order, the game´s story could take a new direction — one to alternative history — as this game is set in 1960 after Nazi Germany won World War II. Players will be playing an apparently middle aged (or older) version of Blazkowicz, as he launches an “impossible counter-offensive” against the Nazis, reported GameSpot, which broke the news of the game´s development.

While a new Wolfenstein game may strike a nerve with fans of the series, not everyone is rejoicing at the news of another Blazkowicz blast-fest. Game developer Warren Spector, creator of Deus Ex and Epic Mickey, is already questioning the need for another title in the series.

“Did the world really need another Wolfenstein game? Did we need a generically dark, monochromatic, FPS, kill-the-Nazi-giant-robot game? Uh. No. The world did not. I am so tired of stuff like this... Oh, and could we all just agree we'll never use the generic gravelly-whisper trailer voice guy ever again? And one more thing: Please stop using Jimi Hendrix to promote your adolescent male power fantasies,” Spector wrote on his Facebook page upon hearing of the announcement Wolfenstein: The New Order was in the works.

The musical reference was apparently a response to the fact Jimi Hendrix´s “All Along the Watchtower” plays during a teaser trailer. Perhaps a song from the group New Order would have been more appropriate.