E3: Wolfenstein Presentation, With a Side of Elder Scrolls

By Luke Y. Thompson in Video Games
Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Wolfenstein_The_New_Order_cover.jpg

Bill Blazkowicz, hero of the original Wolfenstein games, has been in a coma for 14 years. He awakened in 1960 to some rather terrible news: Hitler won the war, thanks to some kind of unknown technology. The Nazis now have giant robots, killer robot dogs, and a planned mission to the moon.

The game is still fundamentally about blowing the bejeezus out of evil Axis scum, but based on what I saw, there are moments where it tries to be a little more than that. In one, Bill is undercover with a female associate on a night train to Berlin. He's picking up a coffee tray when he is summoned over to the table of a high-ranking SS woman and her stupid young boy-toy. There's a giant ED-209-ish robot that looks threatening, but doesn't actually do anything...yet.

At gunpoint, she tells Bill he looks Aryan, but she has test she must do to be sure. Setting the gun down, and warning him not to reach for it, she shows him sets of pictures, two at a time.

Blue eyes versus buck teeth. "Which is more beautiful?" You, the player, get to pick.

A spider versus skulls. "Which is more disturbing?"

You have the option of trying to go for the gun too, but the saving move is not to - she finally laughs and says the pictures were just her holiday photos; a real non-Aryan would have gone for the gun. She lets him (you; it's first-person) pass, and go back to quarters with the coffee, at which point your female companion points out that there's only one bed.

So that was an interactive story part of the game - we then were shown an action area, set on the Gibraltar bridge, which has been blown up in the middle, with rail cars still dangling dangerously above the Strait. Your mission is to grab the Nazi astronaut who's still inside one of them - but lots of mofos gotta be shot first. And most of them have robo-armor or something; I detect a Jin-Roh influence.

You don't get the old bloody face indicator to monitor your health, but blood splatter appears around the edges of the screen/your POV as you take damage. That aside, pretty standard FPS with cool next-gen graphics - the sequence ended with the player falling off a ledge, hanging by his fingernails, then saved and hoisted up by a robo-Nazi, who promptly punches you in the face as we cut to black.

So, probably pretty much what you were expecting. There was a short promo for Elder Scrolls Online afterward, with the gist being that your character can be customized pretty much any way you can think of, and the game can handle as many as 200 characters onscreen at once. Whoever was saying we need a 30-man Royal Rumble game...I think this is the sign that it's doable.

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